Israel is celebrating 70 years of statehood! If you’re living in the Diaspora and are feeling left out — don’t! There are plenty of local events happening in the Colorado area — visit the IJN events calendar for details. Plus, here are 10 ways, courtesy of the Jewish Agency, you can in the celebrations from wherever you happen to be.
What could be better than delicious food, time with good friends and the chance to enjoy a few hours in the fresh springtime air? Many Israelis will celebrate their country’s 70th birthday with a barbecue, and anybody who has been in Israel this time of year can see why.
To add some extra Israeli flavor include pita, hummus and Israeli salad.
Not into eating meat? The past decade has seen veganism take off in Israel. Whether you prefer tofu steaks, corn schnitzel, veggie burgers, seitan-based dishes, or just about any other vegetarian or vegan option, enjoy it al ha’esh (on the grill)!
- Try out some Israeli technology.
You may already use technologies developed partially or fully in Israel more often than you realize — whether it’s the USB drive on your computer, the software you use to chat with your friends, or any of the other Israeli high-tech inventions that shape our increasingly digital world.
In honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut, why not try out some of these technologies that you haven’t gotten around to exploring yet? You can take your pick from this hub for Israeli apps.
- The Hebrew word for radio is pronounced rah-dee-oh.
Take in Israeli culture — and learn a little Hebrew along the way! Listen to an Israeli radio station like Reshet Bet, Reshet Gimmel, Galei Tzahal or Galgalatz. Watch Israeli television broadcasts or even stream an Israeli series online. Read the news — in Hebrew, English, or any of the other languages that are common in Israel.
- Plan your trip!
The sights, the sounds, the tastes, the people… there’s no substitute for some real time in Israel. From the beaches of Tel Aviv and Haifa to the religious and historical sites of Jerusalem, from the Negev desert in the south to the greenery of the north, it’s hard to run out of places to see and things to do when you’re traveling in Israel.
- Talk to Israelis
Since it’s not always possible to make the international flight, sometimes the best way to experience a bit of Israel is through a member of your local community who lives and breathes Israeli culture. That’s why each year the Jewish Agency sends Israeli shlichim – Hebrew for “emissaries” – to Jewish communities and educational institutions around the world.
Contact JEWISHcolorado to get connected with the local shaliach.
If you’ve ever spent a spring in Israel, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed the day — right around the beginning of Passover — when suddenly it feels like Israeli flags are everywhere. They’re attached to streetlamps. They’re hanging off cars. They’re for sale in the supermarket. And they’re just one example of a decoration for Yom Ha’atzmaut.
To give yourself more of an Israeli Independence Day experience, why not decorate your home in honor of the occasion? Flags are just the beginning. You can also use artwork like this, photographs or your own souvenirs from Israel.
- Make your favorite Israeli dish.
What does Israel taste like to you? Israeli cuisine is a mix as diverse as Israeli society, incorporating and adapting foods originating throughout much of the world — and it seems we all have our favorites. Whether you’re all about falafel or you prefer jachnun, whether you love home-baked pita or you prefer Israeli couscous. it’s easy to find recipes in print or online. A good places to start is Food & Wine.
Of course, not all of us are ambitious enough in the kitchen to cook up our Israeli favorites. Fortunately, you may be able to find your favorite Israeli snacks at a local supermarket. Are you a fan of Bissli or Bamba? Are you all about Israeli chocolate, or do you simply love snacking on anything dipped in store-bought hummus?
- Read some Israeli literature.
If your reading comprehension is strong enough, check out some classic or contemporary Israeli authors in the original Hebrew. If your Hebrew isn’t there yet, enjoy an English translation. Or, if you’re more of a history buff, expand your knowledge of Israeli history in Hebrew or English (or just about any other language).
- Make a Yom Ha’atzmaut playlist.
What does Israel sound like to you? If you have had the chance to spend time there, you may have some favorite songs that really take you back to that time. If you haven’t, you may have some favorites that you grew up with or have discovered more recently.
Whether you spend the day working at the office, hanging out with friends, or curled up on the couch with a book, pick out some of your all-time favorite songs from Israel and have a listen. And don’t hesitate to sing or dance along!
Happy Independence Day!