Last Sunday, The Atlantis hosted a 65th Birthday Party for the state of Israel. It was quite the party too. The event had Israeli music, Israeli food, and typical old-fashioned Israeli fun with 450 people in attendance.
The venue is owned by the Farahi family, who originally came from Iran. The family is Jewish and is very involved in the Reno Jewish community. The Farahi family is always generous to pro-Israel advocacy groups like Hillel and Christians United for Israel. The Farahis have hosted events, for groups that support Israel, at no cost to the organization. I have been to a Pastor’s luncheon to discuss the U.S/Israeli relationship and did pay a penny to get in, and I got fed! They are an incredible local family.
Along with all the birthday fun, some speeches were made and acts of respect were held. Congressman Mark Amodei made an appearance and spoke for a few minutes about the importance of the United States’ support of Israel, our ally in the Middle-East. Both the US and Israel national anthems were sang and 65 candles were lit to represent the past 65 years of Israel’s resilience.
Israel is a country that understands the importance of local community.
Israel is all about local- They don’t have a choice. In Reno, we get food from all over the country and other places in the world, but Israel get’s most of it’s produce from right within its borders. For a country between the sizes of connecticut and New Jersey, their local food shed is actually the whole country! Not only does Israel have incredible local food, they also have a strong sense of community. They are such a tight knit country because they must be; they face many hardships, but work together to overcome them. Israelis are happier than residents of many other countries according to Hasbara Fellowships, largely credited to their local “Hutzpah” (pride and impudence mixed together). Reno could use some more of this!
I had the opportunity to visit Israel in January, and the strength of the local community stood out to me the most. I could tell that the produce was local; it tasted incredible. Fruits and vegetables were smaller, like they should be. There were open air markets everywhere we went! What a blessing for someone from a city that only has seasonal markets. Many Israeli’s live in Kibbutzes, which are like communal farm settlements, and work together to live efficiently. They know what community means and they cherish it for the most part.
Reno experienced a heap of Israeli “hutzpah” last Sunday night at the Atlantis, and I hope it starts to infect the Reno community.