Jacksonville Jewish community celebrates Yom Ha’Atzmaut in style with event at JCA
By Jewish Federation of Jacksonville
& Jewish Community Alliance
On Sunday, April 30, after months of planning and hard work, the Jacksonville Jewish community got together to celebrate Israel’s 69th Independence Day. For the first time in many years, local agencies joined efforts and created a fun and educational event for the entire community. Thanks to the generous support of the Sisisky family, the celebrations were able to take place, offering the community a chance to experience Israeli culture first hand.
“The first Jacksonville Israel Independence Day celebration was a heartwarming event which brought the core of Israel spirit into the community,” said one participant of the event. “This is the first time we celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut away from Israel, and a lot of strong emotions aroused from this celebration, many of happiness and longing,” added community member Yifat Winkler. “We are thankful to have this strong Jewish-Israeli community around us who understand who we are.”
Throughout the event, participants were exposed to unique technologies invented in Israel, while having a chance to learn about the IDF, and playing Israeli games, dancing, singing and creating Israeli art while seeing sights and landscapes of Israel. Through the Krav Maga demonstrations, videos of Jerusalem and a vibrant use of the Hebrew language, Israel was brought to the community in a rich way. “It is Heartwarming to see our entire Jewish Community come together to celebrate Israel Independence Day and I want to thank Dana, Dave and the entire committee for their commitment in making this program such a wonderful success,” said JCA Executive Director, Myron Flagler. “We all stood tall as a Jewish Community!”
With more than 600 participants, 60 volunteers and the joint work of Congregation Ahavath Chesed, Etz Chaim Synagogue, the Jacksonville Jewish Center, Jewish Community Alliance, Jewish Family & Community Services, the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville, River Garden and other representatives from our Jewish community, this event was a huge success. “We are proud of this amazing event and thankful for the support and help we received from the community,” said Jacksonville’s Israeli Emissary Dana Marmari. We are all excited to start this new tradition in Jacksonville and look forward to celebrating Israel’s 70th Independence Day together as a community next year!”