Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948. Every year since, we celebrate the rebirth of the modern Jewish state on the 5th of Iyar which was the date of independence on the Hebrew calendar.
Below we offer several links to resources to enhance yours and your students celebration of this day.
Some activity suggestion for using the links below:
- Have students decorate paper airplanes like Israel’s and film how well they fly in their living rooms to recreate the IDF airshow/flyover.
- Ask students to create videos of how they cook and celebrate Israel’s creation and post these to online classes.
- Ask groups of students to learn one of the songs and create a gallery video of them singing and/or performing them, or make their own music videos on Tik Tok
- Have students submit alternative suggestions to the State of Israel as to how to celebrate this year while keeping the public safe.
- Students can watch the video of last year’s drone performance and try to identify the various historic sites the hundreds of drones depict, and to either research and present that site or to suggest additional sites for this year’s drone performance.
- Fun article about 12 ways to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut like an Israeli: https://www.israel21c.org/12-ways-to-celebrate-yom-haatzmaut-like-an-israeli/
- Article about the history of the “mangal” (barbeque) in Israel. The “mangal” is a staple of Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations in Israel: https://forward.com/food/137621/the-independence-day-barbecue-more-than-an-america/
- An article about the 10 ways Jewish Israelis celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut: https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/yom-hazikaron-yom-haatzmaut/10-ways-jewish-israelis-will-celebrate-yom-haatzmaut
- Article about Yom Ha’atzmaut from the Jewish Virtual Library. At the bottom of the article are Yom Ha’atzmaut video greetings from Former President Shimon Peres (z”l) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the early 2010s: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/yom-ha-atzmaut-israeli-independence-day
- Israeli Air Force practicing flyovers for the Yom Ha’atzmaut air show: https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/israeli-air-force-acrobatics-yom-haatzmaut-flyover-practice-watch-589152
- “Hope”, a Fountainheads acapella song & music video in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsE1cAKM4Yc
- “My Flag is Blue and White/Hadegel Sheli Hu Kachol VeLavan,” a popular children’s song for Yom Ha’atzmaut festivities in Israel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du2RDjkQY-4
- Spotify Playlist –the 17 best Yom Ha’atzmaut songs from old to new Israeli music: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6UAbcYNLB49FypfsUr927V
- Spotify Playlist – Yom Ha’atzmaut through 21st century Pop Music in Israel: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5jDkIk44qqSlfhmeKeHoDT?si=xTVphwotRZGriwqNhLYIGg
- Koolulam, an initiative in Israel that brings together large groups for mass singing events, celebrated Israel’s 70th Independence Day by bringing together 12,000 people along with famous Israeli singer Shlomi Shabbat to sing the Israeli classic “Al Kol Eleh”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxzR9Z-kG6Q
- President Reuven Rivlin’s message in English on Israel’s 68th Independence Day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeTUpJAgQ5A
- The Israeli Air Force’s air show for Israel’s 70th anniversary in 2018, an annual tradition on Yom Ha’atzmaut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8hKzGKIgqY
- Huge celebratory performance at the official Yom Ha’atzmaut ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem: https://youtu.be/aHQLCV6xiOo?t=3196 and https://youtu.be/aHQLCV6xiOo?t=8515
- Video of the entire ceremony of Yom Hazikaron leading into Yom Ha’atzmaut: 2018 (Israel’s 70year anniversary): https://youtu.be/aHQLCV6xiOo
- Video footage of drones from Israel’s official 70th Independence Day ceremony. During musical performances, the drones were arranged into the shapes of various Israeli landmarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtDjk7E1QVw, https://www.israellycool.com/2018/04/19/watch-amazing-drone-sky-show-in-jerusalem/
A Piece of History:
- The frontpage of The New York Time on May 15, 1948, the day that Israel declared its independence: https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0514.html?scp=19&sq=the%2520jewish%2520state&st=cse
- Primary source video of David Ben Gurion reading the State of Israel’s Declaration of Independence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZDSBF5xtoo&feature=emb_logo
- Israel’s Declaration of Independence: https://israeled.org/resources/documents/israel-declaration-independence/
- Palestine Post newspaper in the National Library of Israel Archives from May 4, 1949, Israel’s first Independence Day: https://tinyurl.com/ych69l4o (this will bring you to the browsing newspapers page, select Palestine Post from the “select title” dropdown menu on the left side and then navigate to May 4, 1949.)