Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israeli Independence Day

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Learn to Recite the Prayer for the State of Israel

Learn to Recite the Prayer for the State of Israel

This minute-long video presents a Hebrew reading of the traditional Prayer for the State of Israel customarily recited in synagogues during Shabbat morning services. The reader, Richard Seiger, chants the prayer with a subtle tune, using pronunciation typical of Ashkenazi Orthodox communities in North America. Students

How to Create a Meaningful Yom Ha’atzmaut Community Celebration

How to Create a Meaningful Yom Ha’atzmaut Community Celebration

This article is a guide for how to create a meaningful Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration for your community without significant resources. Ideas include an Israel trivia game, a play, singing and music, and of course, food. This resource was created by the educational wing of the Jewish

Israeli Recipes for Yom Ha’atzmaut

Israeli Recipes for Yom Ha’atzmaut

This link provides a selection of delicious recipes perfect for a festive Yom Ha’atzmaut BBQ, contributed by members of Israel’s Anglo community. 

Remembrance & Renewal: Yom Ha’atzmaut Activities for Children

Remembrance & Renewal: Yom Ha’atzmaut Activities for Children

This post presents a series of fun and educational games and activities about the history and significance of the State of Israel for children from ages 8-12. Created by the Bnei Akiva Religious Zionist youth group, these programs aim to help children understand why it was

Yom Ha’atzmaut Resources for Elementary School Students

Yom Ha’atzmaut Resources for Elementary School Students

This link from The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education provides educators with activities, lessons and resources that can be used to teach students from 1st-7th grade about Yom Ha’atzmaut. With maps, timelines, word searches, and coloring pages, these fun and educational resources can be used

HaTikvah: The National Anthem of the State of Israel

HaTikvah: The National Anthem of the State of Israel

This video presents Israel’s national anthem, HaTikvah (The Hope), with on-screen Hebrew, English and transliterated subtitles. Adapted from a poem written in 1877 by Naftali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Eastern Europe, the lyrics reflect the Jews’ 2,000-year-old hope of returning to the Land of Israel and

WUJS’s Thought Provoking Yom Ha’atzmaut Activities for Students

WUJS’s Thought Provoking Yom Ha’atzmaut Activities for Students

This link will take you to Yom Ha’atzmaut Activities, a site with several thought provoking activities that encourage students in the Diaspora to engage with Israel in a meaningful way. Written as full lesson plans, complete with a list of required materials and a step-by-step explanation of how to

Orthodox Evening Prayer Service for Yom Ha’atzmaut (English Excerpt)

Orthodox Evening Prayer Service for Yom Ha’atzmaut (English Excerpt)

This post presents an excerpt from the evening Yom Ha’atzmaut service from the Rinat Yisrael Siddur, popular among many Religious Zionist communities in Israel. A helpful guide for anyone who may be attending a similar service for the first time, this excerpt details popular customs, such as

Ideas for Booths at a Yom Ha’atzmaut Event

Ideas for Booths at a Yom Ha’atzmaut Event

This short post from The Center for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora and World Bnei Akiva provides a list of 17 ideas for booths and activities for a Yom Ha’atzmaut event. Although the list is written in poor English and does not contain detailed directions for many of the

Learn to Recite the First Paragraph of the Traditional Prayer for the State of Israel

Learn to Recite the First Paragraph of the Traditional Prayer for the State of Israel

This minute-long video presents a slow Hebrew reading of the first paragraph of the Prayer for the State of Israel customarily recited in synagogues during Shabbat morning services. While some congregations recite a longer version of this prayer, many only recite the first paragraph, as seen

An Introduction to Yom Ha’atzmaut and How to Celebrate

An Introduction to Yom Ha’atzmaut and How to Celebrate

This short article from the website of the Reform movement provides a brief introduction to Yom Ha’atzmaut and how it is celebrated in Israel, and then offers a few simple ways to celebrate this special day with friends and family anywhere in the world.  Yom HaAtzmaut

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Customs

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Orthodox Evening Prayer Service for Yom Ha’atzmaut

Orthodox Evening Prayer Service for Yom Ha’atzmaut

This PDF booklet contains an Orthodox evening service for Yom Ha’atzmaut in Hebrew and English. Although the basis for the Yom Ha’atzmaut liturgy was written by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate in 1949, there is not a uniform custom practiced by all Orthodox communities. This particular service includes the

The Masorti Movement’s Transitional Ceremony between Yom Ha’Zikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut

The Masorti Movement’s Transitional Ceremony between Yom Ha’Zikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut

This link opens up a PDF file of Twilight: Moving from Memorial to Independence, a ceremony written by the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel to mark the transition between Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut. This booklet, which contains readings, poems, meditations, prayers, stories, and a festive Ma’ariv

The Traditional Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel

The Traditional Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel

This post presents the English and Hebrew texts for the traditional Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel, which is often recited in Zionist synagogues on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The prayer requests divine protection and guidance for Israel and its leaders, and that the gathering of the exiled Jewish people

Prayer for the Peace of Israel During Wartime

Prayer for the Peace of Israel During Wartime

This prayer for the peace of Israel during wartime was written by the late Rabbi Ron Aigen for T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. Rabbi Aigen was the senior rabbi of the Reconstructionist Congregation Dorshei Emet in Montreal and author of the Hadesh Yameinu Siddur, Mahzor, and Haggadah. This prayer was shared on Ritualwell,

A Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation for Israelis, Palestinians, and all People

A Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation for Israelis, Palestinians, and all People

This prayer for peace and reconciliation for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people was written by Rabbi Sam Feinsmith for T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. Rabbi Feinsmith is a Jewish educator, innovative prayer consultant, social justice activist, and the Program Director at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality in

An Original Yom Ha’atzmaut Amidah Prayer for Justice & Peace

An Original Yom Ha’atzmaut Amidah Prayer for Justice & Peace

This post offers 19 original prayers for Israel, based on the themes and structure of the 19-part Amidah prayer. The prayers were compiled by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, an organization that calls on the power of the Jewish community to protect and advance human

A Sephardic Piyut for the Eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut

A Sephardic Piyut for the Eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut

This video presents Rabbi Moshe Elcharar singing a piyut (hymn) written by Rabbi Joseph Messas following Israel’s victory in the Six Day War in 1967. It is recited in some Sephardic synagogues in Jerusalem and Haifa after the Amidah prayer on the evening of Yom

WUJS’s Thought Provoking Yom Ha’atzmaut Activities for Students

WUJS’s Thought Provoking Yom Ha’atzmaut Activities for Students

This link will take you to Yom Ha’atzmaut Activities, a site with several thought provoking activities that encourage students in the Diaspora to engage with Israel in a meaningful way. Written as full lesson plans, complete with a list of required materials and a step-by-step explanation of how to

Orthodox Evening Prayer Service for Yom Ha’atzmaut (English Excerpt)

Orthodox Evening Prayer Service for Yom Ha’atzmaut (English Excerpt)

This post presents an excerpt from the evening Yom Ha’atzmaut service from the Rinat Yisrael Siddur, popular among many Religious Zionist communities in Israel. A helpful guide for anyone who may be attending a similar service for the first time, this excerpt details popular customs, such as

Reading the Israeli Declaration of Independence on Yom Ha’atzmaut

Reading the Israeli Declaration of Independence on Yom Ha’atzmaut

This post presents the Hebrew and English texts of the ritual Declaration of Independence reading suggested by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer, a musician and poet who believes that creative art is one of the most powerful ways to get in touch with the divine. Just as Megilat Esther

Aharon Varady’s Earth-Centered Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut

Aharon Varady’s Earth-Centered Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the original Al HaNissim prayer added to the Amidah and Grace After Meals on Yom Ha’atzmaut by Aharon Varady. The author believes that secular, nationalist days of thanksgiving are often also associated with our deep history of

A Reconstructionist Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel

A Reconstructionist Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts for the Prayer for the State of Israel from the Reconstructionist Kol Haneshama siddur. Based on the traditional prayer, this version focuses on blessing Israel and all who dwell within her with peace and love. This prayer

Beit Tefilah Israeli’s Transitional Ceremony between Yom Ha’Zikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut

Beit Tefilah Israeli’s Transitional Ceremony between Yom Ha’Zikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut

This link opens up a PDF file of Havdalah: A Transitional Ceremony between Yom Ha’Zikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut, a Hebrew and English ceremony written by Beit Tefilah Israeli that celebrates Israel’s national triumph, yet expresses the sorrow for a dream of peace, still unfulfilled. This sensitive ceremony,

An Amended Prayer for IDF Soldiers

An Amended Prayer for IDF Soldiers

This post presents the English and Hebrew texts for a new version of the prayer for the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, amended by Dr. Alex Sinclair to reflect the ethical challenges faced by soldiers in today’s complex political climate. Dr. Sinclair added a few

The Traditional Prayer for IDF Soldiers

The Traditional Prayer for IDF Soldiers

This post presents the English and Hebrew texts for the traditional prayer for the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, which is often recited in Zionist synagogues on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The prayer, composed by the late Chief Rabbi and Chief IDF Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, asks God to protect

Zayit’s Yom Ha’atzmaut Kiddush (Hebrew)

Zayit’s Yom Ha’atzmaut Kiddush (Hebrew)

This post presents the Hebrew text of a Kiddush ceremony written for Yom Ha’atzmaut by Zayit, an organization that runs programs about Jewish identity and culture in the Emek Hefer region of Israel. The Kiddush expresses gratitude for the opportunity to live a Jewish life with

Yom Ha’atzmaut Kiddush by Ya’akov Maoz (Hebrew)

Yom Ha’atzmaut Kiddush by Ya’akov Maoz (Hebrew)

This post presents the Hebrew text of a Kiddush ceremony written for Yom Ha’atzmaut by Ya’akov Maoz. The Kiddush expresses gratitude for the opportunity to live a Jewish life with political independence and sovereignty in the Land of Israel. Although it is not customary to

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s Prayer for Peace

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s Prayer for Peace

This post presents the Hebrew and English text for a prayer for peace in Israel around the world that is attributed to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1773-1810), the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement. Different versions of this popular prayer appear in a wide variety of prayer

The Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism’s Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut

The Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism’s Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut

This post presents the Hebrew and English text of the Al HaNissim prayer added to the Amidah and Grace After Meals by The Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism on Yom Ha’atzmaut. Modeled after the prayers for Chanukah and Purim, this prayer is included in the Siddur ha-Avodah

