New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has declared May Birthright Israel month.
Bloomberg will issue a formal proclamation at an event Wednesday evening in New York City set to be attended by more than 1,000 alumni of the free Israel trip for Jews aged 18 to 26.
The Taglit-Birthright Israel organization said May will feature events in cities across North America for trip alumni, special Birthright Shabbat celebrations at more than 100 synagogues, visits to communities by Israeli soldiers who participated in Birthright Israel trips and special donor functions.
The organization this month plans to publicize its goal of increasing participation from 30,000 a year to 51,000 a year by 2013, or one of every two young Jewish adults.
In January, the government of Israel announced that it would contribute $100 million to Taglit-Birthright Israel over the next three years. Birthright also plans to increase its fundraising this year by $10 million to $58.6 million, and then add another $20 million next year in order reach its participant goal for 2013.
SUNDAY, MAY 1
UNITED BLOOD SERVICE BLOOD DRIVE
The community is invited to do a mitzvah, either by donating blood or holding the hand of someone who is. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. To make an appointment, call (805) 497-6891. Temple Etz Chaim, 1080 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. ” title=”mountsinaiparks.org” target=”_blank”>mountsinaiparks.org.
“THE FIRST MASSIVE JEWISH DEPORTATION: TO CAMP DE GURS IN 1940”
Werner Frank, a founding member of the JewishGen’s German Special Interest Group, recounts the story of this little-known tragedy. 1:30 p.m. Free. Co-sponsored by Temple Adat Elohim and the Jewish Genealogical Society of the Conejo Valley and Ventura County. Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. (818) 889-6616. ” title=”history.ucsb.edu” target=”_blank”>history.ucsb.edu.
FRIDAY, MAY 6
JCA FAMILY CAMP
Enjoy Shabbat, Havdalah, gourmet kosher food, yoga, arts and crafts, song sessions and more with your family in Malibu Canyon. Through May 8. $170-$205 (adults), $130 (children, 4 and older), free (children, 3 and younger). Camp JCA Shalom, Shalom Institute, 34342 Mulholland Highway, Malibu. RSVP to (818) 889-5500. ” title=”bigsunday.org” target=”_blank”>bigsunday.org.
SUNDAY, MAY 15
SANTA BARBARA JEWISH FESTIVAL
” title=”sbjf.org” target=”_blank”>sbjf.org.
A lack of funding has forced organizers to cancel this year’s Israel Independence Day Festival in Woodley Park.
SANTA CLARITA JEWISH FOOD AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL
Come hungry to the third annual festival that celebrates the best of Jewish food trucks from around Los Angeles and the Santa Clarita Valley, including Takosher, Canter’s, Yalla Falafel, Sweet E’s Bakery and more. Then stick around for Israeli dancing, a Mitzvah Alley, Mad Dog Gaming truck, face painting, bouncer and more. Sponsored by Temple Beth Ami. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $5 (door), free (children, 12 and younger). College of the Canyons, Lot 7, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia. (805) 964-5577. ” title=”templeetzchaim.org” target=”_blank”>templeetzchaim.org.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 18
Psychiatrist Lance Steinberg will address the benefits and risks associated with medication for children with special needs. Sponsored by HaMercaz. 7 p.m. $10 (per person), $15 (for two). Milken JCC, 22622 Vanowen St., West Hills. (866) 287-8030. ” title=”valleyperformingartscenter.org” target=”_blank”>valleyperformingartscenter.org.
CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
Have a “berry” nice time with celebrity cooking demonstrations, musical performances, a Herzog-sponsored wine pavilion, food and art contests, arts and crafts booths, Strawberryland for Kids, special appearances and more. 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. $12 (general), $8 (seniors, 62 and older), $5 (children, 5-12) free (children, 4 and younger). Strawberry Meadows of College Park, 3250 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard. (888) 288-9242. ” title=”skirball.org” target=”_blank”>skirball.org.