Tekes for Yom Haatzmaut

Yom Haatzaut in the Midwest

Max Miller | Rosh Pirsum, Chicago

As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, one thing has remained the same, and will continue to remain the same forever- our love for Israel, the Jewish homeland. Chicago’s festivities looked a bit different this year- although we usually host a large event with music and food to celebrate the birthday of Israel, we instead partnered with the YU Torah MiTzion Kollel of Chicago and various other organizations (including Moshava Wild Rose!) over Zoom to bring the Chicago community some much-needed celebration. The upper Tzevet of Bnei Akiva Chicago read brief bios of each of Israel’s torchbearers for this year’s holiday to an audience of nearly 300 viewers. In addition, we have ensured that families at home have the materials needed for this years Yom HaAtzmaut by emailing everyone the beautiful banners and graphics Bnei Akiva of US & Canada put together.

Overall, although this year’s Yom HaAtzmaut looked drastically different than previous years, the sense of Jewish Pride and the love for the State of Israel was still as apparent as ever.

Chag Sameach!

Cleveland takes on Yom Haatzmaut

Gavriella Jacobs | Rosh PR, Cleveland 

Together with the rest of the Cleveland community, Bnei Akiva commemorated Yom Hazikaron followed by celebrating Yom Haatzmaut over zoom. In remembrance of the fallen IDF soldiers, the Yom Hazikaron tekes focused on the Peretz family. We were inspired by Miriam Peretz’s strength in her belief in Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael despite having lost her two sons in combat and husband afterward. After watching the Peretz family video and hearing the eulogy Miriam read at her husband’s funeral, Rav Pachino, head of the Community Beit Midrash, spoke on a more personal note. He told stories of close friends he lost in the IDF and reiterated the importance of staying firm in our love for Israel. Following the conclusion of Yom Hazikaron, we sprung into action and celebrated Israel’s 72nd birthday by recreating the annual community celebration over zoom. First, we listened to a panel of those in our community who made Aliya including the Fried family, Ari Bar Shain, Shira Roth, and soon-to-make-Aliya Dovid Ben-Tor. Afterwards, we performed a virtual candle lighting ceremony to celebrate all the members of the community heading to Israel next year (some returning, some making Aliya and others excited to spend the year in Yeshiva and Seminary) including the Goldblatt family, Deutsch family, Cashdan family, Bnot Sherut Inball and Tamar, and 2020 seniors. Next, Camp Stone director and former Clevelander Yaakov Fleischmann sang a beautiful acoustic Hatikva. To conclude the ceremonies, the wonderful Cleveland shlichim lead a parade around town to spread the joy social-distancing style. We had a such a meaningful holiday with our Bnei Akiva community!