Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day — its 67th, which this year is observed on Thursday, April 23 — will be celebrated by Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and other community organizations with a wide range of festive events, most free and open to the public.
The community will also recognize Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, commemorating soldiers who fell in Israel’s wars and victims of terror attacks, immediately preceding Yom Ha’atzmaut. The JCC MetroWest observance, on Tuesday, April 21, at 7 p.m. at the Cooperman JCC in West Orange, will honor Matan Gotlib, a graduate of the federation’s Diller Teen Fellows program who was killed in Operation Protective Edge last summer. The program will include a ceremony and film, followed by a Hebrew sing-along.
Capa’im, an Israeli cover band based in New York City and offering the biggest hits of Israeli and Jewish culture, will perform at the Cooperman JCC on Wednesday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25, $18 for students, $100 for patrons (which includes priority seating and a pre-concert reception).
The Maccabeats, the hugely popular a cappella group, will offer a free concert at the YM-YWHA of Union County in Union on Thursday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:30). A Yom Hazikaron commemoration will precede the celebration, which will include children’s activities, a performance by the Jewish Educational Center choir, and kosher food for purchase.
Other events include:
Go “All Around” Israel for teens, Sunday, April 19, noon-3 p.m., Aidekman campus, Whippany, will offer a host of virtual Israeli experiences: climbing in the Golan Heights, enjoying falafel in Jerusalem, and meeting friends in Tel Aviv. Cosponsored by The Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life. Contact Amanda Solomon at email@example.com.
Cruisin’ for Israel, a New York City harbor cruise on The Cornucopia Destiny for ages 21-39, Saturday, April 25, 9-11:30 p.m., will leave from the 14th Street pier at Frank Sinatra Drive in Hoboken. It is cosponsored by Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey; cocktail attire is appropriate. Tickets, which include two drinks, kosher dairy desserts, and a DJ, cost $40, $55 at the dock. Visit jfnnj.org/calendar/cruisinforisrael or contact Kim Schwartzman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-820-3936.
Yom Ha’atzmaut Family Celebration, Sunday, April 19, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Adath Shalom, Morris Plains, will include interactive musical performances by Dreamcoat Experience. Contact Jayne Karten at email@example.com.
Family Israel Day at the J, Sunday, April 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Cooperman JCC in West Orange, will feature mineral digging, Israeli dancing, mini-shuk shopping, Kotel note-writing, and Masada rock wall climbing. Contact Katy Strulson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-530-3915.
Tickets for the Capa’im concert and other programs and an interactive map detailing the event locations are available at jfedgmw.org/celebrateisrael.
Events in the wider community include:
Rutgers Israel Run at New Brunswick’s Buccleuch Park, Sunday, April 19, 10 a.m. Go to bestrace.com/newbrunswick/FIT5k.
Body and Soul: The State of the Jewish Nation screening, Sunday, April 19, 4 p.m. at Temple Beth El, Jersey City.
Israeli Reform Rabbi Dr. Edgar Nof will speak on his involvement with Bridges of Hope, an organization in Haifa that promotes understanding, love, and peace, Wednesday, April 22, 7:30 p.m. at Temple Sinai, Summit.
Celebrate Israel Shabbat Dinner featuring Israeli-style food with Israeli songs and Shabbat services, Friday, April 24, 6:30 p.m. at Congregation B’nai Israel, Millburn. RSVP required by Monday, April 20.
Jewish comedian Joel Chasnoff, author of The 188th Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah, Saturday, April 25, 8:30 p.m. at Oheb Shalom Congregation, South Orange.
Temple Beth Shalom Yom Ha’atzmaut Family Fun Day, Sunday, April 26, 12:30-3 p.m. at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, Livingston. The cost is $25/family up to five people, $18/family TBS members, $5 each additional person. RSVP by April 20 at tbsfamilynj.org.
For more information, contact Justine Reuben at 973-929-3054 or email@example.com (#CelebrateIsraelGMW).