The Israeli Masorti Movement’s Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut

The Israeli Masorti Movement’s Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut

This post presents the Hebrew and English text of the Al HaNissim prayer added to the Amidah and Grace After Meals by the Israeli Masorti Movement on Yom Ha’atzmaut. Modeled after the prayers for Chanukah and Purim, this prayer is included in the Siddur Va-ani Tefillah

An American Conservative Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut (Siddur Liymot Hol )

An American Conservative Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut (Siddur Liymot Hol )

This post presents the Hebrew and English text of an Al HaNissim prayer added to the Amidah and Grace After Meals by the American Conservative Movement on Yom Ha’atzmaut. Modeled after the prayers for Chanukah and Purim, this prayer is included in the Siddur Liymot

The Religious Kibbutz Movement’s Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut

The Religious Kibbutz Movement’s Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut

This post presents the Hebrew and English text of the Al HaNissim prayer added to the Amidah and Grace After Meals by the Religious Kibbutz Movement on Yom Ha’atzmaut. Modeled after the prayers for Chanukah and Purim, this prayer is included in the Seder Tefillot le-Yom

Reform Zionist Thanksgiving Prayers for the State of Israel

Reform Zionist Thanksgiving Prayers for the State of Israel

This post presents the English and Hebrew texts of two original Thanksgiving Prayers for the State of Israel, written by Reform Zionist leaders. The first, an Al HaNissim addition to the Amida prayer and the Grace After Means based on the comparable texts for Chanukah

Rabbis for Human Rights: A Prayer for the State of Israel

Rabbis for Human Rights: A Prayer for the State of Israel

This post presents the English and Hebrew texts of a prayer for the State of Israel that encourages people to return to the root of Yom Ha’atzmaut, and pray for the realization of the vision laid out by the Israeli Declaration of Independence. There are two

A Reconstructionist Picnic Seder and Haggadah for Yom Ha’atzmaut

A Reconstructionist Picnic Seder and Haggadah for Yom Ha’atzmaut

This post presents a creative Yom Ha’atzmaut ritual developed by the Reconstructionist  movement, designed as a picnic seder, complete with symbolic foods, a haggadah and discussion questions. This post includes an explanation of how to perform this ritual, along with links to all of the

An American Conservative Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut (Siddur Sim Shalom)

An American Conservative Al HaNissim Prayer for Yom Ha’atzmaut (Siddur Sim Shalom)

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of an Al HaNissim prayer added to the Amidah and Grace After Meals by the American Conservative movement on Yom Ha’atzmaut. Modeled after the prayers for Chanukah and Purim, this prayer is included in the Siddur

Ehud Banai Singing Benzion Shekner’s Melody for Psalm 23

Ehud Banai Singing Benzion Shekner’s Melody for Psalm 23

In this audio recording, popular Israeli singer, Ehud Banai sings Psalm 23 using the famous melody composed by Ben Zion Shenker in 1946. Psalm 23 – Mizmor l’David / A Psalm of David – is often recited prior to the daytime Kiddush as well as

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Music

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HaTikvah: The National Anthem of the State of Israel

HaTikvah: The National Anthem of the State of Israel

This video presents Israel’s national anthem, HaTikvah (The Hope), with on-screen Hebrew, English and transliterated subtitles. Adapted from a poem written in 1877 by Naftali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Eastern Europe, the lyrics reflect the Jews’ 2,000-year-old hope of returning to the Land of Israel and

The Fountainheads: Hope – A Song for Yom Ha’atzmaut

The Fountainheads: Hope – A Song for Yom Ha’atzmaut

This catchy, high-energy music video features The Fountainheads singing “Hope,” an original song celebrating Israel named after the Israeli national anthem “Hatikvah” (“Hope” in Hebrew). The Fountainheads is an all-volunteer, student-led artistic project, led by young Israeli singers, dancers, and musicians, all students of the Ein

Shlomo Artzi: Suddenly A Man Gets Up (Song of the Morning)

Shlomo Artzi: Suddenly A Man Gets Up (Song of the Morning)

This video features popular Israeli folk-rock singer-songwriter Shlomo Artzi performing a famous Israeli song written by Amir Gilboa and composed by Gidi Koren and Shlomo Artzi. It is best known for the opening lyrics: “Suddenly a man gets up in the morning and feels that

The Song of the Palmach

The Song of the Palmach

This song (until 01:52) was the anthem of the Palmach, the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv during the British Mandate of Palestine. Founded in 1941, the Palmach was officially disbanded with the creation of Israel’s official army after

Hatikvah: A Controversial Version of the Israeli National Anthem in Arabic Musical Style

Hatikvah: A Controversial Version of the Israeli National Anthem in Arabic Musical Style

Released in honor of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, this controversial version of Israel’s national anthem was produced by Israeli artist, Daniel Saadon, in a traditional Arabic musical style. Criticized by some as cultural appropriation and celebrated by others

Ein Li Eretz Acheret / I Have No Other Country: An Iconic Zionist Song

Ein Li Eretz Acheret / I Have No Other Country: An Iconic Zionist Song

Written by Israeli singer-songwriter Corinne Allal in 1989, during the First Intifada, this moving song, performed here by Gali Atari, expresses the eternal Jewish connection and commitment to the land and State of Israel, regardless of the political situation or whether one agrees with governmental policies.

