Marking its 30th anniversary, the Santa Barbara Jewish Festival is the Central Coast’s largest community-wide Jewish cultural festival and celebration of Israel’s Independence Day (Yom Ha’Atzmaut). It will be held 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at Plaza del Mar, 23 W. Castillo St.

Organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, the Jewish Festival welcomes thousands of visitors each year to experience and share the best of Jewish culture: live music, Israeli dancing, arts and crafts vendors, family and children’s activities, community organizations, and food.

This year, the Santa Barbara Jewish Festival moves to a new venue — Plaza del Mar — centrally located on Santa Barbara’s waterfront, at W. Castillo Street and Cabrillo Boulevard.

With parking nearby, easy connections to public transportation, and handicap accessibility, the move from Oak Park to Plaza del Mar will increase the public’s access to the festival.

No Jewish festival would be complete without entertainment and this year, the festival features the Ventura Klezmer Band, Santa Barbara Youth Opera, Congregation B’nai B’rith’s youth and adult choirs.

For the first time, the festival will be combining Israeli folk dancing with live music from Kalinka. Everyone is welcome to join the dancing, no experience required.

Families with children can enjoy nature art projects, face-painting, treasure chest prize giveaways, and Wow Factor Attractions’ giant inflatable Battle Balls.

For refreshments, Sababa It’s All Good Catering will be offering fresh falafel plates with hummus, pita and salads. There will also be Kosher treats from Chabad of S. Barbara’s Jerusalem Café, as well as McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream, beer and wine.

The Jewish Festival will be emceed by Izzi Tooisnsky who will share his vaudevillian entertainment as a juggler, clown, comedian, storyteller and educator.
Thanks go to the 2017 Jewish Festival sponsors including Montecito Bank and Trust, Felici Events, Jano Graphics, Classic Event & Tent Rentals, Spark Creative Events, the Community Shul of Montecito and Santa Barbara, Camp Haverim, Congregation B’nai B’rith and Union Bank.

For more information, visit or call 957-1115.

— Briana Sapp Tivey for Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara.