TAMPA – The Tampa Bay Jewish community is about to party, and the celebration gets bigger every year.
On May 4, the Tampa Jewish Community Center & Federation will celebrate Kibbutz Cohn, a communitywide festival that will commemorate the 66th year of Israeli independence. It will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Maureen and Douglas Cohn Jewish Community Campus, 13009 Community Campus Drive, Tampa.
Jack Ross, executive director of the TJCC, said that he is expecting nearly 2,000 people to attend this year's event.
“This should be the biggest year yet,” Ross said. “It's a great chance to bring Kibbutz Cohn to North Tampa. We have something for everyone.”
Kibbutz Cohn will replicate many Israeli traditions. There will be a kibbutz petting zoo and cow milking station, a kibbutz archaeological dig, and obstacle course to commemorate the trials of the Israeli army, and Israeli and Jewish music. There will also be Israeli falafel and other kosher treats.
Ross said the event is designed to bring Tampa's Jewish community together.
“Kibbutz is about a collective community,” Ross said. “We do things to educate our community on the history and the way that Jewish people live. We are also exposing them to modern industry and agriculture.”
Kibbutz Cohn will also present a showing of the movie, “Cast a Great Shadow,” starring Kirk Douglas as Col. Mickey Marcus. It is a fictional account of the experience of a Jewish-American military officer who commanded the fledgling “Palmach,” now known as the Israeli Defense Forces in 1948. The movie will being at 5 p.m. in the Kibbutz Theater.
At 4:30 p.m., event sponsor Michael Charles will introduce Hillsborough County commissioner Al Higginbotham, who will present the Tampa Jewish Community Center & Federation with a county proclamation to honor Israel's 66th birthday.
An all-inclusive carnival wristband will be available for $18.
For more on Kibbutz Cohn, check their website at jewishtampa.com. Admission is free and volunteers are still needed.