Koolulam: 12,000 Israelis Sing Naomi Shemer’s “Al Kol Ele”

Koolulam: 12,000 Israelis Sing Naomi Shemer’s “Al Kol Ele”

This inspirational video presents 12,000 Israelis from all walks of life who gathered together to sing “Al Kol Ele” by Naomi Shemer in honor of Israel’s 70th Independence Day. The group is led by Israeli artist Shlomi Shabat and the Jerusalem Street Orchestra. This special

Here in the Land of Our Forefathers: Israeli Folk Song

Here in the Land of Our Forefathers: Israeli Folk Song

This video presents an Israeli folk song that captures the early pioneering spirit of the pre-State days, written by Yisrael Dushman and composed by Chanina Karchevsky. The lyrics, which can be seen below in Hebrew, English and transliterated, show how the early Zionist ideology of

Songs of Israel: Playlist of Israeli Folk Songs for a Sing-A-Long

Songs of Israel: Playlist of Israeli Folk Songs for a Sing-A-Long

This almost hour long video presents a playlist of popular Israeli folk songs with on-screen Hebrew and transliterated lyrics, perfect for a sing-a-long, a favorite Israeli pastime. Despite the low-quality video from a VHS tape from the 1990s, the footage shows the land, sites and

A Sephardic Piyut for the Eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut

A Sephardic Piyut for the Eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut

This video presents Rabbi Moshe Elcharar singing a piyut (hymn) written by Rabbi Joseph Messas following Israel’s victory in the Six Day War in 1967. It is recited in some Sephardic synagogues in Jerusalem and Haifa after the Amidah prayer on the evening of Yom

How a Popular Zionist Folk Song Became a Protest Anthem: Video & Guiding Questions

How a Popular Zionist Folk Song Became a Protest Anthem: Video & Guiding Questions

This post presents a song with guiding questions from the Masorti Movement in Israel that can be used to teach about the ideological changes that have taken place in Israel since its founding. The video features Shirat Machar (Song of Tomorrow), the musical ensemble of the Noam

Gad Elbaz: The Prayer for the IDF

Gad Elbaz: The Prayer for the IDF

This video presents popular Israeli artist Gad Elbaz’s musical rendition of the prayer for the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, which is often recited in Zionist synagogues on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The prayer, composed by the late Chief Rabbi and Chief IDF Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, asks God to protect the soldiers

Kobi Oz: Prayer for the State of Israel

Kobi Oz: Prayer for the State of Israel

This video presents Israeli musician Kobi Oz’s original version for the Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel. Born in the southern city of Sderot to Tunisian parents who moved to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1942 to escape the Vichy French, Oz’s musical style reflects his Mizrachi background.

Kumi Ori: A Yom Ha’atzmaut Song for Israel’s 60th Birthday

Kumi Ori: A Yom Ha’atzmaut Song for Israel’s 60th Birthday

This upbeat song was written by Rabbi David Paskin for the “Schechter Sings for Israel at 60” project of the Solomon Schechter movement of Conservative Judaism in America. Schechter students around the country performed this song at their Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations for Israel’s 60th birthday. Titled “Kumi Ori,”

L’Shana Haba’ah: Next Year in Jerusalem

L’Shana Haba’ah: Next Year in Jerusalem

This song captures the eternal Jewish hope and prayer for the return to Jerusalem. Even though the Jewish people have technically returned to the city of Jerusalem, this song is still sung at many Jewish ceremonies, including the end of Yom Kippur prayer services, the end

Ani Ma’amin (I Believe)

Ani Ma’amin (I Believe)

Ani Ma’amin (I Believe), a song about the Jewish belief in the coming of the Messiah, is often sung as part of Orthodox services on Yom Ha’atzmaut. The line comes from a prosaic rendition of Maimonides‘ thirteen-point version of the Jewish principles of faith. Despite the religious significance attributed

The Maccabeats: Home (Medley)

The Maccabeats: Home (Medley)

This video presents a mashup of ten different songs about home performed by the Maccabeats, an all-male Jewish a cappella group that originally formed as Yeshiva University’s student vocal choir. Strongly committed to the integration of traditional and secular wisdom, the Maccabeats perform an eclectic array

This Land: A Song For Israel’s 70th Anniversary

This Land: A Song For Israel’s 70th Anniversary

This Land is an emotive song composed by Jewish British singer-songwriter Stephen Melzack in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary. Melzack has many meaningful songs about both Jewish and other causes, many of them aimed specifically at children. The video features a backdrop of pictures of the land, sites and

Wave Your Flag: A Yom Ha’atzmaut Song from the Streets of Jerusalem

Wave Your Flag: A Yom Ha’atzmaut Song from the Streets of Jerusalem

This video features people on the streets of Jerusalem celebrating Israel and singing the popular song Wavin’ Flag by K’naan, the unofficial song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The video was produced by Aish, a global Orthodox Jewish outreach organization based in Jerusalem. 

