Yom Ha’Atzmaut Sunday, May 1, 12–4 pm, Sandler Family Campus

by | Apr 7, 2022 | Featured

Five reasons to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut in Tidewater

There will be something for everyone at United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s and Simon Family JCC’s annual Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration. By taking a tour of Israel outdoors on the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, the community will experience some of the exciting tastes, smells, attractions, and sites that make Israel the country she is today. Here are five reasons to join the community in celebrating Israel as the tiny nation turns 74:

1. Great food: Israel is known for its bright, flavorful food. Have a taste of shawarma, cauliflower, donuts, hummus, pita, and more with the famous chefs Gili Ben Shahar and Ohad Kvity from Tel Aviv’s Meat Carneval.

2. Shopping in the shuk: In Jerusalem, visit the shuk, an open-air market bustling with activity. Shop locally-made and Israeli-sourced artwork, jewelry, produce, and more.

3. An activity for everyone: From yoga and massages at the Dead Sea, to games in Tel Aviv, or camel rides in the Negev Desert, people of all ages and backgrounds will find something to enjoy. Visit the Kotel in Jerusalem, walk the boardwalk in Eilat, or surf in Tel Aviv.

4. An opportunity to learn: On the trek through Israel, visitors will find art, exhibits, and posters sharing exciting facts about Israel’s founding, the country’s culture, its STEM and engineering focus, and information about the people who built the state.

5. Peoplehood: Israel isn’t complete without her people, and no community celebration is complete without community involvement. Volunteer to help at the event, or get involved with Yom Ha’Atzmaut by attending the celebration, participating in a community art project, visiting the activities and offerings from community partners, and inviting family and friends of all faiths to make the day truly unforgettable.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, visit JewishVA.org/IsraelFest.

-Hunter Thomas

Yom Ha’Atzmaut—The pride of a nation

Israel’s Independence Day, a day of celebration and revelry for Jews around the world, is preceded by Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers. Yom Hazikaron is a somber day in Israel, as citizens hold services in memory of the soldiers that fought and died for the country. Their stories are shared, and people can be found paying their respects throughout the day nationwide.

A few minutes after the sun sets, the mood in Israel shifts as the people celebrate the results of the solders’ sacrifice; the beautiful State of Israel, the people who make this beauty a reality, and their freedom. The official “switch” from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’Atzmaut is recognized with a ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in which the flag is raised from half-staff to the top of the pole.

Then, in every city and region—from Eilat to Haifa—concerts, parties, feasts, and entertainment showcase the collective national pride of all who reside in Israel. If it was possible to look down at Israel from space during Yom Ha’Aztmaut, a sea of blue and white would be seen.

The following day, most make their way to a park or beach for what feels like a nationwide cookout. Families gather, play music, enjoy an array of Israeli foods, and appreciate each other’s company to rejoice in the celebration of the country’s birthday. This is a day to reflect on the time when all Jews were finally welcome to be who they are without trepidation. With the very tumultuous history of Jewish people around the world, Israelis take great pride in their nationality and make sure each Yom Ha’Atzmaut is one to remember.

To learn more about the Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebrations in Israel, and how to celebrate this year at the Reba and Sam Sander Family Campus, visit JewishVA.Org/IsraelFest or contact Nofar Trem, youth and family program coordinator at ntrem@ujft.org.

Nofar Trem


Yom Ha’Aztmaut: A time for everyone in Tidewater to celebrate Israel

Join the Jewish Community Relations Council to celebrate Yom Ha’Aztmaut, Israel’s Independence Day.

Yom Ha’Aztmaut is an exciting and fun way for the Jewish community and the greater Tidewater community to engage with and learn about Israel and all it offers.

The wide-ranging activities of this year’s celebration will spotlight Israel’s rich and diverse culture, innovative spirit, extensive contributions to humanity, and democratic civil society. Community partners and elected officials will be in attendance and are sure to enjoy experiencing the history, culture, and sights of Israel that will lead to stronger bonds of mutual support and understanding.

Learn about the momentous day of May 14, 1948—the fifth of Iyar, when the State of Israel was officially declared at the Tel Aviv Museum. Read the Declaration and get to know the authors, signatories, and goals set forth in the fateful document. Then, explore modern Israel and the people and industries that drive it today, including an exciting pair of chefs with their finger on the pulse of avant-garde food trends.

Don’t miss this opportunity to further your own understanding and appreciation for where Israel is, where Israel has been, and where it is going in the future. All without having to board a flight.

For more information on Israel Fest or to sign up and volunteer at the festival, visit JewishVA.org/IsraelFest. To learn more about the Jewish Community Relations Council, contact Elka Mednick at emednick@ujft.org.

Elka Mednick

United Jewish Federation of Tidewater brings together synagogues, Jewish agencies, and schools for an unforgettable Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration

As the Tidewater Jewish community is busy planning a “return” to its Yom Ha’Atzmaut program that will bring the entire community to the Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus, a key feature of the celebration is the collaboration between the regional synagogues, Jewish Family Service of Tidewater, Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Strelitz International Academy, United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, and Simon Family JCC. It is these partnerships that will make the community celebration of Israel @ 74 a success.

This is a celebration of Israel, foremost. But it’s also a coming together of community leaders, each department of UJFT and Simon Family JCC, local synagogues, Jewish agencies, and SIA. It will be a great place for everyone to get back to fun, games, food, activities, enjoying each other’s company, and celebrating all that Israel has to offer – together.

This year’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut community celebration’s synagogue offerings will include a smoothie stand, crafts, Judaica shops, fun activities for all ages, and more.

Volunteers for the festival include leaders from all area synagogues and partnering organizations.

For more information on Yom Ha’Atzmaut or to sign up to volunteer, visit JewishVA.org/IsraelFest or contact Sierra Lautman at SLautman@UJFT.org or 757-965-6107.

Sierra Lautman