10 Ways to Celebrate Yom YaAtzmaut from Home
In Israel, Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day) is typically a time of celebration and festive gatherings, from outdoor concerts and parties to exploring the country’s museums, nature preserves, and other cultural gems. (Check out “Yom HaAtzmaut History and Customs” to learn more.)
There are, however, plenty of ways to observe Yom HaAtzmaut from home during this time of quarantine. Choose one or all of the following options to celebrate and demonstrate your love of Israel on the anniversary of her independence!
1. Try an Israeli recipe.
Find an Israeli recipe that appeals to you and whip up a special meal to celebrate the holiday. Start with “18 Israeli Recipes to Spice Up Independence Day,” or browse all our Israeli recipes.
2. Watch an Israeli TV show.
Looking for an excuse to binge something great? Enjoying Israeli shows is also an opportunity to better understand life in the Jewish State. Check out these suggestions, to start.
3. Make this day a sacred one.
Rabbi PJ Schwartz writes, “Yom HaAtzmaut has molded itself into a day as holy as any commanded in the Torah or other sacred Jewish texts.” Here’s how to observe it as such.
4. Take a virtual tour of Israel.
“Virtual Israel” offers remote experiences with accredited Israeli tour guides, letting you visit an Israeli national park, walk the streets of Israel, or do a learning session on Israel – all from afar. On your own, you can also tour holy sites in Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and even a Pride Parade.
5. Learn about Israel’s past and present.
Read Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Learn about Israel’s election system and 10 historical events that led to Jewish statehood. Educate yourself on Reform Zionism – what it is and why it matters.
6. Commit to learning more.
Take our quiz “How Well Do You Know Israel?", then subscribe to Israel Connections, our Wednesday morning email about eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel) and Medinat Yisrael (the modern State of Israel).
7. Do an Israeli craft with your kids.
Options include creating easy tear flags, pretty painted planters, or celebratory pinwheels. You could even bake a ugat yomledet (birthday cake) together – you know, for Israel but eaten by your family.
8. Listen to an Israeli podcast.
In the new podcast ANATomy of Israel, Anat Hoffman, head of the Israel Religious Action Center, talks about all things Israel, including history, culture, religion, and politics. Listen on Spotify or on omny.fm.
9. Display your love of Israel.
Share the love by changing your Facebook profile picture to the Israeli flag or wishing Israel a happy birthday on social media. How about sharing this video of the Ein Prat Fountainheads singing “Hope”?
10. Support Reform Judaism in Israel.
In supporting the Reform Jewish Movement, you help strengthen the future of the Jewish people. Honor this day with a donation to ARZA – The Association of Reform Zionists or another organization associated with Reform Judaism in Israel; here’s a complete list.
Kate Kaput is the assistant director, messaging and branding, on the Union for Reform Judaism's marketing and communications team. In this role, she serves as a content manager and editor for ReformJudaism.org. A native of Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson, OH, and an alumna of the Religious Action Center's Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Fellowship, Kate holds a degree in magazine journalism and lives in Cleveland, OH, with her husband.
View all posts by Kate Kaput