The Pendulum: Between Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut

The Pendulum: Between Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut

This somber song by Kaila Shabat touches on the challenge of moving from the intense grief of Yom Hazikaron to the joyous celebration of Yom Ha’azmaut. Kaila Shabat, a poet and author, arrived in Israel from London in 1967 as a volunteer after the Six-Day War.

Come With Me to Eretz Yisrael: A Yom Ha’atzmaut Song

Come With Me to Eretz Yisrael: A Yom Ha’atzmaut Song

This upbeat song by Seth D. Lutnick celebrates the beauty of the land of Israel and invites listeners to visit and appreciate the land. With a backdrop of scenic pictures, the song praises different sites throughout the county that are rich with historic, religious and cultural

The Traditional Prayer for IDF Soldiers

The Traditional Prayer for IDF Soldiers

This post presents the English and Hebrew texts for the traditional prayer for the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, which is often recited in Zionist synagogues on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The prayer, composed by the late Chief Rabbi and Chief IDF Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, asks God to protect

The Traditional Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel

The Traditional Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel

This post presents the English and Hebrew texts for the traditional Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel, which is often recited in Zionist synagogues on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The prayer requests divine protection and guidance for Israel and its leaders, and that the gathering of the exiled Jewish people

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s Prayer for Peace

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s Prayer for Peace

This post presents the Hebrew and English text for a prayer for peace in Israel around the world that is attributed to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1773-1810), the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement. Different versions of this popular prayer appear in a wide variety of prayer

Orthodox Evening Prayer Service for Yom Ha’atzmaut

Orthodox Evening Prayer Service for Yom Ha’atzmaut

This PDF booklet contains an Orthodox evening service for Yom Ha’atzmaut in Hebrew and English. Although the basis for the Yom Ha’atzmaut liturgy was written by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate in 1949, there is not a uniform custom practiced by all Orthodox communities. This particular service includes the

Ehud Banai Singing Benzion Shekner’s Melody for Psalm 23

Ehud Banai Singing Benzion Shekner’s Melody for Psalm 23

In this audio recording, popular Israeli singer, Ehud Banai sings Psalm 23 using the famous melody composed by Ben Zion Shenker in 1946. Psalm 23 – Mizmor l’David / A Psalm of David – is often recited prior to the daytime Kiddush as well as

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Informative Articles & Videos

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What is Yom Ha’atzmaut and How is it Celebrated?

What is Yom Ha’atzmaut and How is it Celebrated?

This 3 and a half minute long video provides a thorough introduction to Yom Ha’Atzmaut, focusing on the various religious and secular customs that have developed to celebrate this special day in different communities in Israel and abroad. It was produced by BimBam, a studio that makes introductory

Yom Ha’atzmaut: How the Jewish State is Celebrated in Israel & Abroad

Yom Ha’atzmaut: How the Jewish State is Celebrated in Israel & Abroad

This article from My Jewish Learning provides a thorough introduction to Yom Ha’Atzmaut, focusing on the various religious and secular customs that have developed to celebrate this special day in different communities in Israel and abroad.

66 Israeli Heroes Share a Powerful Message

66 Israeli Heroes Share a Powerful Message

In this 5:42 minute long video, 66 Israeli heroes and new immigrants share powerful messages about the State of Israel, inspired by the words and values of the Declaration of Independence. This video was created by Nefesh b’Nefesh, an organization dedicated to helping Jews move

Yom Ha’atzmaut Torch Lighters 2019

Yom Ha’atzmaut Torch Lighters 2019

This post introduces the individuals that will be honored with lighting the torches at the official 2019 Torch Lighting Ceremony that marks the transition from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut at the burial site of Theodor Herzl in Jerusalem. The twelve torches symbolizing the biblical

68 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Israel

68 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Israel

Produced by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs in celebration of Israel’s 68th birthday in 2016, this entertaining and informative video (06:18) lists 68 fun facts about Israel’s culture, industry, food, people, history, global contributions and more!

Clash of Nationalisms: Arabs in Zionist Thought

Clash of Nationalisms: Arabs in Zionist Thought

From My Jewish Learning, this article by Scott Copeland, head of education for Onward Israel, explores the conflict between Jewish and Arab nationalist movements beginning in the late 19th century, as well as the different ways in which major Zionist figures viewed the Arab inhabitants of the land

Zionism in Animation: How the State Of Israel was Born

Zionism in Animation: How the State Of Israel was Born

Part of The Jewish Story In Animation, a Zionist educational initiative, this animated video (03:05) tells the story of the establishment of the State of Israel, starting from the early 20th century. While putting the conflict into its modern historical context, this video focuses on the unlikely

Excerpts from Theodor Herzl’s Writings

Excerpts from Theodor Herzl’s Writings

This link provides excerpts from Theodor Herzl’s writings about different topics, including the meaning and purpose of Zionism, the physical beauty of the land of Israel, and his vision for a Jewish state. Deemed by the World Zionist Organization to be essential texts in understanding Zionism,

Rav Kook on Psalm 126: We Were Like Dreamers

Rav Kook on Psalm 126: We Were Like Dreamers

This philosophical article is a translation and adaptation of a teaching from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (Midbar Shur, pp. 226-227) about the connection between the eternal yearning of the Jewish people for redemption in their homeland and the modern Zionist movement and the return of

A Message from the URJ for Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut

A Message from the URJ for Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut

