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Yom Ha’atzmaut Online Ceremonies and Resources

Israel Independence Day begins the evening of April 28, 2020

Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Iyar, the Hebrew date of the formal establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. This year, Yom Ha’atzmaut will largely be observed online. Here’s a list of ways to celebrate. 

Ceremonies and Celebrations

Worldwide Celebration of Israel’s Independence Day: Join celebrity guests, world leaders, and the global Jewish family for a virtual event hosted by the Jewish Federations of North America. The event will feature a debate about one of Israel’s favorite foods (and a lesson on how to make it), exclusive scenes from Israel’s official celebration on Mt. Herzl, a special performance of the Israeli national anthem and more. Wednesday, April 29 at 2:00 PM Eastern via Facebook

IsraPalooza: Israel Story is hosting a day of music, interviews, cooking lessons, family-friendly workshops, and then some. Wednesday, April 29 beginning at 10 AM Eastern. Click here for more information.

Celebrating Israel’s Independence with Pride: Hosted by A Wider Bridge and the Aguda — Israel’s LGBT Task Force, this virtual party will celebrate blue and white plus all the colors of the rainbow. Wednesday, April 29 at 9:30 AM Pacific. Advance registration required.

Online Celebration with the Israel Reform Movement: The program will feature Dan Shapiro, Danny Dayan, and rabbis and lay leaders of Reform and Progressive Judaism worldwide. The program includes an online concert. Wednesday, April 29 at 2 PM Eastern. Click here to register.

Reflection & Celebration: Join Young Israel of West Hartford for a ceremony for an online ceremony related to Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut followed by a torch lighting honoring their local COVID-19 first responders. Tuesday, April 28 at 5:30 PM. Click here to join.

Host Your Own Ceremony & Celebration: Toldot Yisrael has prepared a program to go including a pre-recorded video with speakers, facilitator’s guide, and additional playlists and prayer to supplement what is meant to be a one hour program. Visit their website for more information.

Discussion, Trivia and the Arts

Reconstructing the Sounds of Ancient Hebrew:  Would Moses or Abraham understand the pronunciation we use today? Join My Jewish Learning and Rabbi Eliezer Lawrence for this class focusing on the development of the variances in Hebrew pronunciation. Wednesday, April 29 at 10:30 AM Eastern, via Zoom.

Together and Apart: The State of Jewish People in the Age of Corona: What are the implications for the Israeli-North American relationship in the era of COVID-19? How are the different segments of the Jewish community approaching the crisis differently? Join Yehuda Kurtzer, Donniel Hartman, and Nechumi Yaffe in a discussion moderated by Sara Labaton. Wednesday, April 29 at 12:30 PM Eastern. Click here to register

Etgar Israel 2020 Global Kahoot: The Jewish Agency is running an online Israel Kahoot (a personalized classroom gameshow platform). Wednesday, April 29 at 11 AM Eastern. Register here.

Poetry Panel: Join J Street, NIF, and T’ruah for a panel discussion with Professor Rachel Green, Rabbi Reuven Greenvald, and Vavi Toran who will explore progressive Zionism through the lens of poetry and artwork done by Israeli and Palestinian artists. Tuesday, April 28 at 5 PM Eastern. Register here

Lecture with Israeli Journalist: Downtown Jewish Life will be celebrating this year’s Yom Ha’atzmaut with an online lecture by award-winning Israeli Journalist Amir Tibob on the impact of the coronavirus over Israeli politics, briefing the risks and opportunities it possesses. Monday, April 27 at 7 PM Eastern. For more information visit their Facebook page

Together and Apart: Join one of three Hannaton presentations exploring Israel through poetry, gratitude and struggle, and through a historical lense. Wednesday, April 29 beginning at 1 PM Eastern. Click here for more information.

Hugging and Wrestling with Israel@72: This conversation will challenge the standard approach to Zionist education. Sunday, April 26 at 12 PM Eastern. Click here to join.

Government and Peoplehood in Israeli Society: Join Shalom Hartman Institute for a discussion with Dr. Mijal Bitton and Tehila Friedman about how Israeli society is feeling about its leadership, the current moment in Israeli politics, and the strain on peoplehood in the time of coronavirus. Click here to view the webinar and other Yom Ha’atzmaut programs from Hartman.

