DAY 4: Yom Ha'atzmaut

Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, is Held on the fifth day of the Hebrew calendar month of Iyar. Sixty-seven years ago, David Ben Guriun declared Israel’s independence in Tel Aviv.

The Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations starts right after Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Memorial Day, as a constant reminder of the harsh price that must be paid for independence and this transition from one day to the next isn’t easy.

At 7:45 p.m. on Erev Yom Ha’atzmaut, the official ceremony starts on Mt. Herzel in Jerusalem. The ceremony contains the Beacon lighting  (keep following the website for more details of this year’s beacon lighters! ). The ceremony also includes a performance by flag bearers from different IDF units, and musical  performances.



Celebration\ Cha-gee-ga \ חֲגִיגָה​



Each year, starting in 1949, the Ministry of Education produces a “Yom Ha’atzmaut” poster. It is a designer’s competition. The poster contains a symbolic drawing of one of Israel’s values or of the celebration itself. (Follow this link to my favorite poster of each decade).


Enjoy this video of the flag-bearers in the official ceremony.

Each city holds celebrations that normally contain music, food and fireworks. On Yom Ha’atzmaut day it’s customary to have BBQ with family and friends at your house or outside in nature. The Hebrew version of BBQ is called “mangal (Turkish word) or “Al Ha’esh” (“on fire").


More Yom Ha’atzmaut traditions include The Israel prize- an award to Israeli citizens or organizations who have displayed excellence in their field or have contributed strongly to Israeli culture.


International Bible Contest- worldwide competition on the Bible for high school students. It is held annually in Jerusalem.


IDF parade- it used to be a parade in the first 25 years of Israel. Now, there’s only a flotilla of the navy and aerial demonstration of the air force.

  • Angela Krozy - Masada

  • Neal Green - Dead Sea

  • Robert Hurwitz - Maccabi Games

  • Matt Kaplan - Masada

  • Lynn Green - Tel Aviv

  • Gerson Kaplan - Ba'had

  • Janet and Richard Schreibstein - Jerusalem

  • Emily Kader - Kinneret

Purchase Olive Oil Made in Israel

Maryland importer Israeli Harvest imports organic olive oil from Makura Farm located in the Carmel region close to the home of the Howard County Federation's Israel Shlicha, Carmel Nitsani. Israeli Harvest will deliver olive oil orders to the Federation office when the oil arrives in April and will contribute 15% of proceeds to the federation. Order online here.


This project was compiled by Carmel Nitsani,

Jewish Federation of Howard County 2014-15 Shlicha