Celebrating 65 years of independence, the Coalition of Hopkins Activists for Israel (CHAI) hosted its sixth annual Israel Fair Tuesday afternoon in the Levering Court Yard.
CHAI put on the event in partnership with Hopkins American Partnership for Israel (HAPI), J Street U, Jewish Students Association (JSA), Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity (AEPi), The Hopkins Organization for Programming (The HOP), Panhellenic and Hopkins Hillel. Other sponsors of the event included Israel on Campus Coalition of Greater Washington (ICCGW), AJC Global Jewish Advocacy, StandWithUs, Masa and the Office of Student Affairs. The groups aimed to provide students the opportunity to learn about Israeli society and culture.
“Our goal for the event was to showcase how modern Israel has become in a short 65 years,” senior Rebecca Rubenstein, Co-President of CHAI, said.
Activities allowed students to learn Hebrew, explore Israeli innovations, try free food and receive a variety of giveaways.
Reflecting their theme, “Israel Interactive,” CHAI aimed to engage students in new ways. In an effort to demonstrate Israel’s concern for the environment and desire to create a positive future, participants utilized bike power to make smoothies.
“This year, the fair is much more interactive. We set it up so that people could learn Hebrew by making bracelets with Hebrew-letter beads, play with Israeli-made apps on iPads and use bike power to make their own smoothies,” Rubenstein said.
In addition to interactive activities, organizers also made informational posters.
Some posters taught language, such as Hebrew slang and useful words, while others donned articles describing new Israeli technology.
CHAI members also advertised an Israeli-based international humanitarian organization, Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), which aims to help children suffering from heart disease in developing countries.
To encourage students to stop by the fair, participants, dressed in a camel suit, walked around the Levering Court Yard.
"I chose to come because some guys in a camel suit told me to, so I hadn't heard about it before and this is my first time. I think it's awesome! There's free food, it's a nice break during the day and the weather is great for a fair," sophomore Alexy Abramson said.
Passersby were offered falafel, hummus and pita bread, along with cupcakes frosted in Israel’s national colors. Free giveaways included “Israel Fair” t-shirts, stickers and sunglasses from StandWithUs, and frisbees and pins from the Jewish National Fund.
“I really do think the event was successful this year. I would love for us to get even more groups involved to support us in future Israel fairs, to allow us to continue making the fair bigger and better,” Rubenstein said.