In this short video, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the President of the Union for Reform Judaism, encourages viewers to commemorate, connect and commit to Israel on the country’s memorial and independence days. Despite the fact that this video from 2015 references events that were current at

With These Hands: Stories of Israel’s Heroic Immigrants

With These Hands: Stories of Israel’s Heroic Immigrants

This short video produced for Israel’s 68th birthday tells the stories of the everyday heroes that build Israel’s unique society, from war hero and farmer to teacher and midwife. Especially celebrating the strength, diversity and devotion of its immigrants, this video was created by Nefesh b’Nefesh,

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (Text & Video)

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (Text & Video)

This post provides resources about the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, including a short video with information and excerpts from the historic event, a 13 minute video of the full declaration with English subtitles, and the full English text of the Declaration of

An Introduction to Yom Ha’atzmaut and How to Celebrate

An Introduction to Yom Ha’atzmaut and How to Celebrate

This short article from the website of the Reform movement provides a brief introduction to Yom Ha’atzmaut and how it is celebrated in Israel, and then offers a few simple ways to celebrate this special day with friends and family anywhere in the world.  Yom HaAtzmaut

The Impossible Transition Between Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut

The Impossible Transition Between Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut

In this 6:20 long video, Daniel Gordis describes the challenge and meaning behind the transition between the deep grief of Yom Hazikaron – Israel’s Memorial Day, and the joy and celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel’s Independence Day. Daniel Gordis is an American-born Israeli author and speaker

Yom Ha’atzmaut: New Meaning to a Traditional Prayer

Yom Ha’atzmaut: New Meaning to a Traditional Prayer

In this blog post, Benjamin Dukas, a 19 year old American who spent a year studying in a Yeshivah in Israel, describes his experience of participating in the musical Yom Ha’atzmaut prayers in a Religious Zionist synagogue in Israel. He explains how Psalm 98 took

How Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jews Mark Yom Ha’atzmaut

How Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jews Mark Yom Ha’atzmaut

This article from the Jerusalem Post explores how Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Jews in Israel mark the birth of the secular State of Israel. Through interviews with both public figures and average people from this community, the author shows how Ultra-Orthodox Israelis have become more integrated into society,

The Significance of Yom Ha’atzmaut and Jewish Nationalism

The Significance of Yom Ha’atzmaut and Jewish Nationalism

This lengthy article by Rabbi Mordechai Greenberg explores the significance of Yom Ha’atzmaut in the context of the controversial views within Orthodox Judaism toward Jewish nationalism and the religious status of the State of Israel. Rabbi Greenberg, president of the Religious Zionist Kerem B’Yavneh” Yeshivah in

In Search of a Poetic Ritual for Yom HaZikaron/Ha’Atzmaut

In Search of a Poetic Ritual for Yom HaZikaron/Ha’Atzmaut

In this blog post, Rabbi Ela Merom asks complex questions about how we use communal memory as we move through the sorrow of Yom HaZikaron to the exuberance of Yom Ha’Atzmaut. She encourages others to embrace the complexity of Israel, examining the failings of the state while celebrating

The Religious Status of Yom Ha’atzmaut

The Religious Status of Yom Ha’atzmaut

This article from My Jewish Learning explores the differing views at to whether there is a religious nature to Israel’s Independence Day. Noting customs of the secular, Reform, Conservative, Religious Zionist (Orthodox), and Ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel and abroad, this article sees the issues around the observance of

Yom Ha’atzmaut in Halakhah, Custom & Story

Yom Ha’atzmaut in Halakhah, Custom & Story

This lengthy scholarly article by Dr. Aharon Arend explores different perspectives on how Yom Ha’atzmaut should be celebrated through an examination of different halachic opinions and customs. The author begins with an in-depth description of the original Yom Ha’atzmaut services of the Orthodox Italian community

What Does Yom Ha’atzmaut Mean to You? Voices from the Streets of Jerusalem

What Does Yom Ha’atzmaut Mean to You? Voices from the Streets of Jerusalem

In this 4 minute long video, Rafi Di from HonestReporting asks locals on the streets of Jerusalem what Yom Ha’atzmaut means to them. With footage of different types of celebrations, this video presents a variety of perspectives, from those who see it as a day

How is Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebrated in Israel

How is Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebrated in Israel

This 3 minute long video briefly explains the history of the establishment of the State of Israel and how Yom Ha’atzmaut is celebrated in Israel each year. With entertaining animations, this video was produced by Visrael, a a video-based learning program that creates positive connections with Israel

A Yom Ha’atzmaut Message: Israel as a Divine Miracle

A Yom Ha’atzmaut Message: Israel as a Divine Miracle

In this short video made for Yom Ha’atzmaut, Rabbi Doron Perez discusses how the establishment of the modern State of Israel is a divine miracle and the fulfillment of ancient prophecies. Rabbi Perez is Chief Executive of Mizrachi World Movement, the global Religious Zionist movement.

