Heritage Festival is an opportunity for Jewish community to shine

When you arrive at an event, you may not realize how much organizers have spent planning and coordinating to make it a reality. Jay Cairns took on the contract role to ensure that this year’s Israel Pavilion at the Heritage Festival is a success. So far, he’s loving the work.

“It’s awesome. This is the best opportunity for us to outreach and tell the positive story of Israel and our connection as Jewish people. It’s so exciting,” says Jay.

Planning began in December by connecting with vendors and many meetings. He has to consider the logistics of the pavilion tent, the food for sale, the dancers who will perform as well as what cultural content will be on display for over 300,000 people who attend the festival. Jay is also grateful for Meirav Or and Christina Reboh’s work on recruiting and organizing the volunteers who play a crucial role in this annual event. Volunteers help with the setup and teardown of the pavilion and serving food, answering questions, and selling products from Israel.

He encourages members from the Jewish community to take time to visit the Israel pavilion at Hawrelak Park on Sunday, July 31 or Monday, August 1. “It should be community driven. People should want to get out and show the finest of what Israel offers. There are a lot of supporters for Israel, but I think now is the chance to come out and have a really solid Jewish community presence in the pavilion,” says Jay.

He adds there are many ways individuals can interact with the Israel Pavilion, such as watching the dancers, making a bracelet with Hebrew letters, or visiting with people you rarely see throughout the year. “Use this as an opportunity to reconnect with Israel, your Jewish identity, your community, and your friends and family, and join us,” says Jay.