Celebrating Israel's 67th Birthday in style

  • SAZF 15 Yom - HOME
The Jews of Israel, South Africa and, indeed, worldwide will attend events to celebrate Israel’s 67th Independence Day next Wednesday. And, true to form, the SA Zionist Federation will be holding a dashing event at Yeshiva College for Joburg Jewish families that is guaranteed to continue their history of offering crowd-pleasers, including Israeli singing sensation, Gad Elbaz, pictured.
by ANT KATZ | Apr 14, 2015
Yom Ha'atzmaut is the national day of Israel, commemorating the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.

It is celebrated either on the 5th of Iyar, according to the Hebrew calendar, or on one of the preceding or following days, depending on which day of the week this date falls on.

SAZF 15 Yom - HOME

RIGHT: David Ben-Gurion declaring independence beneath a large portrait of Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism

The operative paragraph of the Declaration (pictured below) of the Establishment of State of Israel of 14 May 1948 expresses the declaration to be “by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly,” and concludes with the words of Ben-Gurion where he thereby declares the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.

Johannesburg 2015

The 2015 Yom Ha’atzmaut event in Johannesburg will be held at the Yeshiva College campus from 6pm on Wednesday 22 April.

SAZF 15 Yom

Fun for all

Tickets cost R50 for adults and R20 for children under 12 – and will go on sale at the gate from 5pm.

Among the available amenities at the event will be will be rides, food stalls and the Israeli singing sensation Gad Elbaz (pictured left) - and guests will also have a chance of winning a ticket to Israel.

Related reads

Yom Ha'atzmaut is preceded by Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day.

This original declaration of the State of Israel was drafted to ensure that a Jewish state would be in place – as envisaged by the UN, shortly before the expiration of the British Mandate in Palestine expired.

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The Declaration

The first draft of the Declaration was written by Zvi Berenson; the second by: Moshe Shertok, David Remez, Felix Rosenblueth, Moshe Shapira and Aharon Zisling.

The third and final document was written by: David Ben-Gurion, Yehuda Leib Fishman, Aharon Zisling and Moshe Shertok.

The signatories were: David Ben-Gurion, Daniel Auster, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Mordechai Bentov, Eliyahu Berligne, Fritz Bernstein, Rachel Cohen-Kagan, Eliyahu Dobkin, Yehuda Leib Fishman, Wolf Gold, Meir Grabovsky, Avraham Granovsky, Yitzhak Gruenbaum, Kalman Kahana, Eliezer Kaplan, Avraham Katznelson, Saadia Kobashi, Moshe Kolodny, Yitzhak-Meir Levin, Meir David Loewenstein, Zvi Luria, Golda Meyerson, Nahum Nir, David-Zvi Pinkas, Felix Rosenblueth, David Remez, Berl Repetur, Zvi Segal, Mordechai Shatner, Ben-Zion Sternberg, Bechor-Shalom Sheetrit, Haim-Moshe Shapira, Moshe Shertok, Herzl Vardi, Meir Vilner, Zerach Warhaftig and Aharon Zisling.



History of YH

Yom Ha'atzmaut centres around the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel by the Jewish leadership led by future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion on 14 May 1948. The mood outside of Ben-Gurion's home just prior to the declaration was joyous:

"The Jews of Palestine ... were dancing because they were about to realize what was one of the most remarkable and inspiring achievements in human history: A people which had been exiled from its homeland two thousand years before, which had endured countless pogroms, expulsions, and persecutions, but which had refused to relinquish its identity—which had, on the contrary, substantially strengthened that identity; a people which only a few years before had been the victim of mankind’s largest single act of mass murder, killing a third of the world’s Jews, that people was returning home as sovereign citizens in their own independent state," wrote a journalist who was present.

Independence was declared eight hours before the end of the British Mandate of Palestine, which was due to finish on 15 May 1948.

The new state was quickly recognised by the Soviet Union, the United States and many other countries, but not by the surrounding Arab states, which marched with their troops into the area of the former British Mandate.

Yom Ha’atzmaut is a celebration of Israel’s foundation whereas Yom Hazikaron is a commemoration of the cost we incur to ensure the continuance of Israel’s existence-the land of the “immortal” Jew.

All this being said next week is a perfect opportunity to honour that commitment. Come and join the community at Yeshiva college on the 21st of April at 18.30 in what will surely be an tear wrenching Yom Hazikaron ceremony, with Professor Shmuel Eidelman as a guest speaker; and on the 22nd of April, once again at Yeshiva college, for an evening that will remind you why we all love Israel so much in the first place.


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