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The Daily Wildcat


UA campus transported to Israel with IsraelPalooza

Grace Pierson
Grace Pierson/ The Daily Wildcat Volunteer Marisa Offman, a psychology freshman, aids Noeo Teku, an electrical and computer engineering sophomore, in washing his hands with sea salt from the Dead Sea in Israel, at the Israel Palooza event on Wednesday, October 16th.

The UA community had the chance to experience Israel on campus on Wednesday through a cultural event held on the UA Mall.

IsraelPalooza, sponsored by the UA Hillel Foundation, allowed students to get a glimpse of Israeli culture. Attendees could play games at booths, enjoy Israeli coffee or tea, test out the healing properties of mud from the Dead Sea and taste food from Machane Yehuda.

Attendees could also make a wish to place inside the campus’ Western Wall. The notes written and placed within the ‘wall’ will later be taken to Jerusalem, Cohen said.

“The purpose of the event is to educate the student body about Israeli culture, games, food and basically everything about the country,” said Gavi Fine, co-chair of Hillel, a Jewish student organization that tries to help members network and develop their leadership skills. “It’s
educational and a lot of fun.”

Other sponsors of IsraelPalooza included Chabad at the UA, Jewish Arizonans on Campus and the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. Both Jewish and non-Jewish community members attended the event.

“We want to expose more students to Israel by experiencing it firsthand,” said Naama Cohen, Hillel’s Israeli fellow, who is in charge of helping students find internships and learn more about Israel study abroad programs. “Our hope is that students can get to know Israel better through this event.”

Some students said they were interested in learning more about Israeli culture and appreciated the education provided by the event.

“It’s really well-organized and gives a good overview of all the different things happening in Israel,” said Kenneth Murdock, a psychology junior.

In honor of hump day, IsraelPalooza also gave attendees the opportunity to paint a camel, and tested their knowledge of Israel through trivia games.

Nicole Siegel, a senior studying English, has been a member of Hillel for the past three years and has attended IsraelPalooza in the past. She said event attendance has grown over the years.

“Each year, it’s getting bigger and bigger and this year, I believe, is the biggest yet,” Siegel said. “It’s not just for Jewish students or just students from Israel — they’re opening it up to the whole UA community.”

-Follow Chandler Wicke @ChandlerWicke

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