Festival Education


Education and Speakers

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and out of an abundance of caution, we have turned our festival into a drive-thru experience over three days - April 16, May 14, and June 11.  While we won't be able to welcome our favorite speakers to our sanctuary, we are still committed to sharing the vastness of Jewish history, customs, holidays, and traditions, and the importance of giving back through social action efforts.  

For our April 16 event, we are all about the holiday of Purim!  Learn about its history, important characters in the Purim story, the food associated with it, and more.  We'll even have some great Jewish jokes in the drive-thru line to keep you entertained as you make the rounds and visit all of the different stations.  

April Mitzvah Alley Charity Partner: YWCA Dayton

The Jewish Cultural Festival’s Mitzvah Alley highlights organizations in the community whose sole purpose is to help others. Mitzvah is the Hebrew word for commandment, referring to a moral deed performed within a religious duty or an expression of heartfelt sentiment as expressed in “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). As we kick off the Taste of the Jewish Cultural Festival, join us for “April Showers”, as we learn about the vital services provided by YWCA Dayton and shower the moms, babies and children they serve with important items for their well-being. In the spirit of Queen Esther from the Purim story who saved the Jews from persecution, we are proud to partner with YWCA as our Mitzvah Alley charity partner.  

As part of the oldest and largest women’s organization in the nation, YWCA Dayton has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for nearly 150 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. The Dayton YWCA Dayton’s programs include their domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, 24/7 crisis hotline, and housing and life skills programs.

Each year, YWCA Dayton’s domestic violence shelter provides more than 15,000 nights of stay to those fleeing abuse. On average, more than half of the women in their domestic violence shelters arrive with one or more children, and on a typical day, they serve around 30 youth in the shelter children’s program. Helping these families secure safe, permanent housing is critical, since it is known that children exposed to violence in the home are 15 times more likely to be physically and/or sexually assaulted than the national average (Source: UNICEF). 

Donation Drive for YWCA Dayton:  As you drive through the festival, please consider bringing with you one or more of the following items from the YWish list, vitally needed by the families served by YWCA Dayton. If you prefer to donate in advance you may connect to YWCA Dayton’s secure donation page.  We will also accept cash donations for YWCA Dayton as you drive through.

All items must be new or gently used. They do not accept damaged or broken items; nor do they accept open toiletries/hygiene items.

  • Diapers including swim diapers and Pull-Ups
  • Baby wipes 
  • Baby formula, including soy-based infant formula, hypoallergenic infant formula (i.e., Similac Alimentum), premature infant formula (i.e., Similac Neosure)
  • Underwear (children/women)
  • Body wash/body lotion (women/children)
  • Hair products (especially for women of color)
  • Cleaning & hygiene supplies (especially hand soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes): Shampoo/conditioner, Ethnic hair care products, Body wash, Hand/body lotion, Deodorant, Disposable razors, Toothbrushes & toothpaste, Depends (XL and XXL), Tampons and sanitary napkins, Hypoallergenic, scent-free kids’ shampoo and lotion
  • Hair brushes and wide-tooth combs
  • Socks (children/women)
  • Small craft kits
  • Gift cards (They allow case managers to purchase baby supplies, toys and birthday gifts as needed.) Most helpful:  Walmart, Target, Meijer, Kmart, Big Lots, Carter's

Learn more about what the YWCA offers women and children in our community.      

We are truly grateful to all of our community partners and volunteers who are working hard to bring the best possible experience to all of our attendees in 2021.  If you would like to support Temple Israel, we encourage you to donate online to support our efforts to assist community members in need at this time.

Feeling nostalgic? Check out our photos from 2019 on Facebook.