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Hillel to host carnival for Israeli Independence

The Jewish community at Binghamton University is set to unite at a carnival in celebration of Israel’s 62nd anniversary next week.

The Israel Independence Day celebration, or Yom Ha’atzmaut, will be hosted by Hillel at Binghamton, the University’s Jewish Student Union, in the Dickinson Amphitheater from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

‘The goal of the event is to bring Israeli culture to campus,’ said Rebecca Kohn, president of Hillel. ‘The carnival brings aspects of Israel that most people have no experience or knowledge of.’

In addition to typical carnival features, including inflatable obstacle courses, live music and a dunk-tank, this year’s event will offer students the opportunity to ride a camel, enter a Bedouin tent and experience a Dead Sea spa where Ahava brand product samples will be distributed.

Events for children, such as an inflatable castle, will also be available since event coordinators are expecting families from the Greater Binghamton area to attend, said Danielle Kutas, activities coordinator for the event.

In the Bedouin tent, participants will have the opportunity to make their own pita. Sabra, a brand of dips, appetizers and spreads, will be donating hummus for the event.

A barbecue containing shawarma, falafel, hot dogs and hamburgers will be available to students for $4 and community members for $5.

Snow cones and cotton candy will also be sold for $1 each.

‘Every year the program is designed to highlight aspects of Israel and bring a positive taste of Israel to campus,’ said Josh Warren, financial vice president of Hillel.

This will be the third year Hillel is throwing the large celebration. This year’s event is co-sponsored by Off Campus College Council, The David Project, Sodexo, Bearcats for Israel and Chabad, along with additional organizations.

According to Kohn, more than 1,000 students, faculty and residents attended last year’s event, and Hillel is expecting a similar turnout on Tuesday.