Heartwarming Sukkot festival unites thousands of Israelis

In a show of unity, thousands gather for Jewish National Fund-USA's MAKOM Communities Sukkot Festival in Israel.

Over 2,000 Israelis from diverse backgrounds and communities gathered in the Lavi Forest in Israel’s north to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot. Supported by Jewish National Fund-USA’s MAKOM Communities, the event, “MAKOM (a place) in the Sukkah,” proved to be an extraordinary coming together of people from all walks of life.

The day was filled with engaging and entertaining activities that celebrated Israel’s diverse melting pot of cultures and created an atmosphere of unity. Participants discovered a wide array of activities to enjoy, from arts and crafts to musical performances, juggling practice to pita baking, mural painting to relaxing in tents. The event also featured talented singers and a selection of food trucks, ensuring there was something for everyone.

“What made this event truly remarkable was the diverse crowd it attracted,” said Jewish National Fund-USA-MAKOM liaison Shosh Mitzman. “Busloads of people from various communities, including Ethiopian, Druze, Ukrainian immigrants, religious, secular, and many others, came together to celebrate the festival.”

Thousands gathered in the Lavi Forest in Israel’s north for a celebration of Jewish unity over Sukkot

Jewish National Fund-USA MAKOM Task Force Co-chair Michelle Horesh said, “This gathering showcased the power of unity and the impact of our philanthropic investments that build resilience in Israeli society, support economic development, create high quality of life opportunities, and most importantly, strengthen local communities in our homeland’s frontier regions as we strive to attract 300,000 new residents to the Galilee.”

Jewish National Fund-USA MAKOM Task Force Co-chair Marti Eisenberg also lauded how the event symbolized everything the organization is working towards through its Go North Strategy. “Our “MAKOM in the Sukkah” festival exemplified the true spirit of Sukkot, fostering connections, celebrating diversity, and strengthening community bonds. The event’s success sends a powerful message of unity and hope, reminding us of the beauty that can emerge when people from different backgrounds come together to celebrate and discuss our shared destiny and common purpose.”

There was fun for young and old at the Sukkot event

Eisenberg was also proud of the record attendance, noting, “The fact that the number of people who attended greatly exceeded our expectations is just another sign that our work is attracting thousands of new residents to the country’s north.”

Jewish National Fund-USA’s MAKOM Communities is a network of over 280 communities that are part of every sector of Israeli society. Each of the communities has its own unique identity and area of focus, and share a socially conscious and collective mission to meet the challenges of Israeli society today in areas of community building, education, arts and culture, and Jewish identity – all together, ensuring a stronger future for all of Israel’s residents, and making cities thrive while attracting new residents to the Negev and Galilee.

For more information or to support Jewish National Fund-USA’s MAKOM Communities, visit jnf.org/makom

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Jewish National Fund-USA builds a strong, vibrant future for the land and people of Israel through bold initiatives and Zionist education. As a leading philanthropic movement, the organization supports critical environmental and nation-building activities in Israel’s north and south as it develops new communities in the Negev and Galilee, connects the next generation to Israel, and creates infrastructure and programs that support ecology, people with disabilities, and heritage site preservation, all while running a fully accredited study abroad experience through its Alexander Muss High School in Israel.
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