18 Apr Shavei Israel communities celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday
Israel celebrates its 70th birthday this evening as Yom HaZikaron – Memorial Day – transitions into Independence Day as the sun sets on the Mediterranean Sea.
This is a very special day for Shavei Israel – after all, our name literally means “Israel Returns.” So it is with great joy that we wish all of the communities we support – and all of you who help us support those communities – a happy Yom Ha’atzmaut!
Shavei Israel has been privileged over the last decade to help thousands of Jews from lost tribes and “hidden” Jewish communities return both to the Jewish people and to the modern State of Israel. We couldn’t do it without you – so help us blow out the candles on our big Zionist birthday cake by surfing some of the pages on our website where you’ll find hundreds of stories of Jews from around the world – from Portugal to Peru, India to Italy, and Siberia to Safed.
Here’s a quick update on what Shavei Israel supported communities will be doing for Memorial and Independence Days this year:
The Beit Israel Bnei Anousim community in San Salvador will also be holding special Memorial Day services. Then in the evening, as the mood shifts from one of sadness to one of joy, the community will hold special Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) prayers in the synagogue. The community will tell historical stories and sing the Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem.
In the community of Vysoki, Russia, the people will gather together in the synagogue, for special services. In Beit Shemesh the families are joining in the communal celebrations of the municipality.
It is customary for Yom Ha’atzmaut to be celebrated in synagogue with special prayers, including a festive Hallel – giving thanks to G-d for the miracle of Israel’s rebirth as a modern nation. The Belmonte community will be holding special prayers, including a memorial service for soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces.
Yom Ha’atzmaut is always celebrated with great gusto in the Indian states of Manipur and Mizoram and this year will be no different. 800 people are expected for Yom Ha’atzmaut festivities in Manipur in three different locations, which will include food, song and dancing. In Mizoram, the community will raise the Israeli national flag, sing Hatikva, and put on their special “bamboo dance.”
For the Bnei Menashe who have made aliyah and are now in Israel, there are different activities in each location. The newest immigrants, here less than a month, will especially enjoy the program that’s been prepared for them in Kfar Hasidim, our absorption center for them near Haifa. Watch this space for photos!