Yom HaZikaron – Israeli Memorial Day

Learn How

Click here to show more Learn How content

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

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

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

Click here to show less Learn How content

Customs

Click here to show more Customs content

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

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,

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

Yizkor: The Memorial Prayer in Honor of Yom HaZikaron

Yizkor: The Memorial Prayer in Honor of Yom HaZikaron

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of the special Yizkor Memorial Prayer recited on Yom Hazikaron in honor of Israel’s fallen soldiers, security forces, and victims of terror. 

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

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

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

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 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

Click here to show less Customs content

Music

Click here to show more Music content

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

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.

20 000 Brothers: A Tribute Song to Sean Carmeli

20 000 Brothers: A Tribute Song to Sean Carmeli

In Hebrew with English subtitles, this powerful song was written by Ariel Horowitz as a tribute to First Sgt. Nissim Sean Carmeli, a lone soldier who was among the first killed in Operation Protective Edge in 2014. As an American Jew who chose to serve in

With What Shall I Bless Him?

With What Shall I Bless Him?

Written by Rachel Shapira in memory of her classmate Eldad Krock, a young reservist killed in the in the Six Day War, this this sad song is about an angel blessing a young boy as he grows up with everything he needs to be able to

Natan Alterman: Elifelet

Natan Alterman: Elifelet

Performed here by the IDF for Memorial Day, this song, written as a poem by Natan Alterman in 1959 and put to music by Sasha Argov, tells the story of a simple, unimpressive young man who emerges as a hero who sacrificed his life for

Yaffa Yarkoni: In the Plains of the Negev

Yaffa Yarkoni: In the Plains of the Negev

Originally written in Russian by P. Mamaychuk in 1943 with music by L. Shokhin, this song was translated to a Hebrew marching song called “There, Far in the Forest,” which was popular with Zionist youth groups. It was translated to Hebrew again by Rafael Klachkin, entitled

Natan Alterman / Yehoram Gaon: The Silver Platter

Natan Alterman / Yehoram Gaon: The Silver Platter

This haunting song conveys the great sacrifices upon which the State of Israel was establishment. Soon after the release of the UN Partition Plan of 1947, Chaim Weizmann, who would become the first president of the State of Israel, stated “The state will not be

The Nachal Band: Song of Friendship

The Nachal Band: Song of Friendship

Written by Haim Gouri at the end of the War of Independence and most famously sung by The Nachal Band, a military entertainment troupe, this moving song is a memorial to the 1% of the population who lost their lives during the war, many of whom

Yaffa Yarkoni: Bab el Wad

Yaffa Yarkoni: Bab el Wad

Written by Haim Gouri, composed by Shmuel Farshko and performed by Yaffa Yarkoni, this moving song commemorates the battles of Bab El Wad / Sha’ar Hagai during the War of Independence. A strategic site on the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Bab El Wad

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.

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

Click here to show less Music content

Informative Articles & Videos

Click here to show more Informative Articles & Videos content

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

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

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 Hazikaron: “Families Have Been Notified”

Yom Hazikaron: “Families Have Been Notified”

Produced by Substantial Truth FilmMakers in honor of Yom Hazikaron, this sobering video (03:46) is a cinematic illustration of an IDF casualty notification officer preparing to share the horrific news of a soldier’s death to his/her family. Created following Operation Protective Edge in 2014, when 64 families

When the Siren Sounds on Mount Herzl

When the Siren Sounds on Mount Herzl

This blog post describes the unique experience of commemorating Yom Hazikaron at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem. Shira Pasternak Be’eri, mother to two IDF soldiers, describes both the national and deeply personal aspects of mourning loved ones in such a public setting, emphasizing the

That Moment When Mourning Becomes Celebration

That Moment When Mourning Becomes Celebration

In this touching blog post, Rabbi Ari Abramowitz describes the powerful transition between Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, explaining that the level of joy and gratitude he feels on the latter corresponds directly to the degree of pain and grief he feels on the former.

Michael Levin: Fallen Soldier of Israel

Michael Levin: Fallen Soldier of Israel

This video (06:23) tells the inspiring and tragic story of Michael Levin, an American lone soldier who fell in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 at just 22 years old. Michael was visiting his family in Philadelphia when the war broke out, yet he insisted on

IDF Remembers Fallen Soldier Dan Talasnikov

IDF Remembers Fallen Soldier Dan Talasnikov

Produced by the IDF in 2012 in honor of Yom Hazikaron, this video (05:08) tells the tragic story of Dan Talasnikov, 21, a paratrooper who was killed by a terrorist in an undercover operation in 2005. Through video footage, photographs, and interviews with his family,

The Last Words of Fallen Soldiers

The Last Words of Fallen Soldiers

Produced by the IDF in honor of Yom Hazikaron in 2016, this heartbreaking video (01:03) reveals the last words of several soldiers who died in Operation Protective Edge in 2014, sharing a tiny snippet of the values and personalities of these brave young men. 

