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  • Writer's pictureWendell Maxey

Israel Turning 75 Provides Chance To Honor History and Yom Ha’Atzmaut

With the celebration of Israel’s Independence Day beginning this week, the commemoration offers the perfect time to reflect on Yom Ha’Atzmaut and the historical significance of Israel’s 75th anniversary.

Events and activities are scheduled across the United States and overseas, from Staten Island and all the way to Tel Aviv. It’s only fitting considering the words and feelings expressed when the Provisional Government of Israel issued their Declaration of Independence in 1948:

“The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.”

When the 37 individuals from the provisional council signed their names to the “Rock of Israel” at the time, it was both a chance to declare Israel’s Independence while also lifting up prayers for freedom for Israel’s future. David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency at the time, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, as United States President Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation on the same day.

Seventy-five years later, declaring freedom and cherishing independence still rings aloud across Israel and throughout Jewish communities around the world. There are a number of local events taking place to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut, including a long-list courtesy of the Joan and Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island. The holiday celebration concludes on May 9 with a musical performance sponsored by Staten Island Holocaust Center Board Chair, Judge Phil Straniere.

Golda Documentary Screening

​Film screening of the eventful story of Golda Meir's term as Prime Minister of Israel followed by Q&A with Amy Posner

April 25, 6:30-9:00 pm

Lewis Stolzenberg Social Hall

Bernikow JCC

FREE with refreshments

Register here

Sponsored by CSI Hillel

Celebrating Israel at 75 – Free Family Festival

​Family festival and celebration of Israeli food and culture


-Cantor Suzanne Bernstein singing Hatikvah

-Shuk - Israeli Food Market

-Performance by Israeli Dance Institute

-Krav Maga with veteran IDF sergeant, Freddy Mihelson

-Hebrew calligraphy with master calligrapher Susan Leviton

-Arts & crafts, singing, and giveaways

April 27, 3:30-7:30pm

Lewis Stolzenberg Social Hall

Bernikow JCC


Register here

Sponsored by Hillel of CSI, JFS,

Hebrew Public and Temple Israel

Fiddler's Journey to the Big Screen

​Documentary screening followed by in-person Q&A with actress Neva Small (Chava, Fiddler on the Roof)

April 30, 2-5pm

Lewis Stolzenberg Social Hall

Bernikow JCC

$12 Members/$15 Non-Members

Refreshments included

Register here

Sponsored by Wagner College Hillel and Linda Bacall

Art Exhibition: The Works of Masha Roth

Artist Masha Roth grew up in Staten Island, where she attended many of our JCC programs, before moving to Kishorit, a kibbutz in Israel for adults with special needs!

May 1st, 6:30pm

Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC

Free for all

No Registration Required

Humans of Tel Aviv Photography Exhibit

On display April 26-May 9

​Israeli street photographer Erez Kaganovitz immerses us in the rich complexity and diversity of the people and stories of Tel Aviv

Join us at the following FREE events:

Israeli wine tasting & photo gallery viewing: May 1, 6-9pm

Meet & Greet with the artist: May 2, 3-6pm

Murray Berman Art @ the J Gallery

Bernikow JCC

Register here

Sponsored by ZOA, Hillel of CSI and Wagner College Hillel

In collaboration with Katz Cherry Hill JCC

"Am Israel Chai” A Celebration of Israel in Song

​National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene performance starring Israeli-American singer Magda Fishman and Greek-born legend Avram Pengas, led by Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek

May 9, 7-9pm

Lewis Stolzenberg Social Hall

Bernikow JCC

$25 in advance, $30 at the door, VIP reception $50

Register here

Presented by Grushkin Family and Stephanie Mizrahi

Sponsored by Judge Phil Straniere in memory of Jennifer Straniere



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