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Santa Barbara Jewish Festival Returning to Oak Park on May 4

On Sunday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the 2014 Jewish Festival will take place once again at Oak Park.

An important and vibrant part of Santa Barbara’s rich history of ethnic celebrations in Santa Barbara and for the Jewish community itself, the festival will not disappoint, with activities for everyone in the family.

The festival will feature a wide variety of entertainment, activities, vendors, information and, of course, food! Israel's 66th Independence Day will be celebrated, and we will also commemorate the Day of Remembrance, including speakers from the Israeli Defense Force and local dignitaries.

Talented artists and other favorite Santa Barbara vendors will grace the park with their creative offerings. A silent auction will offer hard-to-resist items and will benefit future festivals. This year's headliner is the Moshav Band, an internationally acclaimed American/Israeli rock group based in Los Angeles. Also featured will be Ventura Klezmer Band, Kalinka, B'nai B'rith Temple Band and Shir Chadash Choirs, Lorraine Klein Yiddish Folk Music and Israeli Dancing, as well as Israeli consulate representatives and proclamations from elected officials.

The emcees will be Louise “Weezy” Palanker and the JCC Teen Comedy Club. SB Krav Maga, the official Israeli Self Defense System, will demonstrate hand-to-hand combat training.

“The Santa Barbara Jewish Festival promises to be outstanding, truly special, with something for everyone,” said Michael Rassler, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. “Our volunteer committee has secured an incredible lineup of entertainers and activities. The community is sure to have a great time this year.”

Festival Highlights


Headliner: Moshav Band. The internationally acclaimed American/Israeli rock group Moshav began during childhood at Moshav Mevo Modiin in Israel. The band relocated to Los Angeles, where they continued to grow their fan base and began recording with some of the industry’s best.

Continuously touring across the United States and the world, including festivals worldwide, Moshav built a large following. After releasing and selling close to 50,000 of their self-produced eight albums, the band eventually teamed up with acclaimed producers Ron Aniello and Cliff Norrell (R.E.M., Jeff Buckley, Sting) to create their album Dancing in a Dangerous Word. 2012 saw Moshav on tour throughout the USA and the world. The band recently released their new single, “World on Fire” featuring Matisyahu.

The Ventura Klezmer Band has been performing at the Santa Barbara Jewish Festival most years since 1993. Playing and singing Yiddish, Israeli, Hassidic and Klezmer music, Ventura Klezmer Band sets an exciting mood for this great festival! Founded in 1988 by Marty Flam, they perform throughout Central and Southern California at weddings, bar-mitzvahs, anniversary parties, concerts, fundraisers, festivals and other simchas.

Kalinka is a Santa Barbara-based acoustic quintet, offering a unique rendering of Old World tunes. Their music draws from sources such as Jewish Klezmer, gypsy, vintage jazz, French café, and Eastern European folk dances.

Lorraine Gutenplan Silverberg Klein is an educator and folk singer who combines her passions for music with the joy of Yiddish. Her festival performance will include songs from her soon to be released album, Zingt Zhe Kinder! Songs of my Youth.

The Temple Band and Shir Chadash Adult and Youth Choirs of Congregation B’nai B’rith are led by Cantor Mark Childs. The spirit of Jewish music will lift your souls!

SB Krav Maga is the official Israeli Self Defense System, and not a traditional martial art. It was developed in an environment where the Israeli military could not devote many hours to hand to hand combat training.


Food sold will include falafel, chicken kabobs, hot dogs, knishes, barbecue, hummus, baba ganoush, rugelah, challah, smoothies, salads, beer, wine, ice cream, popcorn and cookies.


Vendors will offer a wide variety of crafts, Israeli items, Judaica and beautiful jewelry and clothing.


Dozens of information booths will be available as a resource for questions or interests a guest may have.

Youth Activities

There will be a variety of fun things to do, plus face painting and a visit to the Western Wall (and it looks real!).

The Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara is at 524 Chapala St. in Santa Barbara. For more information or to volunteer, email [email protected], call 805.957.1115 or click here.

— Nancy Friedland is the communications coordinator  for the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara.


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