With All Your Soul: Roi Klein’s Extraordinary Act of Self Sacrifice

With All Your Soul: Roi Klein’s Extraordinary Act of Self Sacrifice

In Hebrew with English subtitles, this moving video (03:30) tells the extraordinary story of Roi Klein, an Israeli soldier and father of two young children who died during the 2006 Lebanon War after jumping on a grenade in order to save his fellow soldiers. With

Yom Hazikaron & Yom Haatzmaut: Remembering That We Are Not Truly Independent

Yom Hazikaron & Yom Haatzmaut: Remembering That We Are Not Truly Independent

In this thought-provoking video (03:00), Dr. Rachael Turkienicz reflects on the importance symbolism of commemorating Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut back-to-back, suggesting that Jews around the world are never truly “independent,” as we are always connected to one another, the Jewish state and God through history

How Israeli Veterans Transition from Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut

How Israeli Veterans Transition from Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut

In this i24NEWS Memorial Day special (13:24), two Israeli combat veterans – an Israeli-Arab who served in the Second Lebanon War and a trauma counselor who works with IDF soldiers and their families – share their personal experiences of remembering loved ones and comrades on

The Nine Days of ‘We’: Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut

The Nine Days of ‘We’: Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut

In this thought-provoking video (04:42), Avram Infeld suggests a unique way of understanding the process the nation goes through between Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day), and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day). Dubbing this period “The Nine Days of We,” Infeld compares the

Holocaust Survivor Remembers Fallen Survivor-Soldiers

Holocaust Survivor Remembers Fallen Survivor-Soldiers

In this moving video from Yad Vashem (02:18), Holocaust survivor Yehuda Szternfeld briefly tells his own story and introduces the initiative he launched to commemorate “The Last Descendants” – survivors who lost their entire families in the Holocaust and then moved to Palestine, only to fall in Israel’s

The Last Descendants: The Stories of Mordechai David Gantz & Shalom Tepper

The Last Descendants: The Stories of Mordechai David Gantz & Shalom Tepper

This page on the IDF website introduces the concept of “The Last Descendants” – survivors who immigrated to Palestine alone after losing their entire families in the Holocaust, only to die fighting to establish and defend the State of Israel, leaving behind no family legacy.

The Story of Esther Dreisinger Koifman (1923-1948)

The Story of Esther Dreisinger Koifman (1923-1948)

This page tells the story of Esther Dreisinger Koifman (1923-1948), a Polish Holocaust survivor who lost who entire family in the Holocaust and immigrated to Palestine as part of the Ma’apilim clandestine immigration movement. After being sent to a detention camp in Cyprus by the

A Twice Bereaved Mother Discusses the Purpose of Yom Hazikaron

A Twice Bereaved Mother Discusses the Purpose of Yom Hazikaron

In this moving video (06:03), educator and inspirational speaker Miriam Peretz tells the story of how she continued to live after two of her sons, Uriel and Eliraz, were killed in battle, the former in Lebanon in 1998 and the latter in the Gaza Strip

The 35 Heroes of Gush Etzion (Video & Teachers’ Guide)

The 35 Heroes of Gush Etzion (Video & Teachers’ Guide)

This post provides excellent educational resources about the 35 soldiers who were killed during the War of Independence trying to bring supplies to the kibbutzim in the besieged Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem. The video (16:09) retells the tragic yet inspiring story through archival footage and interviews,

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

Click here to show less Informative Articles & Videos content

What else?

Click here to show more What else? content

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,

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

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

With What Shall I Bless Him?

With What Shall I Bless Him?

Written by Rachel Shapira in memory of her classmate Eldad Krock, a young reservist killed in the in the Six Day War, this this sad song is about an angel blessing a young boy as he grows up with everything he needs to be able to

Natan Alterman: Elifelet

Natan Alterman: Elifelet

Performed here by the IDF for Memorial Day, this song, written as a poem by Natan Alterman in 1959 and put to music by Sasha Argov, tells the story of a simple, unimpressive young man who emerges as a hero who sacrificed his life for

The 35 Heroes of Gush Etzion (Video & Teachers’ Guide)

The 35 Heroes of Gush Etzion (Video & Teachers’ Guide)

This post provides excellent educational resources about the 35 soldiers who were killed during the War of Independence trying to bring supplies to the kibbutzim in the besieged Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem. The video (16:09) retells the tragic yet inspiring story through archival footage and interviews,

Natan Alterman / Yehoram Gaon: The Silver Platter

Natan Alterman / Yehoram Gaon: The Silver Platter

This haunting song conveys the great sacrifices upon which the State of Israel was establishment. Soon after the release of the UN Partition Plan of 1947, Chaim Weizmann, who would become the first president of the State of Israel, stated “The state will not be

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

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,

Click here to show less What else? content