The AJT recently shared photos from the Israel festivals held at the University of Georgia and Emory University, but they weren’t the only area campuses that found space and time to celebrate Israel’s 69th birthday before the end of the spring semester.

Georgia Tech held its largest-ever Israel Fest on April 6, three days after hosting a lecture by Holocaust survivor and Atlanta architect Benjamin Hirsch, Tech Hillel Director Veronica Beskin reported. The festival, held as close to Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) as possible, is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to experience the history, people, culture, technology and food of Israel in a nonpolitical, nonreligious way.

A camel at the KSU Israel Fest

Attendees had such experiences as a chalk tour of Jerusalem’s Old City, a do-it-yourself salt scrub station at the Dead Sea and a taste test at the shuk.
“We hope the giveaways, free food and selfies with the camels will continue to foster a positive image of Israel on the Georgia Tech campus,” Beskin said.

More than 900 Tech students brought friends to see the camels make their yearly appearance by the fountain in the center of campus.
Kennesaw State held its first campus Israel Festival in more than seven years on April 21, KSU Hillel Director Lara Schewitz said, a reflection of the rapid growth of the Jewish student population the past few years.

Hillel responded to the demand for more Israel education on campus with the celebration of Israel’s culture and many achievements. Students and faculty learned about various cities in Israel at booths with engaging activities.

The festival also included a camel, a DJ and free Israeli food from a food truck. More than 500 students attended the festival.

Kennesaw State photos by Jake Lipsiner