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Cape Town’s festive salute to Israel at 70

  • YomHaatzmautCT
As the clock struck 2 o’clock, the gates to Cape Town’s iconic amusement park, Ratanga Junction, opened for Israel’s 70th Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations. Children rushed through the walkways into the walled city, beneath a sky of blue and white umbrellas and to the pulsating sound of Israeli music. They headed straight for the theme park rides.
by JULIE BERMAN | Apr 26, 2018

There was something for everyone, young and old, to enjoy as every effort was made to appeal to each person’s sense of fun.

Bnei Akiva, together with Rabbi Sam Thurgood of Beit Midrash Morasha, conducted the mincha and ma’ariv service.

The opening ceremony was choreographed by Roxy Levy and Martine Kawalsky, together with pupils from Herzlia Primary Schools, Cape Town Sinai Academy and Phyllis Jowell School. They were led in by our esteemed Machalnik, Leslie Marcus, who carried the Israeli flag along with Jake Kaimowitz.

They were followed by the Israeli ambassador, Lior Keinan; deputy ambassador Ayellet Black; the Israeli consul, Yaffa Mendel; and Aaron Diamond, who brought in balloons decorated with the number 70.

The procession entered the arena to the fabulous sounds of the Herzlia Vocal Ensemble, headed by Cantor Ivor Joffe. The atmosphere was electrifying as the audience clapped and sang, while the primary school children danced in the formation of a 70 in the main arena.

After a resounding Hatikvah was sung, people broke out into communal dancing.

Stalls selling food and various products added to the theme of 70 Years, 70 Faces, 70 Stories.

A candle was lit to mark the past 70 years, and another was lit to symbolise the light that will ensue in the years to come, representing Israel’s continuity into the future.

One of the highlights of the evening was a performance by Israeli band The Solomon Brothers. They had the crowd on their feet, singing and dancing. The ruach was joyous and energised.

The event culminated in an announcement of the winner of the raffle: Dana Silva.

We thank our community for coming out in their droves to honour our beloved Israel and show their support for one of the main events on the calendar of our Cape Town community.

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