Yom Hazikaron begins Tuesday evening, April 13, 2021 and ends at nightfall on Wednesday, April 14.

Yom Ha’atzmaut begins Wednesday evening, April 14, 2021 and ends at nightfall on Thursday, April 15.

Events in 2021

Celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut at home!

Orders due Friday, April 9 (or “first come; first served”); Pick-up Wednesday, April 14.

Order a delicious Israeli dinner from René León Catering.

We’ll also be sharing a playlist so you can enjoy 🎶 Israeli music while you dine, and a Kahoot game for even more fun!


Yom Hazikaron Siren: Live from Israel

Tuesday, April 13, 12:45 p.m. Eastern Time (7:45 p.m. in Israel) on bettorah-org.zoom.us/j/88944114882.

Join Shari Robins, beloved tour guide of Bet Torah’s Israel trips to participate live in the memorial day, standing to honor those Israelis that gave their lives in defense of the state and the people of Israel.

The session will also include a Q&A with Shari. Hear Shari’s honest perspective and insight on what is currently happening in Israel.


Westchester Commemorates Yom Hazikaron

Tuesday, April 13, 7:00-9:00 p.m. – Add to iCal | Add to Google Calendar

Registration required for Zoom link.

Westchester Jewish Council’s ceremony followed by a live discussion with the sister of a fallen soldier. Program will feature Bet Torah’s own Renana Shvil.


Turning Point? An Israeli-American Panel Discussion of the Israeli Supreme Court’s Recognition of Conservative and Reform Conversions in Israel

Sunday, April 18, 10:30 a.m. Registration required for Zoom link.

Moderated by Rabbi Brusso and Rabbi Sacks, the expert panel will feature leading voices from across the global Jewish community: Rabbi Dr. Meesh Hammer-Kossoy, Rabbi Mikie Goldstein, and Harriet Schliefer.

Questions for the panelists can be emailed in advance to lifelonglearning@bettorah.org.


A New Era of Peace: The US-Israel Relationship Through the Elections and Beyond

Wednesday, April 21, 7:30 pm. Registration required for Zoom link.

AIPAC of Northern Westchester presents a thoughtful discussion on Israel’s recent elections, how they will impact the U.S.-Israel relationship, and what they mean for future peace in the region.


What are Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Hazikaron?

Yom Ha’atzmaut, or Israel Independence Day, marks the declaration of the existence of the modern Jewish State of Israel in 1948. It is preceded in Israel by Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli version of Memorial Day, set aside to remember the fallen soldiers who have given their lives defending Israel since its establishment.

Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Memorial Day, is different in its character and mood from the American Memorial Day. For 24 hours (from sunset to sunset) all places of public entertainment (theaters, cinemas, nightclubs, pubs, etc.) are closed. The most noticeable feature of the day is the sound of a siren that is heard throughout the country twice, during which the entire nation observes a two-minutes “standstill” of all traffic and daily activities. The first siren marks the beginning of Memorial Day at 8 p.m., and the second is at 11 a.m., before the public recitation of prayers in the military cemeteries. All radio and television stations broadcast programs portraying the lives and heroic deeds of fallen soldiers. Most of the broadcasting time is devoted to Israeli songs that convey the mood of the day.

Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel is always preceded by Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers. The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence — the very existence of the state — to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it. The official “switch” from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut takes place a few minutes after sundown, with a ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in which the flag is raised from half staff (due to Memorial Day) to the top of the pole.

For American Jews, celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut has been a way to express solidarity with the state of Israel and to strengthen their alliance with it. In many communities, it is one of few occasions in which Jewish organizations and synagogues of different ideologies and denominations cooperate in forming a common celebration.