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Dennis Ross

Dennis Ross
Former U.S. Peace Negotiator, Adviser, and Ambassador
in collaboration with the Virginia Beach Forum and presented by Capital One Commercial Banking
Tuesday, September 20 | 7:30pm 

From his first days as a Pentagon planner in the Carter administration to his latest White House tour in the Obama administration, Ambassador Dennis Ross has been at the heart of American foreign policy and the U.S. - Israel relationship with postings spanning the administrations of five presidents, both Democrat and Republican. Weaving together diplomatic history and personal experience to recount the presidents' attitudes toward Israel and the region, Ross will take a look back to the relationships from the birth of the state of Israel to the future based on the outcome of the upcoming elections. 

Neta Levi

Neta Levi
Israeli Mixed-Media Collage Artist
Family Art Workshop: Drawing, Cutting, Tearing, Gluing
Wednesday, October 19 | 5:30pm 

Explore the work of Neta Levi in the Leon Family Art Gallery (September 21-October 23), then use that as inspiration for creating a unique mixed-media collage with the entire family. Kids and adults participate together. Dinner included.  


Avi Melamed

Avi Melamed
Analyst, Educator, Author
Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth
Tuesday, November 15 | 7:30pm 

Decades of unrest and tensions in the Middle East have erupted into an Arab awakening, creating turbulence that continues to rock the Arab and Muslim world, generating change across the region. Focusing on real-time analysis of unfolding events in the Middle East, Avi Melamed's 30 years of intelligence and counterterrorism experience in the region shape his ability to share a three-dimensional picture of the struggles that will impact the region, and the world, for years to come. 

Presented as part of the Simon Family JCC's Lee and Bernard Jaffe* Family Jewish Book Festival 


Jill & Amnon Damti

Jill & Amnon Damti
Celebrated Israeli Dancers, Choreographers, Educators
Two Worlds – A Dance Performance
Sunday, December 11 | 6:00pm 

A unique blend between the world of a deaf dancer and that of a hearing dancer, this interactive performance combines pantomime, movement, sign language, and more to offer an experience and a message that audiences will not soon forget. Mindy Brown, an internationally renowned sign language interpreter, will be at the MOCA performance, making it accessible to all sign language users. Parents also have the option to enroll their kids in a Children's Art Workshop to make "tunnel art" with a MOCA art instructor during the performance. 


Princess Shaw

Presenting Princess Shaw
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center
340 Granby Street, Norfolk
Sunday, January 22 | 5:30pm 

When an extraordinary artist recognizes another from across the world, and their talents come together, it brings the idea of collaboration and creativity to a whole new level. Presenting Princess Shaw is the extraordinary true story of New Orleans singing sensation Princess Shaw and her collaborator Kutiman, a musician in Israel who uses Princess Shaw's YouTube videos to create a beautiful expression of generosity and compassion. Kutiman's depiction reveals the bona fide star that Princess Shaw truly is and her fight to never give up on her dreams.

Shown as a part of the Simon Family JCC's Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, presented by Alma* and Howard Laderberg 


Avi Melamed

Mishy Harman
Master Storyteller, Communicator, Founder and Host
Israel Story – Ancient Land, Modern Tales
Thursday, February 16 | 7:30pm 

Join us for an evening of magical conversation with Mishy Harman, the creator of Israel Story--the award-winning radio show and podcast that public radio icon Ira Glass calls "the Israeli 'This American Life.'" With its unique blend of storytelling and real, live characters, Israel Story introduces us to a different Israel, one which we rarely get a chance to see: life-sized, nuanced, funny, and touching. 


Gitit Shoval

Gitit Shoval
Israeli Vocalist, Voice Actor, Educator
From Gershwin to Dylan: The Genius of Jewish Songwriters
Saturday, March 25 | 8:00pm 

For one night only, the Simon Family JCC will transform into a jazz club where you can enjoy International singing sensation, Gitit Shoval as she showcases through song how Jewish artists have inspired, entertained, and left a lasting mark on history.  


Israel Fest

Israel Fest
A community-wide celebration of the State of Israel
Sunday, April 30 | 11:00am - 4:00pm 

Celebrating Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel's 69th birthday, experience Israel through art, education, culture, food and entertainment. Activities for all ages! 


Puzzle Israel

Israeli Kitchen Encounters featuring Guy Marom and Nir Margalith
Entrepreneurs, Chefs, Explorers, Philanthropists
A Culinary Adventure with Puzzle Israel
Tuesday, May 2 | 7:30pm 

Celebrate Yon Ha'tzmaut (Israel's 69th birthday) through the taste and culture of Israel with chefs Guy and Nir, founders of the adventure tour group, Puzzle Israel. sharing their love for fresh, authentic Israeli food in a fun, hands-on, culinary adventure, Nir and Guy will leave novice and experienced chef-participants with skills and stories to share from their own kitchens. Limited space available. 


Unless otherwise noted, all events take place at the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive in Virginia Beach

For more information on the Israel Today series, including upcoming events, purchasing tickets, and a full list of community partners, please contact Wendy Weissman, Assistant CRC Director, at

Free events require RSVP to or 757.965.6107.


Spotlight on Israel Today is presented in partnership with:

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With support from:

Chesapeake Homes 
Baker's Crust
Beth Sholom Village
Harbor Group International

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