Temple Sholom Celebrates Yom Ha’Atzmaut: Israel’s Independence Day

In celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel’s 76th Independence Day – Temple Sholom organized several different Israel-themed experiences for its congregation and school communities.

The festivities kicked-off on May 12 with a “Virtual Trip to Israel” for religious school classes at the Temple Sholom Learning Center. Students in grades Pre-K through 7th grade received mock passports and were given the opportunity to leave notes in the Wailing Wall. They also purchased goods at the Shuk (market), created sand art designs in Tel Aviv, and took photos wearing mud to replicate floating in the Dead Sea.

Rabbi Mitchell M. Hurvitz and Rabbi Kevin Peters . Contributed photo

Contributed photo

“Throughout the year, our students learn about Israel and build a connection to our Jewish homeland,” said David Cohen, Director of Schools. “The experience of making a virtual trip is the perfect capstone to their education. Now the students are all talking about when they can make an actual visit!”

During the program, pre-b’nai mitzvah students attended a special discussion with two Israeli heroes from the frontlines to learn about the importance of Israeli pride and ways to recognize Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, which leads into Yom Ha’atzmaut.

“We cannot celebrate Israel’s Independence without recalling with love and appreciation those whose lives were sacrificed in defense of our Jewish homeland,” said Rabbi Mitchell M. Hurvitz.

Other Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations throughout the week included a community-wide Flag Raising Ceremony at Greenwich Town Hall attended by Rabbi Mitch, as well as an Israeli Folk Dancing workshop led by Rabbi Kevin Peters at Temple Sholom to immerse participants in Israeli culture.

The Temple Sholom Selma Maisel Nursery School acknowledged the holiday on May 14 by wearing blue and white (the colors of Israel’s flag) and proudly paraded hand-crafted Israeli flags throughout the synagogue.

“No other nation on earth has achieved what the Jewish People of Israel have accomplished: not one miracle but countless miracles, over and over again,” said Rabbi Mitch. “Am Yisrael Chai – Long Live Israel!”

Temple Sholom is located at 300 East Putnam Avenue.