The Israel Today series brings together the Tidewater community to engage with and learn about Israel's history, people, and culture through dynamic conversations.


The Jewish Community Relations Coucil of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, & Community Partners'

12th Annual Israel Today Series



On Assignment with Lahav Harkov

Lahav Harkov | First Thursdays, October 6 - March 2, 12:00pm | Online

Bold. Intrepid. Journalist. Diplomatic Correspondent.



Shony Rivnay |  Unfolding Nature: Dancing Through Waves


Shony Rivnay (b. 1952) is an interdisciplinary Israeli-American artist based in Tel Aviv, Israel. He works in various media including painting, sculpture, video, installation, and performance.


Recent solo shows include “How Things Work” at Nulobaz Cooperative Art Space, Tel Aviv (2018), curated by Nogah Davidson; “Unfolding” at The Yard — Columbus Circle, NYC (2019), curated by Sarah Crown; “Nature of Wonder” at ZAZ10TS, Times Square, NYC (2019), Curated by Tzili Charney; “Wave Theory” at Beit Haomanim, Tel Aviv (2019), curated by Arie Berkowiz. This exhibit,  “Unfolding Nature: Dancing Through Waves” was originally presented  at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Ohio (2019/2021).


Rivnay’s works are in private and public collections worldwide. He holds a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, Israel.


Unfolding Nature: Dancing through Waves was curated by Erica Hartman-Horvitz.


Rivnay will speak at a reception celebrating the exhibit at 4:00 PM on Thursday, October 13 in the Leon Family Gallery, located on the second floor of the Simon Family JCC.



Conflict in Context: The Changing Map of Israel and the Middle East

Joe Perlov | Wednesday, October 26, 7:30 pm

Veteran Educator. Map Expert. Interfaith Innovator.



The Four Corners of the World

Roie Galitz | Thursday, March 23, 7:30

World Renowned Wildlife Photographer. Environmental Dipomat. Entrepreneur. Explorer.



Binding Past, Present and Future Together: The PhotoHouse, EST. 1936

Ben Peter | Wednesday, April 26, 7:30 pm

Quintessentially Israel. Iconic.

12th Annual Israel Today in partnership with:


Beth Sholom Village, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, Inc., Strelitz International Academy, Tidewater Jewish Foundation, YAD UJFT, Jewish Women 757, Holocaust Commission UJFT, Jewish News, Tidewater BBYO, Bnai Israel Congregation, Congregation Beth Chaverim, Congregation Beth El, Chabad of Tidewater, Kempsville Conservative Synagogue: Kehillat Bet Hamidrash, Ohef Sholom Temple, Temple Emanuel, Temple Israel in Norfolk, ODU Hillel, The Institute for Jewish Studies & Interfaith Understanding, Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at VWU, Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C.






Contact Elka Mednick, Assistant Director, Jewish Community Relations Council of the UJFT, at or (757) 965-6112.





Previous Israel Today Events



  • Chefs Gili Ben Shahar and Ohad Kvity: Meat Carneval • May 2022 • Chefs Gili Ben Shahar and Ohad Kvity, culinary renegades from Tel Aviv, join our celebration of Israel at 74.

  • Yael Perlov • February 2022 Award-Winning Filmmaker. Editor. Professor. As part of the Alma & Howard Laderberg 29th Annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film .

  • Dafna Kaffeman • November 2021 • Flame-working Glass Artist. Lecturer. International Award Winner. In partnership with the Chrysler Museum of Art's Perry Glass Studio.

  • Yishai Sarid • November 2021 • Arbitrator. Award-Winning Author. Attorney. As part of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival.

  • Noa Tishby • October 2021 • Rapid Responder. Truth Spreader. Troll Fighter. Natural Raconteur. Spirited Modern Explainer. As part of the Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Jewish Book Festival.