The International Bible Contest: An Israeli Yom Ha’Atzmaut Tradition

The International Bible Contest: An Israeli Yom Ha’Atzmaut Tradition

In this personal blog post, Bluma Zuckerbrot-Finkelstein describes the experience of accompanying her son to Israel to participate in the International Bible Contest, an annual competition for Jewish teens competing for the title of Tanach World Champion. She relays the cultural and religious significance of this

Greetings from Natan Sharansky for Israel’s 64th Independence Day

Greetings from Natan Sharansky for Israel’s 64th Independence Day

In this short video, Natan Sharansky discusses the significance of Israel for the Jewish people all over the world in honor of Israel’s 64th Independence Day. Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, is an Israeli politician, human rights activist and author who, as a refusenik in the Soviet

Searching for a Meaningful Yom Ha’Atzmaut

Searching for a Meaningful Yom Ha’Atzmaut

In this thought provoking article, Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon calls on the Jewish community in Israel and the Diaspora to reconceive Yom Ha’Atzmaut as a day of searching for the meaning of the State of Israel and the place of Israel in our Jewish identity and vision.

Ritual Creation for Yom Ha’atzmaut: A Conservative Rabbi’s Suggested Mitzvot

Ritual Creation for Yom Ha’atzmaut: A Conservative Rabbi’s Suggested Mitzvot

In this bold article, Rabbi Vernon Kurtz suggests a number of mitzvot – religious commandments – which he claims should be observed by Diaspora Jewry, including moving to Israel, supporting Israel financially, politically and spiritually, creating special prayers and ceremonies, and committing to work toward

Yom Ha’Atzmaut Liturgy

Yom Ha’Atzmaut Liturgy

This article presents a survey of some of the liturgical traditions that have developed to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut in different communities. An excerpt from “Celebrate! The Complete Jewish Holiday Handbook” by Lesli Koppelman Ross, this article was shared on My Jewish Learning.  Yom Ha’atzmaut Liturgy There

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What Does Yom Ha’atzmaut Mean to You? Voices from the Streets of Jerusalem

What Does Yom Ha’atzmaut Mean to You? Voices from the Streets of Jerusalem

In this 4 minute long video, Rafi Di from HonestReporting asks locals on the streets of Jerusalem what Yom Ha’atzmaut means to them. With footage of different types of celebrations, this video presents a variety of perspectives, from those who see it as a day

We Declare: An Educational Project to Strengthen Israeli Democracy

We Declare: An Educational Project to Strengthen Israeli Democracy

Click this link to learn more about We Declare, a project inspired by the Israeli Declaration of Independence that unites communities across Israel and the Jewish world in learning and discourse on Israeli democratic values and the relevance of democracy for 21st century Israel. Created

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (Text & Video)

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel (Text & Video)

This post provides resources about the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, including a short video with information and excerpts from the historic event, a 13 minute video of the full declaration with English subtitles, and the full English text of the Declaration of

Independence: A Resource for Yom Ha’atzmaut from Limmud

Independence: A Resource for Yom Ha’atzmaut from Limmud

Created by the Limmud Chavruta Program for Israel’s 70th anniversary, this 8-page long document contains a wide range of sources that reflect on the past, present and future of the State of Israel through a side-by-side comparison of the Declaration of Independence with other ancient and modern

Kol Ami B’Seder: The State of Israel

Kol Ami B’Seder: The State of Israel

This educational resource by Yaara Salamon-Michaeli from the Kol Ami Jewish Peoplehood Leadership Academy provides biblical, historical and philosophical sources exploring the significance of the State of Israel in Jewish tradition and the Zionist ideology. 

S.Y. Agnon’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

S.Y. Agnon’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

This post presents the audio recording (Hebrew) and translated text of a short excerpt from Israeli author Shai (Shmuel Yosef) Agnon’s acceptance speech after being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Although Agnon himself was born in the Diaspora, he describes his deep feeling that

Zionism & American Patriotism: A Speech from Louis D. Brandeis

Zionism & American Patriotism: A Speech from Louis D. Brandeis

This post presents the text of Louis D. Brandeis‘ address at the Conference of the Eastern Council of Reform Rabbis in June, 1915, entitled “Zionism is Consistent with American Patriotism.” In this speech, Brandeis rejects the idea that there would be a conflict of interests

Address by Israeli President Ezer Weizman in Germany

Address by Israeli President Ezer Weizman in Germany

This post presents the full text of President Ezer Weizman’s famous speech in a joint session for the two chambers of parliament in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1996. The speech gives an inspiring overview of Jewish history, highlighting the important of the return

November 29, 1947: The Story of a Vote (Video & Amos Oz Excerpt)

November 29, 1947: The Story of a Vote (Video & Amos Oz Excerpt)

This post provides resources about the fateful vote of November 29, 1947, when the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of the Partition Plan, a three-minute long vote which changed the course of Jewish history. The Partition Plan recommended the end of the British Mandate

Israeli Recipes for Yom Ha’atzmaut

Israeli Recipes for Yom Ha’atzmaut

This link provides a selection of delicious recipes perfect for a festive Yom Ha’atzmaut BBQ, contributed by members of Israel’s Anglo community. 

