Happy Birthday Israel!

Israel celebrates its 66th anniversary in 2014

On May 6th, 2014, close to 1,500 people came out for Federation CJA’s annual celebration of Israel’s Independence Day held in the West Island. The celebration kicked off at 3:30 pm with a mini march around the block. With flags in hand, singing marchers celebrated the independence of Israel as well as its people and achievements.

Federation CJA’s annual celebration of Israel’s Independence Day held in the West Island.

Federation CJA’s annual celebration of Israel’s Independence Day held in the West Island.

Held on the fifth day of the Hebrew calendar month of Iyar, Yom Ha’Atzmaut is a modern holiday celebrating Israel’s independence in 1948.

For Jews here in Montreal, celebrating Yom Ha’Atzmaut has been a way to express solidarity with the State of Israel and to strengthen our alliance with it. In many communities, it is one of few occasions in which Jewish organizations and synagogues of different ideologies and denominations come together in forming a common celebration.

The Montreal Jewish community celebrates Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

The Montreal Jewish community celebrates Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

The West Island Yom Ha’Atzmaut Celebration, which was planned with input and collaboration from Congregation Beth Tikvah ASNH and Congregation Or Shalom, had activities for all ages, a delightful showcase of Jewish community organizations, and countless expressions of Israel and Jewish pride. Music and merriment were ongoing themes in the day with highlights that included Israeli folk dancing, belly dancing, arts and crafts, and even an impressive Wailing Wall.

The event was particularly popular with young families, who flocked to the celebration in droves.  Over 50 dedicated volunteers came out and worked in various capacities, from manning stations and giving out swag, to directing foot traffic and assisting with social media.

Teens had a blast taking selfies in their own exclusive VIP Bedouin themed lounge, while children let out steam on the wide variety of giant inflatables. At the makeshift Kotel, celebrants could leave a note to be carried directly to Jerusalem by participants on Montreal’s Mega Mission to Israel.

  • Rhoda Vineberg says:

    I would have liked to see a story on the Montreal Rally held downtown, not just the West Island coverage of this community celebration for Israel’s Independence Day.

  • We welcome your feedback and invite your comments.

    Leave a comment

    Reader comments are the opinion of the comment writer, not Federation CJA

    Comments that make false or unsubstantiated allegations will not be published, nor will comments that contain defamatory, inaccurate, rude, distasteful, disrespectful, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented or threatening language.

    Comments that use hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge also may not be permitted.

    Federation CJA reserves the right to withhold from publication comments that are deemed to be spam or unrelated to the article at which they are posted. Comments that include personal attacks on other people taking part in this website and/or are invasive of another's privacy may also be withheld from publication.

    Spelling and grammatical mistakes will not be corrected.