Jewish Federation to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day with outdoor events May 5: Press Run

Annual Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration: The Jewish Federation of Cleveland will host its annual Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration — a festival celebrating Israel’s Independence Day — at 6 pm May 5 outside of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Road in Beachwood, and the next-door Temple-Tifereth Israel. The event is free and open to the community.

The celebration of Israel’s 74th Independence Day will feature an outdoor carnival, which will include live Israeli music from IsraBand; stilt walkers and jugglers; kids’ activities, such as glitter art and games; a spirit station with Israeli-themed swag; food and alcohol available for purchase; and raffle prizes.

The first 300 people to register for Yom Ha’atzmaut by April 25 will receive a raffle ticket at the entrance and will be eligible for special prizes and experiences.

“Yom Ha’atzmaut is always such an exciting and celebratory time for our community,” said event co-chair Shelley Gimbel, in a release. “We look forward to offering attendees of all ages a great experience where they can celebrate Israel with lively entertainment, delicious food, family fun, and more.”

“This will be the Federation’s first large-scale community event in almost two years, and we can’t wait to see people show up and proudly celebrate Israel and our community’s strong connection,” added another event co-chair Zach Siegal, in the same release.

Other co-chairs are Shelley and Zach’s spouses, Adam Gimbel and Shelby Siegal.

The Federation will also host its annual Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) commemoration with a meaningful memorial service to honor the legacy and sacrifice of Israel’s fallen soldiers and terror victims. This ceremony will be held two days before Yom Ha’atzmaut, at 7 pm May 3, with both a virtual and in-person event at The Temple-Tifereth Israel, 26000 Shaker Blvd. in Beachwood.

Yom Ha’atzmaut is sponsored by the Cleveland Jewish News, in addition to more than 35 community partners. Registration is required to attend. For more information or to register for Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Hazikaron, visit

From Colombia to Shaker Heights: Verb, Ohio’s contemporary ballet, will welcome dancer Bryan Andres Salinas to Cleveland from Colombia. Salinas arrived in Cleveland in January as part of Verb’s 2022 International Cultural Exchange Program.

The International Cultural Exchange Program was developed to identify individuals who represent the diverse cultures and races of the world and to bring them to Cleveland to work with Verb’s dancers for six months. The program was established specifically to promote cultural exchange, diversity, equity and inclusion. Verb has previously hosted international artists from South Africa, Taiwan, Chile, Vietnam, and Cuba.

Salinas began his dance studies at the age of 10 at the Colombian Institute of Classical Ballet. After graduating high school, he furthered his studies in New York City at Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance, Joffrey Ballet School and Manhattan Youth Ballet.

“Verb Ballets utilizes dance to build the community at home and abroad,” said Margaret Carlson, Verb Ballets’ producing artistic director, in a release. “This cultural exchange program allows us to bring new artistic perspectives and grow a deeper appreciation of cultures while finding comradery in dance as art form.”

Heights Libraries internships: Heights Libraries will offer this summer two paid, $1,500 internships to local high school students in the area of ​​digital literacy education.

The program includes a general orientation to the library, various learning opportunities, and hands-on experiential activities. Specifically, interns will shadow staff, assisting customers in the computer/multi-media labs, and observe computer classes. By the end of the program, interns will demonstrate what they have learned by co-teaching a computer class with help from one of the library’s Tech Trainers.

The program is open to Cleveland Heights and University Heights residents between the ages of 16 and 19. Anyone under 18 years must have signed permission from a parent or guardian in order to participate. Applicants must also be able to commit to being at the library at least 16 hours per week for a period of six weeks, from June 13-July 22. Family members of current employees or members of the Board of Trustees are not eligible to apply.

For more details, visit here.

