Chag Haatzmaut

Can we reassess the way our community celebrates Israel?

Is it possible for us to reimagine Yom Ha’atzmaut as a Jewish festival, a chag, rather than a secular birthday? What if our Israel celebration walked from Yom HaShoah to Yom Ha’atzmaut? What if the days in between these two monumental events in Jewish history were filled with reflection, anticipation, activity and celebration leading up to the commemorative day itself?

Makom's Thinking

The Nine Days


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The Nine Days!

The Nine Days!

Shay Charka perfectly illustrates the nine-day emotional roller-coaster from Holocaust Day (Yom HaShoah) thru Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron), to Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut).

A different Yom HaZikaron Ceremony – for your use


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Yom HaZikaron is often a complicated ceremony to program outside of Israel. Local Israelis in the community will often feel the need to share their unique feelings on the one hand, and yet find themselves questioning the possibility that non-Israelis might fully understand them on the other hand. Non-Israelis will often feel the need to share in the ceremony and identify fully, whilst at the same time feeling emotionally detached or even alienated. It is a very sensitive day!

We share with you a ceremony that we created for JW3 in London, with the help of the animation films made by Bet Avi Chai. We looked to build a ceremony that placed its emphasis on the pain and loss of the civilian survivors, and less on the war-time experience of the fighters. In this way we believe there is more potential for a shared emotional common ground.


You will need to download this powerpoint to your computer for the videos to play.

This is the text.

Chag Haatzmaut – think/practice document


A 23-page document complete with exercises and text study, helping you rethink Israel celebration in the light of the Jewish festival calendar.

Click here for the printable pdf.

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From Yom to Chag


A 14 page document exploring the way other nations celebrate a distant homeland. Can we learn from them? And can we learn from our own Jewish festivals to find a form for Yom Haatzmaut?

Click here for printable pdf.

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