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Gala Local Tv Spectacular Fetes Israel on Its 30th Anniversary

A gala “television spectacular” in honor of Israel’s 30th anniversary was broadcast live throughout the eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey area on WPHL-TV (Channel 17) May 11–the eve of Israel Independence Day. It was recognized by Variety, the weekly entertainment newspaper, as the only such locally-produced telecast in the nation.

The telecast, which ran 6 1/2 hours, featured entertainment, panel discussions on various phases of Jewish and Israeli life, and live and toped appearances from local and national entertainers, governmental leaders and civic and communal leaders. Other segments included films about life in Israel.

Produced by the Federation of Jewish Agencies of Greater Philadelphia and its 30th Anniversary of Israel Committee, the entire broadcast (and a gala buffet reception in honor of the broadcast) was held at Drexel University’s Student Activities Center.

Master of Ceremonies for the production was Theodore Bikel, the popular actor and folk singer. Among the other celebrities who appeared were Rina Messinger, former Miss Universe from Israel; Mayor Frank L. Rizzo; Governor Milton Shapp who played the violin; concert pianist Susan Starr, and Ambassador Fredric R. Mann, who opened the telecast by playing “Hatikva” accompanied by the 60-voice Congregation Adath Jeshurun Youth Chorale.

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