More than 800 celebrate Israeli in Manchester

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 22, 2010
Guitar hero: Sruli Portnoy

Guitar hero: Sruli Portnoy

Eight hundred people turned out for the Manchester community's Yom Ha'atzmaut party at the Sheridan Suite in the north of the city on Tuesday.

In the absence of Israeli entertainers because of the air travel disruption, guitarist and Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute student Sruli Portnoy, 19, son of the Hale community's Rabbi Joel Portnoy, was the musical headliner.

"They pulled me in about three hours before the event," he said. Ironically, Mr Portnoy was available as he had been unable to get a flight out of England.

Former King David music teacher Sandra Friedman rushed with her band to the venue to complete the bill.

Chris Mayho, principal of Langdon College for special needs students, said the last-minute performers were "fantastic. They got our students up on stage to sing and dance."

Francine Levy, who came to the party with 12-year-old son Ben, said the attendance was "the most I've seen here. It's been very lively, especially the entertainment."

Organising committee chair Karen Solomon added: "The community is always willing to come and support Yom Ha'atzmaut."

Last updated: 1:04pm, April 22 2010