Connecting to Jewish Heritage

As May begins, so does Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). This is a time when Jews across the country can honor their unique connections to their culture: from music to traditions and, of course, food. The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia will pay homage to all of these expressions of heritage as well as the Jewish people’s collective connection to the State of Israel at the A Taste of Israel Festival on Sunday, May 7, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Saligman Campus in Wynnewood.

During this family-friendly afternoon, there will be an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to experience the creations by five-time James Beard Foundation Award-Winning Chef Michael Solomonov along with other top local chefs. The cultural festival will also feature activities, crafts and performances by the renowned a cappella group Six13.

The festival is a culmination of the Jewish Federation’s Israel 75 events this spring to celebrate this milestone achievement as well as the beauty and diversity of the people who live there.

Here’s a taste of how some of our A Taste of Israel Festival leadership connect to their Jewish heritage:


“I connect to my Jewish heritage through my children. Seeing our sons, Max and Ari, being actively involved in Hillel and at Chabad in college, and then being accepted into the Onward Israel program this summer shows me that our Jewish identity and legacy will continue on through the next generation.” – Alan Lasdon

“I connect with my Jewish heritage daily by trying to live and practice the three moral principles of justice, healing the world and acts of loving kindness. As I go about my day, I’m cognizant of these principles, try to live by them, and act as a role model for my two college-age sons so that they, too, will live by these Jewish values and pass them on to the next generation.” – Cari Lasdon


“I connect with my Jewish heritage in many ways, including, celebrating the Jewish holidays and Shabbat every week, going on our recent family trip to Israel, sending my children to Jewish schools, or being involved with Jewish nonprofit organizations that ground me in Jewish communal work.” – Shelby Zitelman



“I connect with my Jewish heritage through spending time with my family. Judaism and tradition are incredibly important, and some of my favorite memories are at cousins’ b’nei mitzvot, Passover Seders at my grandparents, Chanukkah at my Great Aunt’s, amongst countless other occasions.” – Alex Freedman




Ready to enjoy A Taste of Israel? Join the Jewish Federation’s festival on May 7 at