2010 Jewish Heritage Festival in Daytona Beach

3/14/2010 12:34:00 PM ·

What better way to spend a Sunday then at the Jewish Heritage Festiva in Daytona Beach. Since my Spring Break started on Friday, I wanted to start off my vacation right by celebrating my heritage with my father. The weather was perfect, the music was surrounding us, and the smell of falafels and kugel filled the air. Our first stop, however, was to the Holocaust exhibit which was appropriately placed inside the News Journal Center.

The reason I say appropriately is because it was quite a somber and humbling experience. There were several multimedia presentations, including a fascinating documentary called "Passport Life, Destination Shanghai", a presentation by Maxine Kronick explaining the escape from 1939-1945 in which the Jews were allowed travel visas to the Dominican Republic and China.

Local artist, Sara Fox, put together this collage of sorts dedicated to her parents who are Holocaust survivors. The piece was crafted to represent her late mothers "testimony". It was striking first hand, and through the lens, an ominous representation of a turbulent past.

There were letters and photos from inside the work camps, several in which described first hand persecutions, the deterioration of the workers, and restrictions on the natural rights of the detainees.

There were also several speakers throughout the day, including Joyce Kaufman. Joyce is the host of "The Joyce Kaufman Show" on 850 AM WFTL Radio, Ft. Lauderdale-Miami-West Palm Beach. I happened to walk into the exhibit right in the middle of Joyce's speech, and while I bent down to take a picture, I had to take a breath for a moment.

There were several tables filled to the brim with yamakas and scrolls and this stunning Passover Seder plate. If you aren't aware, the Seder plate is used to the tell story of the Exodus from Egypt. There are six symbolic foods, each of which is arranged on the plate and have special significance to the retelling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The seventh symbolic item used during the meal—a stack of three matzot—is placed on its own plate on the Seder table.

Of course, as we were leaving the exhibit, my fiance was sitting on a bench by himself, taking it all in I suppose. He explained to me that it was quite depressing, and why was it that there wasn't anything positive being said. Both my father and I told him, "It's important to remember the past, and what these Jews are doing is reminding everyone that this can happen again. Furthermore, it's been happening for centuries and people don't want to see it or recognize it. The more we talk about it, the more people can be prepared and understand what man is capable of".

On a lighter note, we made our way over to the food stand to pick up some corn beef sandwiches and gyros. However, trying to be lady I'm not, the stuffing came out all over me and my pants. How embarrassing. Thank goodness we live so close to the festival so I could drive the five minutes to the house and change.

We came back to check out the booths and the dancing, and I picked up a lovely Star of David silver necklace surrounded by a triangle with the word "Shalom" in Hebrew. Of course, my Dad was the first to choose a new necklace, and he picked up a blue opal and silver star that was stunning. My fiance gladly sat the shopping spree out, as he's more excited about the upcoming St. Patrick's Day event this week. Yes, he's Irish!

On our way back to the car, we stopped for a moment at the Camel rides. I didn't take the plunge, but I did snap some shots of some people that did. All in all, it was a wonderful start to my Spring Break.

Thanks so much to all the contributors of the festival, we had an amazing time and we look forward to next year. Toda!

Post a Comment

Welcome to Friends Revolution. We love comments, but we delete spam.

HINT: We encourage comments that indicate an opinion on the post(meaning you've read it) or will help the readers. Comments such as "I like it" or "Nice Post" will be DELETED!

Please feel free to leave your opinions.

Welcome to Friends Revolution

Simrandeep Singh