May 22, 2018

Celebrate Jewish Unity Day and Our Community’s Jerusalem Unity Prize at FAU

Once again, a vibrant crowd of thousands from every corner of Jewish South Palm Beach County will come together in testament and celebration of the strength and joy of their remarkable, united Jewish community. They’ll gather for the fourth annual Jewish Unity Day event at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 in the Carole & Barry Kaye auditorium at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. All Jewish South Florida is invited to this free event, but registration is required at jewishboca.org/unity.

“This year we’re taking it to a whole new level, with members from more than 70 diverse area synagogues, schools, agencies and Jewish organizations participating together in the program’s unprecedented multimedia, multisensory demonstration of Jewish unity,” said Rabbi Josh Broide, Director of the event’s presenter, the Deborah and Larry D. Silver Center for Jewish Engagement, a division of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. “We anticipate having more than 2,000 people on hand for this extraordinary experience.”

“With live music, videos, visual demonstrations and much more in place of traditional speeches, they’ll see, hear and feel the unity around them as it radiates out into the community and far beyond,” continued Rabbi Broide. “As in previous years’ events, many surprises are being kept under wrap. We guarantee this night to remember will leave everyone inspired and motivated to spread the message of Jewish unity to their families, friends and colleagues both nearby and around the world.”

Those observing Jewish Unity Day locally will be joining more than a million people in Israel and nearly another million in 24 countries across six continents. This year, the local event was delayed by a week as a delegation from South Palm Beach County heads to Israel to receive the prestigious Jerusalem Unity Prize on June 6 at the home of the Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin.

Both Jewish Unity Day and the Jerusalem Unity Prize were spearheaded by the parents of the three Israeli teens, Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah, who were kidnapped by terrorists on their way home from school and murdered in the summer of 2014, in collaboration with Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem, and Gesher.

The following summer, the boys’ parents asked the Jewish world to re-experience and strengthen that groundswell with a Jewish Unity Day observance. Among the array of global events held in response to their call, each year South Palm Beach County’s has been recognized as the largest and most inclusive in the world. And now, the Jewish community of South Palm Beach County has become the recipient of the Jerusalem Unity Prize that is a community, and the first in the Diaspora.

“This extraordinary Jewish community has done an astounding job of coming together when we face local, domestic or international challenges,” said Matthew C. Levin, President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. “We consistently put aside our differences and unite, for greater purposes, across what are often boundaries of Jewish life.”

“But here in South Palm Beach County, we go much farther, practicing Jewish unity every day like no other community,” continued Levin. “We do not wait for a tragedy or challenge to unite. We come together simply because we are all one Jewish family, and we are stronger together. The rewards for us personally, as a community and a people are profound.”

“The remarkable initiative exhibited by the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County is a true reflection of the reason we first created Unity Day,” said Anat Schwarz Weill, Executive Director of Jewish Unity Day and the Jerusalem Unity Prize. “By bringing together so many people from different walks of life and segments of the Jewish community, this Federation has proven that the three boys’ legacy of inspiring greater Jewish unity remains very much alive. We feel honored to have the Federation and its partners as our partners in this effort, and to see how the ideals of a more united Jewish world are being spread all over the globe.”

“For those who say Jewish unity is not possible, for those who give excuses for their communities, we have shown Jewish unity is indeed possible,” said Rabbi Broide. “There can be no excuse not to pursue it.”

The Florida Jewish Home is the Jewish Unity Day event’s Newspaper Sponsor.

Registration for the Jewish Unity Day event in Boca Raton is required at jewishboca.org/unity. For more information about the local event, the public is invited to call 561-558-2112. Additional information about Jewish Unity Day and the Jerusalem Unity prize is available at unityprize.org.