February 24th, 2010

May 14th is Israel Day!

The state of Israel has its own unique "ILI-Day" - the 14th of May. That is the day when Israel, Germany and many other countries around the world celebrate Israel. It is far more than a day to rejoice the country's birthday, though. It is a day on which we promote Israel for all the wonderful things it has to offer beyond what we usually hear or read about in the media.

The ILI - Israel Day was first inaugurated six years ago and last year, when we celebrated Israel's 60th birthday, more than 60 cities, large and small, from Australia and Asia to Europe participated in the celebrations.

This year, the "ILI-Day" has another central message: "150 years Theodor Herzl" and additionally for Germany: "45 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel".

While local activities across the globe rely on a network of affiliated organizations, communities and dedicated volunteers, we have a central "ILI" organization. It is here to support and coordinate all activities. Since the beginning of this year the central contact person for the "ILI-Day" is Claudia Korenke.

Claudia Korenke is Vice President of the German Israeli Friendship Society (DIG) and in charge of the German-Israeli Association in the Rhine-Main area. She is very well connected within Israel and Germany. Being a PR manager by profession, she is an ideal match for the ILI-task on hand: coordination; promotion; distribution of material; responding to inquiries, etc.

There is a whole load of FREE material available for the "ILI-cities", for distribution at local events. We offer: balloons with the imprint "Shalom" in blue and white; small flags; the funny, adorable booklet "Rachel" for children; small folders for grown-ups with information about Israel; and high quality brochures for the more demanding friends of Israel. We also have "Shalom" stickers, as well as promotional posters, flyers, etc. We can make material available for you to download and/or print yourself. (Likewise, we can individualize materials upon your request and have them printed for you for a small fee.)

All the aforementioned items are FREE for the organizers of local Israel-day activities. Just inform us of the needed quantities and write us a few words about your planned activities. Please act as soon as possible. We need to know by the beginning of April at the absolute latest what the individual requirements are.

As a nice add-on for your "ILI-Day" activities, you might also consider requesting exhibitions free of charge from the Israeli Embassy in Berlin. Currently, they have one about the Dead Sea, or about the city of Tel Aviv and others. The Embassy will also take care of individual transportation needs.

Furthermore, Sacha Stawski, the new president of ILI, who took over the reign from its founder Leo Sucharewicz, has access to a series of other materials, incl. posters, stickers, information booklets and much more which he can make available at very low cost.

Sacha is better known to many as the president and editor-in-chief of "Honestly Concerned e.V.", an initiative founded in May 2002 to fight biased media coverage of the Middle East conflict and anti-Semitism. Honestly Concerned publishes comprehensive daily, as well as weekly press reviews, which ILI readers are invited to subscribe to for free, in addition to organizing letter writing campaigns, political debates, demonstrations and more. Sacha is also co-publisher and co-author of a book on the "new anti-Semitism", entitled "Neu-alter Judenhass - Antisemitismus, arabisch-israelischer Konflikt und europäische Politik" (Berlin: Verlag Berlin-Brandenburg, 2006, 2. Aufl. 2007, Klaus Faber, Julius H. Schoeps and Sacha Stawski); and co-author of a book a book on Jews and the military in Germany, entitled "Juden und Militär in Deutschland" (Berger/Römer-Hillebrecht (Hrsg.), 2009).

Sacha also began to revamp the editorial team of the "ILI-News", a newsletter which is published in German and is distributed once a week via email. "ILI-News" places special emphasis on "Israel-beyond-the-conflict": Israel's creativity; its vast potential; its attractiveness to investors, visitors and tourists alike; its prosperity and its beauty; all the things that we like about Israel. This brings us back to May 14th - Israel Day.

The "ILI-day" should be what you want it to be; what you consider to be most appropriate in your local region, to promote the Israel you like. Many of you have taken part in previous "ILI-days", or participated in other Yom Ha'atzmaut festivities. We - the ILI team - are merely here to assist you with your efforts; to supply you with handbooks, tips, ideas, materials and more, as well as to encourage others to help make their hometowns into "ILI-cities".

In this context, we look forward to hearing from you. Let us help you in preparing your Israel Day, so that this May, the streets in many cities and countries will be filled with blue and white celebrations.

All information regarding the "ILI-Day", and the available materials, is available from:
Claudia Korenke,
Tel.: +49-69-9758560, Email: claudia@il-israel.org

Best wishes

Sacha Stawski
Claudia Korenke

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