Remembrance & Renewal: Yom Ha’atzmaut Activities for Children

Remembrance & Renewal: Yom Ha’atzmaut Activities for Children

This post presents a series of fun and educational games and activities about the history and significance of the State of Israel for children from ages 8-12. Created by the Bnei Akiva Religious Zionist youth group, these programs aim to help children understand why it was

Yom Ha’atzmaut Resources for Elementary School Students

Yom Ha’atzmaut Resources for Elementary School Students

This link from The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education provides educators with activities, lessons and resources that can be used to teach students from 1st-7th grade about Yom Ha’atzmaut. With maps, timelines, word searches, and coloring pages, these fun and educational resources can be used

Prayer for the Peace of Israel During Wartime

Prayer for the Peace of Israel During Wartime

This prayer for the peace of Israel during wartime was written by the late Rabbi Ron Aigen for T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. Rabbi Aigen was the senior rabbi of the Reconstructionist Congregation Dorshei Emet in Montreal and author of the Hadesh Yameinu Siddur, Mahzor, and Haggadah. This prayer was shared on Ritualwell,

A Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation for Israelis, Palestinians, and all People

A Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation for Israelis, Palestinians, and all People

This prayer for peace and reconciliation for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people was written by Rabbi Sam Feinsmith for T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. Rabbi Feinsmith is a Jewish educator, innovative prayer consultant, social justice activist, and the Program Director at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality in

An Original Yom Ha’atzmaut Amidah Prayer for Justice & Peace

An Original Yom Ha’atzmaut Amidah Prayer for Justice & Peace

This post offers 19 original prayers for Israel, based on the themes and structure of the 19-part Amidah prayer. The prayers were compiled by T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, an organization that calls on the power of the Jewish community to protect and advance human

A Prayer for the Palestinian People

A Prayer for the Palestinian People

This English prayer for the Palestinian people was written by Matt Adler to be recited in synagogue in addition to the prayer for the State of Israel. Adler, a gay activist and a proud new immigrant to Israel, shared this prayer on Ritualwell, a project of the

An IDF Paratrooper Shares Why He is Proud to Be Israeli on Yom Ha’atzmaut

An IDF Paratrooper Shares Why He is Proud to Be Israeli on Yom Ha’atzmaut

In this moving 40 second long video, IDF Lt (res) Eden Adler talks about the unity of Yom Ha’atzmaut and why he is proud to be Israeli and Jewish. The IDF paratrooper features in the highly acclaimed coming-of-age documentary about five Israeli soldiers, Beneath The Helmet: From High

With These Hands: Stories of Israel’s Heroic Immigrants

With These Hands: Stories of Israel’s Heroic Immigrants

This short video produced for Israel’s 68th birthday tells the stories of the everyday heroes that build Israel’s unique society, from war hero and farmer to teacher and midwife. Especially celebrating the strength, diversity and devotion of its immigrants, this video was created by Nefesh b’Nefesh,

The Israeli Air Force’s Annual Yom Ha’atzmaut Air Show

The Israeli Air Force’s Annual Yom Ha’atzmaut Air Show

This 4 and a half minute long video presents the air show of the Israeli Air Force passing over the Ramat David Air Force Base in the Jezreel Valley on Yom Ha’atzmaut in 2016. Every year on Israel’s Independence Day, the IAF puts on an

How a Popular Zionist Folk Song Became a Protest Anthem: Video & Guiding Questions

How a Popular Zionist Folk Song Became a Protest Anthem: Video & Guiding Questions

This post presents a song with guiding questions from the Masorti Movement in Israel that can be used to teach about the ideological changes that have taken place in Israel since its founding. The video features Shirat Machar (Song of Tomorrow), the musical ensemble of the Noam

Ideas for Booths at a Yom Ha’atzmaut Event

Ideas for Booths at a Yom Ha’atzmaut Event

This short post from The Center for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora and World Bnei Akiva provides a list of 17 ideas for booths and activities for a Yom Ha’atzmaut event. Although the list is written in poor English and does not contain detailed directions for many of the

The Masorti Movement’s Transitional Ceremony between Yom Ha’Zikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut

The Masorti Movement’s Transitional Ceremony between Yom Ha’Zikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut

This link opens up a PDF file of Twilight: Moving from Memorial to Independence, a ceremony written by the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel to mark the transition between Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut. This booklet, which contains readings, poems, meditations, prayers, stories, and a festive Ma’ariv

Beit Tefilah Israeli’s Transitional Ceremony between Yom Ha’Zikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut

Beit Tefilah Israeli’s Transitional Ceremony between Yom Ha’Zikaron & Yom Ha’Atzmaut

This link opens up a PDF file of Havdalah: A Transitional Ceremony between Yom Ha’Zikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut, a Hebrew and English ceremony written by Beit Tefilah Israeli that celebrates Israel’s national triumph, yet expresses the sorrow for a dream of peace, still unfulfilled. This sensitive ceremony,

A YU Professor Remembers the Establishment of the State from New York

A YU Professor Remembers the Establishment of the State from New York

In this 4 and a half minute long video, Rabbi Dr. Bernard Rosensweig celebrates Israel’s 63rd birthday by recalling the emotional experience of learning of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 at Yeshiva University in New York. Rabbi Dr. Rosensweig, who has

Israel as the Eternal Home of the Jewish People

Israel as the Eternal Home of the Jewish People

This short video, created for Israel’s 69th Independence Day, celebrates Israel as a home for the Jewish people from ancient times until today. With a backdrop of beautiful images of the small country’s diverse population and landscapes, this video was created by Nefesh b’Nefesh, an organization dedicated to

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