We Sang, We Danced, We Celebrated Israel’s Independence!

UPDATE 6 pm Tuesday: Another missile was fired by Palestinian Hamas terrorists in Gaza in an attempt to kill Israeli men, women, and children near Sderot last night. Did you see this on the news anywhere?  Of course not.

If you look at the column to the right, this rocket was the 431st since January 20, 2012, and the 79th in the last 47 days. Nobody in the world cares that the residents of southern Israel have to run to their bomb shelters at least once a day–and on many days more often than that. Where is the international outrage?


Singing Israeli songs and dancing to Israeli music under the redwood trees!

On Sunday–surrounded by a sea of Israeli flags–we sang, we danced, we bounced, we face painted, we made Israeli bracelets with Hebrew letters, and we listened to klezmer music.

Three of the five members of the wonderful klezmer band!

We also scarfed up Israeli salads, and we ate around 250 hot dogs and another 250 falafels.

One of our crowd at one of our Israeli salad tables.

It was our annual Israel Independence Day celebration here at our location in northern California. We celebrated it a few days later than the actual day in order to synchronize (as usual) our activities with the synagogue’s religious school. This year we wanted to make a special outreach to the kids of the community. 

Our Israeli face painter.

And that was part of what was special about this year–the feeling that more young people were involved. From having Israeli flags painted on their faces to waving Israeli flags to wearing blue and white Israel Matters (the name of my committee) bracelets, the children had a wonderful time and– maybe just maybe– began to bond more closely with Israel.

The other part of the celebration that was special this year was the diversity of the people who came.

We had African Americans from a local church; we had Jewish and Christian members of coffee clubs at a local donut shop and a local Starbucks; we had Israelis from the our local University of California (one of whom was in charge of the falafels); we had people from off the street; we had around 200 from our own congregation and from the region; we had our families and friends; and finally, of course, we had 30 members of my fantastic Israel Matters committee who did everything from making cotton candy to handing out literature supporting Israel to barbecuing the hot dogs.

A table with some of our committee members as the food serving slowed down. Note the blue T shirt (designed by one of our members) being worn by one of our members: ISRAEL MATTERS! In the center background, you can just make out one of the bouncy houses for kids.

Everybody was there to support Israel.

If your community does not have an annual Israeli Independence Celebration, you should start one next year. If your community has such a celebration and you don’t usually go, go next year. What have you done for Israel today?

As noted in recent blogs, a list of vocabulary for Israel supporters to begin using is appended to this blog (and every blog for the next month).

1. Use ‘Judea and Samaria’ instead ofthe West Bank.

2. Use ‘Jewish community’ instead of settlement.

3.  Use ‘construction of Jewish homes, schools, and hospitals’ instead of settlement activity.

4. Use ‘new Jewish communities’ instead of outposts‘.

5. Use ‘Jewish community member’ instead of settler.

6. Use ‘conservative politicians’ instead of right-wing politicians‘.

7. Use ‘PLO’ or  ‘Palestine Liberation Organization’ instead of Palestinian Authority.

8. Use ‘Palestinian Islamic Terrorist Organization–HAMAS’ instead of merely Hamas.

9. Use ‘Israeli men, women, and children’ instead of  Israeli citizens‘.

10. Use ‘Palestinian cities’ instead of  Palestinian refugee camps.

11. Use Palestinian ‘settlements’ instead of  Palestinian ‘villages’ or ‘hamlets’.

12. Use Palestinian ‘settlers’ instead of Palestinian ‘farmers’ and ‘villagers’.

13. Use international ‘lawbreakers’ instead of international ‘activists’.

14. Use ‘the suicide bomber prevention fence instead of the ‘separation fence’ or ‘wall’.

15. Use ‘eastern Jerusalem’ or the ‘eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem’ instead of East Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem must never be divided again.


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