Multiple locations
May 8 — 15
Various times

For eight days in May, the public can experience the cuisine and culture of Israel right here in our own backyard.

Chef Carmit Elkayam
Chef Carmit Elkayam

Celebrating this year’s Yom Ha’atzmaut—a national day commemorating the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948 which falls on May 12th this year—and marking the 20th anniversary of Pittsburgh’s sister-city partnership with Karmiel/Misgav, Israel Week runs May 8th through May 15th at multiple locations around the city and suburbs.

This year’s festivities are highlighting the work of the locally based group, Partnership2Gether, which for more than two decades has forged business, artistic, cultural and educational connections between Pittsburgh and Israel’s Karmiel/Misgav region.

Josh & the Jamtones.
Josh & the Jamtones.

Israel Week is packed with activities and events such as musical concerts, dance performances, cooking demos, storytelling programs, art exhibitions, lectures by prominent rabbis, and more. The week features a mix of free and ticketed events open to the public.

During “Magical Mixings: Healthy Israeli Cuisine,” noted chef Carmit Elkayam will lead cooking demonstrations and tastings featuring the food and flavors of Israel, various ethnic styles and nutritional qualities.

Karmei-Machol Dance Troupe. Photo by Alex Huber.
Karmei-Machol Dance Troupe. Photo by Alex Huber.

Don’t miss free performances by the acclaimed Karmei-Machol Dance Troupe, taking place on May 9th at Temple Emanuel in the South Hills, and again on May 12th at the JCC in Squirrel Hill. Based in Israel’s Misgav region, the young adult ensemble blends Israeli folk dance, modern choreography and engaging and athletic performances, and has appeared at world-renowned events such as the Karmiel Dance Festival.

On May 12th, grab the entire family and head to the Yom Ha’atzmaut festivities at the JCC in Squirrel Hill. Not to be missed in the JCC’s Katz Theater is a rollicking concert featuring the Boston-based band, Josh & the Jamtones. The free family concert will showcase the group’s energetic and infectious mix of folk, rock, reggae and comedy.

Additional highlights include storytelling programs featuring award-winning folktale author Peninnah Schram, workshops led by Israeli artist Daniela Shacham Sarig, community-wide lectures, and free “brunch and learn” conversations.

Israel Week is a program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. View a complete Israel Week schedule.

Looking for more events? Read our 11 Pittsburgh events not to miss in May and our Top 11 things for families to do in May in Pittsburgh features.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.