Commemorations and celebrations
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Commemorations and celebrations

MEMBERS of the community young and old will have the opportunity to commemorate Yom Hazikaron and celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut through a variety of different events as world Jewry marks Israel’s 68th anniversary of independence.

A participant at a previous Yom Ha’atzmaut Family Festival. Photo: Peter Haskin
A participant at a previous Yom Ha’atzmaut Family Festival. Photo: Peter Haskin

MEMBERS of the community young and old will have the opportunity to commemorate Yom Hazikaron and celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut through a variety of different events as world Jewry marks Israel’s 68th anniversary of independence.

Zionism Victoria, in partnership with the United Israel Appeal, has unveiled a schedule of events including a Blue & White Night, which will take place instead of the traditional Yom Ha’atzmaut concert.

On Wednesday, May 11, Blue & White Night will offer adults a new celebratory experience with music, dancing, a cocktail bar and Israel-inspired street food.

Zionism Victoria president Sharene Hambur said they recognised the community was seeking more targeted and interactive experiences for Yom Ha’atzmaut.

“We’re very excited to trial this new concept – a fantastic festive atmosphere for adults to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day together,” Hambur said.

On the night, Beth Weizmann Community Centre will be converted into a blue and white wonderland with two event spaces.

The main marquee will feature live music led by Adam Starr’s Yom Ha’atzmaut band; Israeli dancing; Shira B’Tsibur (communal singing); and Israeli DJ Idan Blu. The Tel Aviv Café will offer a mellower vibe, with a variety of acoustic musical performances, and the community’s first ever Yom Ha’atzmaut Story Slam, where some of Melbourne’s best ­storytellers will share their Israel experiences.

The following day, the annual Yom Ha’atzmaut Family Festival will see Beth Weizmann transformed into an Israeli street festival featuring the likes of a petting zoo, interactive drum workshops, art and craft projects, krav maga, food stalls, and more.

Moreover, Israel Shabbat is another new initiative aimed at expanding the community’s celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut.

On the Shabbat of May 13-14, participating synagogues will offer their congregants a range of special Israel-related programming which may include Israeli-themed meals, guest speakers and activities.

“We are aware that a dance party is not for everybody and that the Family Festival is for a particular audience. We wanted to extend the reach and observance of Yom Ha’atzmaut as widely as possible,” said Hambur.

“Bringing the celebration to Melbourne’s shul communities seemed like a great way to make that happen.”

The Yom Hazikaron Commemoration will take place on Tuesday May 10, with a focus this year on the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Sinai Campaign, and 10 years since the Second Lebanon War.

Other communal events will include a transition ceremony for primary school children marking the transition between Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, and a young adult “Israel Birthday Bash”.

“I believe this year’s calendar of events offers everyone a way to commemorate and celebrate,” Hambur enthused.

AJN STAFF

For more details about these events, contact the Zionism Victoria office at admin@zionismvictoria.org or call (03) 9272 5544.

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