Israel’s Independence Day, Yom Ha’atsmaut, arrives on the fifth day of the Jewish month of Iyar. This year that date corresponds to Monday, May 1.
Minahelet Leah and our Beit Midrash teachers have wonderful plans for celebrating Israel with our students. Activities include creating an interactive map of Israel comprised of very large, blank, jigsaw puzzle pieces. Students will take ownership of the pieces and complete the map with cities and regions as a large collaborative effort. Students will then use posters and photos to match areas on the map. In addition, kids will have the opportunity to make Israeli food and write thank you notes to soldiers in the Israeli Defense Force. Everyone will learn and sing HaTikvah.
Of course I am glad that Yom Ha’atsmaut will be celebrated by children in our Religious School. But I admit there is something missing when we do not do something on a congregational level for Yom Ha’atsmaut. After all, Israel is a cause for celebration for everyone, not just youngsters.
Let’s make a commitment to do more next year. We could offer Israeli dancing, sponsor a concert of Israeli music, invite a speaker from Israel to talk about an issue of importance, or have a Middle East food truck come to TBT. There are so many possibilities.
As for this year, if you are looking for a way to celebrate Yom Ha’atsmaut, here is a listing of programs throughout the Bay Area.