May 22, 2024

A Week of All Things Israel

Our week of celebrating Israel began with the solemn observance of Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, on Sunday May 12. despite the fact that it was Mother’s Day, several hundred people came together at the JCC MetroWest in West Orange as our rishonimand shlichot, as well as the tzofim, Israel scouts,remembered Israel’s fallen soldiers, victims of terror attacks, and all who gave their lives for the state of Israel. This year’s ceremony also honored the victims of the October 7 attacks and those who fought bravely to defend their homes and families. The program also included an exhibition of photos by First Sergeant Lavi Lipshitz z”l, 20 years old, a Givati soldier and photographer who was killed in battle in Northern Gaza on October 31. 

And the week concluded on Sunday, May 19, as several hundred community members turned out in blue and white for an afternoon of ruach (spirit) and fun at our first-ever Yom Ha’Atzmaut Israel Block Party! Visitors of all ages shopped for unique Israeli merchandise from local vendors and in our mini shuk, enjoyed a delicious barbecue lunch, and took part in making aluminum flowers to “plant” in our community memorial garden in honor of those we lost on October 7. The kids especially enjoyed the ninja obstacle course, candy wall, henna studio, and activities provided by area day schools and camps. See photos from the festivities here.

In between there were events hosted by synagogues and partner agencies across the community, including dance parties, festivals, concerts, and barbecues. There was no shortage of ways to show your love for Israel and Jewish pride last week!

Looking for more ways to connect with Israel now that the “Yoms” have passed?

There’s still time to register to join your community for the Israel Day on 5th (formerly the Celebrate Israel Parade) on Sunday, June 2. Register by May 24 to receive a T-shirt and a spot on the bus from Whippany. Learn more and register now.

Think you might want to travel to Israel to show solidarity, volunteer, and make a real impact on Israelis in need? Join us on Zoom on Tuesday, May 28 for a Greater MetroWest Solidarity Volunteer Mission to Israel Info Session. Register for the info session and learn more about the mission here.