Fifth anniversary party: ARTFUL, located in the Coventry PEACE Building, 2843 Washington Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, is throwing a party to celebrate its fifth anniversary. The party will include a fresh exhibit by ARTFUL artists in the lobby; live music; tarot readings by Beautiful Sadness; light appetizers and deserts; specialty cocktail and mocktail by Robin VanLear; open studios; presentation of trophies; and a Coventry PEACE Park Dance Party fundraiser.

The event is scheduled for 6-9 pm April 29. For more information, visit To RSVP for the party, visit here.

At the Heights Libraries: Upcoming online classes through Heights Libraries include “Mac Basics, Part 2,″ from 2-3:30 pm April 29 (register here), and “Cleveland Heights’ Landmarks,” from 7-8 pm May 3.

The landmark program celebrates the beautiful homes and buildings in Cleveland Heights. You’ll learn more about the city’s existing landmarks, as well as the Landmark Commission’s efforts to add more sites that honor the history of women and Black people in our community. The speaker will be Landmark Commission Chair Mazie Adams, who will also explain the benefits and impact of landmarking properties in Cleveland Heights. You can register, beginning April 19, here.

As for in-person events, the Coventry Library branch, 1925 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights, will host author Eugene Marten as he reads from and discusses his newly published novel Pure Lifefrom 7-8:30 pm April 28 (register here), and “Creating a Greener Heights: Springing Forward,” from 7-8:30 pm May 2 (registration is not required).

And, for people of all ages, the Lee Road branch, 2345 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, will host throughout the day May 4, “Through the Gate: A Collection of Textile Collages, by Boni Suzanne Gelfand.” Visit the Lee Road Art Gallery during regular library hours to view a collection of textile collages by local artist Boni Suzanne Gelfand.

Doan Brook Family Fishing Workshop: You and your family are invited to join the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership and Cleveland Metroparks Youth Outdoors for some fun, family-friendly fishing.

They’ll cover the basics, from tackle and technique to casting, fish identification, and handling. You’ll even learn how to clean and prepare your catch. After learning the basics, everyone can test their luck fishing for stocked catfish and bluegill in the Rockefeller Lagoon. Bring your own rod and reel or borrow one of theirs. Bait will be provided.

The event takes place from 10 am to noon, and 1-3 pm May 7. You can register online at, or by calling 216-325-7781.

Ursuline president named to the national committee: Ursuline College (Pepper Pike) President Sister Christine De Vinne has accepted an invitation to serve as a member of the Higher Education Working Group of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. She is one of only five college presidents invited to serve alongside five American bishops.

The Working Group’s purpose is to advance further dialogue and collaboration among the nation’s Catholic colleges and bishops.

“I am honored to be appointed to serve on the Higher Education Working Group,” said Sister Christine, in a release. “I look forward to conferring with colleagues and bishops from across the country on questions pertinent to Catholic colleges and universities.”

Special concert in Beachwood: The Beachwood Arts Council will present a special concert with The BackTraxx Band from 2-3p.m. April 24 at the Beachwood Community Center, 25225 Fairmount Blvd.

The popular band, consisting of eight Cleveland-area musicians, will entertain the audience with a “blast from the past” by playing favorite songs from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The familiar tunes will make you smile and want to sing along.

The concert is free and open to the community, and is made possible by grants from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and Ohio Arts Council.

For more information, call Beachwood Arts Council at 216-595-3400, or visit

White House scholarship winner: Kiara Patterson, of Shaker Heights, is a junior broadcast journalism major with a criminology minor, working to graduate from Howard University in 2023.

Patterson is one of three Howard University students to win a 2022 White House Correspondents’ Association college scholarship.

“I am delighted to congratulate the recipients of this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association college scholarships,” said Howard University President Wayne AI Frederick, in a release. “They are the communicators of the future, and we look to them to continue the tradition of excellence in their efforts to move the truth forward.”

The scholarship winners 12 different universities and received a total attend of $105,900. Patterson aspires to be an anchor or reporter for major television stations, networks and programs, including CNN, “Entertainment Tonight” and the “Today” show.

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