Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu kicking off UJA's Walk with Israel
May 18, 2010 at 10:48 AM
Participants urged to arrive early at Direct Energy Centre
By Daniel Horowitz—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is kicking off UJA's annual Walk with Israel on Sunday, May 30th. Prime Minister Netanyahu will be delivering a live address at the CNE Direct Energy Centre barring unforeseen circumstances.
The special kick-off event is limited to sponsored walkers and their immediate family members, and is a first-come, first-served event. While the Direct Energy Centre holds approximately 5,000 people, special rooms will be equipped with a live audio/video feed to ensure that thousands more can share in what promises to be an unforgettable experience.
Those hoping to see Prime Minister Netanyahu live are urged to arrive at the Direct Energy Centre early as registration and security checks begin at 8:00 am. Advanced on-line registration is urged prior to May 30th at walkwithisrael.com.
“Having the Prime Minister of Israel with us, in person, for our annual Walk with Israel, reinforces our connection with Israel,” said Lianne Leboff who, along with husband Bruce, is back at the helm of the Walk for the second consecutive year. “As Jews in the Diaspora, this is an extraordinary opportunity to show our support for the people of Israel, and to demonstrate that support in front of Prime Minister Netanyahu is incredible.”
“The presence of Benjamin Netanyahu in our community is both a privilege and an honour,” said Bruce. “I strongly encourage the entire community to participate in this year’s Walk with Israel, and show him just how supportive our community is of Israel and that we will stand against those who seek to demonize and marginalize Israel. This is an opportunity not to be missed.”
Funds raised by the 42nd annual Walk with Israel - the largest one-day Israel solidarity walk in the Diaspora - presented by Metropia - will help Bat Yam’s children, with proceeds being allocated by UJA to United Israel Appeal Canada for which authorized organizations will deliver services.
Located just south of Tel Aviv, Bat Yam has historically faced a number of challenges, including unemployment, housing conditions and the educational system. The city is also home to a large population of Ethiopian immigrants striving to integrate into Israeli society. UJA’s assistance is transforming Bat Yam’s educational and social situation.
The vice chairs of this year’s Walk with Israel are Jonny Cole and Laurie Sheff.
“There’s no better time or place than at the Walk with Israel to come out and make a statement to the world that we support the people of Israel,” said Sheff. “With thousands of us flooding the streets of Toronto and waving Israeli and Canadian flags, that message simply can’t be ignored.”
“We have learned in the past that we are truly stronger when we stand together for a cause, or against an injustice,” said Cole. “It’s imperative that we, as Jews, participate in this year’s Walk with Israel; a day when we, as a community, not only come together, but walk together, for and with our beloved Israel.”
The Walk with Israel, which will commence following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address, ends with the RioCan Festival, at The Direct Energy Centre, and features carnival rides and games; the Spin Master Play Zone, a petting zoo; the Teen Zone with Guitar Hero; The IBI Group Israeli Art Centre; The Gluskin Sheff Kosher Barbecue, and much more.
For more information about the Walk with Israel, or to register and raise funds online visit: walkwithisrael.com or call 416.631.5700.