Salute to Israel at Birmingham’s Festival of Arts Next Year

The Birmingham Festival of Arts will salute the culture and arts of Israel next year from April 25 to May 5, it was announced here. Founded in 1951 the Festival of Arts is the oldest continuing arts festival in the world today. Recently the Birmingham Jewish Federation made it possible for a group of Festival officials to travel to Israel to make preparations and contacts for the 35th annual event.

An archaeological exhibit will be housed at the Birmingham Museum of Art that will provide viewers a better understanding of the methods and techniques used in ancient Israel, the announcement said. Visitors will see a variety of objects used over several centuries and will see how archeologists excavate these objects, identify and interpret them. Other exhibits will be featured at local colleges, universities and shopping malls.

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra will feature an Israeli guest artist, the Jewish Community Center will host the Broadway musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” there will be a fashion show, a book and author luncheon with nationally acclaimed writers, films, lectures, food fests, music, dance and workshops, according to the announcement. One of the highlights of the Festival is the 10-day International Fair, “Building Bridges,” at Boutwell Auditorium, April 25 to May 4.

In February, Mayor Richard Arrington of Birmingham will lead a group of people on a nine-day Mission Tour to Israel. Joining him will be the president of the Festival, Edward Friend, III, Sheila Blair, chairperson, and co-chairperson Bunny Rotenstreich.

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