Redbridge parties for Israel


Young performers took centre stage at Redbridge Jewish Community Centre on Tuesday evening as the community united to celebrate Israel Independence Day.

Over 200 people enjoyed the party, which was presented by a group of gap year participants soon to head out to Israel. Broadening the theme, the event further marked Tel Aviv’s 100th birthday and the 15th anniversary year of the borough’s King Solomon High School.

The programme began with a Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade pipe band, followed by the Beit Dani singers and dancers from Tel Aviv, who performed a medley of popular Israeli songs. Jerusalem dance troupe Pisgat Zeev particularly delighted the audience, many waving blue-and-white flags.

For local interest, there was song and dance from pupils of the Ilford Jewish and Clore Tikva primaries. And shifting the focus temporarily, a song from Grease was among a musical selection performed by Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue youth club members. Israeli-style refreshments and souvenirs were available throughout the evening.

Philip Leigh, chair of the community centre board, said: “The event revolves around youth and involves the whole community, which has a lengthy tradition of placing Israel at its heart. This is our major event of the year and we are extremely proud of it. If the place was bigger we would certainly bring more people in.”

Community emissary Revital Shloman helped to organise the event and others during the week including a celebratory gala dinner at King Solomon High. She said that “the youth, talent and love of this community for Israel is there for all to see. The most important thing is that everybody in this community is together, regardless of whether they are Orthodox, Reform, Masorti, Liberal, or do not even attend synagogue.”

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