Yom Ha’zikaron | Yom Ha’atzmaut
Yom Ha’zikaron (Memorial Day), which is observed on the 4th of Iyar, and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day), observed on the 5th of Iyar, is a time of extraordinary importance at BJ. As in Israel, our celebration of the birth of the State of Israel begins with time spent in contemplation of all of the lives lost in conflict since the founding of the state. In their honor, prior to the start of Yom Ha’atzmaut, we devote a moment of silence, and light a memorial candle.
Yom Ha’atzmaut is reserved as a day when we as a community celebrate the miracle that is the State of Israel. We affirm the central Jewish value of love of Israel, and take this time to recommit ourselves to supporting all of our sisters and brothers in Israel on their quest to forge a modern state that lives up to the grand aspirations of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. BJ offices are closed, hallel is added to the morning shacharit service, and our community comes together for celebratory and educational programs, song and dance.
Celebrating Yom Ha’zikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut
Sunday, April 30 | 11:30AM-12:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Join MusicTalks for a fun filled Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration with the delightful children’s book, Ella’s Trip to Israel, narrated by Israeli actress Shira Averbuch. Come along as Ella discovers all of the most breathtaking Israeli sites such as Jerusalem, the Kotel, The Dead Sea, and the Israeli Shuk. Her magical journey through Israel will be brought to life with a sing along of the best known Israeli tunes, as well as original music written by Israeli composer Or Matias and performed by a musical ensemble. Following the interactive performance, the participants will be invited to meet the musicians up close and learn about the different instruments at our one of a kind “musical instrument petting zoo.”
$5 per person, walk-ins welcome. Please sign up here.
Check out our preview video below!
Sunday, April 30 | 2:00-6:00PM | 89th Street Community House Gym
Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut with the best of Israeli folk dances. Our friendly dancers will help you learn the steps (though a little experience in Israeli folk dancing is helpful!). The program ends with a mix of circle, line, and partner dances, selected mostly by request.
This special event is brought to you by Rikuday Dor Rishon, an Upper West Side community-based group dedicated to preserving the classic folk dances of Israel. Light refreshments will be served.
$5 entrance fee. Please sign up here.
Sunday, April 30 | 3:00-4:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Fifty years after the Six-Day War, 400,000 Israelis are settled on the West Bank. Many consider settlements an impediment to peace, while others consider it a fulfillment of the Zionist vision. Join Israeli Consul General and former Chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, Mr. Dani Dayan, for a special presentation on the impact of the settlements on Israel’s society and future. Register here for this event. Read more »
Sunday, April 30 | 5:00-6:15PM | 89th Street Community House
Join us for a special screening of excerpts from the work-in-progress documentary, HEROES. This feature film explores the experiences of the real-life heroes involved in the Jewish-Ethiopian aliyah to Israel. After the screening, there will be a Q&A featuring co-director Avishai Yeganyahu Mekonen and activists who were directly involved in the aliyah efforts. Visit the film’s webpage and sign up here to attend.
Monday, May 1 | 7:00-9:30PM | 88th Street Sanctuary
Saturday, May 6 | After Shabbat Services | 86th Street SPSA
Sunday, May 14 | 5:00-6:30PM | 89th Street Community House
The miraculous victory of the Six-Day War left a huge impact on local culture in the late 60s and early 70s. This musical presentation will feature classic songs from the post-war era, performed by our very own BJ musical ensemble. Moti Zeira, head of our partner organization HaMidrasha and official biographer of Israeli song-writer Naomi Shemer (Yerushalayim Shel Zahav), will examine the impact of the war on Israeli music, the rise of military super-groups, and the subversive messages hidden within some of the all-time classics of the age.
Thursday, May 25 | 7:00-8:30PM | 89th Street Community House
In the American Jewish community, young Jews are starting to pull away from Israel as their values and the actions of the state of Israel come into conflict. Jewish youth in America are more liberal and less religious than previous generations. In Israel, the situation is reversed: the youth are becoming more right wing and religious than their elders. Why is this the case and what does this mean for both the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the relationship between American and Israeli Jews? Join Joel Braunold of ALLMEP and Yona Shem-Tov of Encounter in exploring these questions of generational divide. Register here Read more »
Sunday, June 11 | 7:00-8:30PM | 89th Street Community House
Within days in June 1967, Jerusalem was transformed. It turned from a small, divided, and threatened town with an international border running through it into a large, booming metropolis. The unification of Jerusalem radically changed the city’s character. The residents, regardless of their religious or ethnic composition, were now sharing a new city that was fully under Israeli control; this was one of the city’s most euphoric and triumphant moments. How have Jerusalemites in both East and West Jerusalem adapted to this new reality? What are the underlying social, political, and religious rifts that still shape this fascinating city? Dr. Elan Ezrachi, a native of Jerusalem and the author of a new book (in Hebrew) covering the history Jerusalem since 1967, will address these questions and more during this in-depth discussion. Read more »