Film, Music and More

Yom Ha’atzmaut Concert: Come listen to your favorite, classic Israeli songs in a special Yom Ha’atzmaut concert with Israeli musician Shay Goldenberg. Wednesday, April 29 at 1 PM Eastern. Join My Jewish Learning by clicking here

“Sustainable Nation” Screening: OpenDor Media and Jewish National Fund present the premiere of this 60-minute documentary that follow three innovators who are taking lessons from Israel’s water shortage to the rest of the world. Sunday April 26, at 2 PM Eastern. For more details click here. 

72 Years in Motion -Sports, Community and Achievements: JCCA and the Maccabiah ensure that this year’s celebration includes Jews in the sports arena. Wednesday, April 29 at 1 PM Eastern via Facebook.

Shout Your Independence! Virtual Poetry Slam: Join the Center for Women’s Justice and The Jerusalem Poetry Slam for a special pre-Yom Ha’atzmaut virtual Zoom poetry slam featuring voices from all over the world. The night’s theme is independence and freedom. Sunday, April 26 at 2 PM Eastern. Click here to register. 

Connecting With Israel Through Music: Get ready for Israel’s 72nd birthday by learning about Israel’s thriving and diverse Israeli music scene. Mairov and Josh, longtime hosts of “Israel Hour Radio,” will introduce viewers to the hottest singers in Israel today. Sunday, April 26 at 8 PM Eastern via Facebook. 

Virtual Afternoons of Israeli Short Films: Join Commonpoint Queens in their screening of several Israeli short films that capture different aspects of everyday life in Israel. Each screening will be followed by a brief discussion. April 29 and May 6. For more information click here.


Global Celebration of Israel: Check out JFNA’s slate of programming for the week of Yom Haaztmaut. For more information click here. 

#YouFromHome: A collection of pro-Israel groups are partnering on this effort to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut from the comfort of your home. Visit the website for more information.

Virtual Tours of Israel: Explore a variety of tours of Israel on your own or with friends. Click here to get started.

Jewish Interactive: Jewish Interactive has gathered a slew of activities just for you. Click here to check them out. 

Resources for Parents and Educators: 

Ten Days of Awe-some Israel: This resource from The Jewish Education Project is meant to build anticipation and excitement leading up to Yom Ha’atzmaut. Send families an Israel-related fact paired with prompts to springboard relevant and meaningful conversations.

Online Celebration for Teens: Join BBYO Maccabi Tzair and teens from around the world for a taste of Israel food, culture and history. Wednesday, April 29 at 4 PM Eastern  via Zoom.

Activity Packet: That Jewish Moment offers an activity packet with fun, educational activities for Yom Ha’atzmaut 2020. Click here to download.

Online Yom Ha’atzmaut Weeklong Celebration. IAC is offering a whole week of Yom Ha’atzmaut programming for ages 4-9 in all different levels of Hebrew and English. These include fun lessons, activities, art and crafts, puppet shows, and much more.  Click here for more information.

Story Time with PJ Library: PJ Library has provided many resources on their Facebook page including Israeli Zoom background screens. In addition, you may join a virtual interactive storytime for ages five and under. Wednesday, April 29 at 10 AM Eastern or Wednesday, April 29 at 3:30 PM Eastern

Online Learning Activities: Check out a series of online learning activities on Israel from Ji Bytes. You can access them here

Global Trivia Championship 2020: Unpacked for Educators invites high schools to participate. Teachers can arrange for their students to play anytime over the three days. Wednesday, April 29 through Friday, May 1. For more information and to sign up click here.

Discover More

Yom Ha’atzmaut: Israel Independence Day

The celebration of Israeli independence is marked each year on the fifth day of the Hebrew month of Iyar.

The Religious Status of Yom Ha’atzmaut

Within Israel and in the greater Jewish world there are differing views as to whether there is a religious nature to Israel's Independence Day.

Yom Ha’atzmaut Liturgy

Religious observance of Yom Ha'atzmaut draw on a variety of Jewish customs.