Celebrating Israel’s Independence
Apr 28 , 2020/Category

Yom Ha’atzmaut

“In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.”

David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973)

Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, marks the anniversary of the establishment of the modern state of Israel. David Ben-Gurion, her first Prime Minster, publicly read the Declaration of Independence of Israel on May 14, 1948. The anniversary of this date is Yom Ha’atzmaut and we celebrate it on the fifth day of Iyar, this year on Wednesday, April 29.

Israel founded Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day preceding Yom Ha’atzmaut, as a way to memorialize the soldiers who died while fighting in the War of Independence and to remember civilian victims of terrorism.

Check out this very informative but very cool and captivating short video to learn all about these two important days on our calendar. The lively narrative and inventive visuals pack a lot of history and celebration.

Register for the Reform Movement Transitional Ceremony online event on April 28 at 7:00 pm to celebrate Israel’s 72nd Independence Day. Join this virtual observance that will mark the transition between sadness and joy as we move from Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s day of mourning for its fallen, to Yom Haatzmaut, the celebration of its independence.

Read on for more info and resources about Israel…

…including this video featuring our Religious School Shinshinim.

Yom HaZikaron – Israel's Memorial Day

All of these people have something in common, and we are here to listen to what they have to say about Yom HaZikaron, Israel's Memorial Day.May the memory of the fallen soldiers of Israel always be a blessing.Thank you Avi, Daniel, and Shirly for sharing their stories and thoughts with us!

Posted by Congregation Rodeph Sholom on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Calendar of Yom HaZikaron/Yom HaAtzmaut Events

What is the National Emblem of Israel?

What does the emblem of Israel mean? The menorah, featured in the center, was used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem to represent universal enlightenment. The olive branches were deemed the expression of the Jewish people’s love of peace. Together they signify: “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn (Isaiah 60).”

After the destruction of the Temple, the Romans took the menorah to Rome. There is a stone relief in the Triumphal Arch of Titus that depicts the Romans parading it through the streets as a symbol of Jewish defeat. Overruling objections, the design was adopted as an important metaphor for the rebirth of Israel. The menorah would stand as testimony to the eternal survival of the Jewish people. Thus it was embraced as the national emblem in 1949.

The result is the ultimate symbol of modern Israel. Three simple elements: menorah, olive branches, and the dream of a contemporary Jewish state.


Classic Hummus

What’s the first thing you think of when someone asks you, want to have some Israeli food? Did you answer, hummus? If you make it yourself, you’ll find out how easy it is to do. So let’s celebrate Israel’s independence with this fave Israeli nosh! But don’t forget to have some fresh, warm pita bread to go with it.


  • 2 cups canned chickpeas
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 3 Tbsps tahini paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 2-3 Tbsps oil
  • Parsley (for garnish)


  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender; mix until chickpeas are smooth.
  • Refrigerate hummus in a covered container.
  • Serve well-chilled, with chopped parsley on top. You can reserve ¼ cup unmashed chickpeas to sprinkle on top and add more garlic, too.
  • Now you’re all set to serve it with that delish warm pita!


Falafel is sold on street corners in every city and town in Israel. Some call it the “Israeli hamburger.” Its popularity can be attributed in no small part to the Yemenite Jews who have brought a particularly tasty version onto the culinary scene. Students living on a meager budget consume full-portion falafels in whole pitas on the sidewalks as their noon “dinner.”


  • 16 ounces canned chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup breadcrumbs or fine bulgur
  • 1 tsp ground coriander or cumin
  • 1 tsp dried hot peppers
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • vegetable oil (for frying)


  1. Combine chickpeas with onion. Add parsley, lightly beaten egg and spices.
  2. Mix in blender. Add breadcrumbs until mixture forms a small ball without sticking to your hands.
  3. Form chickpea mixture into small balls about the size of a quarter (one inch in diameter).
  4. Flatten patties slightly and fry until golden brown on both sides.
  5. Drain falafel balls on paper towels.
  6. Serve individually with toothpicks as an hors d’oeuvre or as a sandwich filling with chopped tomato, cucumber, radish, lettuce, onion, hummus and/or tehina inside pita bread.

Source: ReformJudaism.org

Will there be a Celebrate Israel Parade this year?

There will be no Celebrate Israel Parade this year, but there is the memory of last year’s theme: Only in Israel—Rak B’Yisrael. We can’t march together this year but we can celebrate Israel’s goals and gains. From creation to the present and all its accomplishments in between. Israel is always in our hearts. She is our hope.

Where in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.
Where ancient villages stand beside ultra-modern cities.
Where a 2,000-year-old language was resurrected for modern speech.
Where exiles from the four corners of the world have come home.
Where skill and chutzpah together make the impossible come true.
Where barren deserts are transformed into flourishing fields.
Where diverse cultures produce a fusion of global cuisine.
Where pioneers build new frontiers in science and technology.
Where water can be produced from thin air.
Where those with incurable diseases are cured.
Where if you will it, it is no dream.
Only in Israel!—
Rak B’Yisrael!