Hertfordshire communites celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut
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Wave of enthusiasm: Sasha and Emily Katz at the Radlett/Shenley party
Many Hertfordshire communities organised joint festivities, with 230 members of the Radlett and Shenley United congregations getting together at Shenley's base on Monday, where the Yom Hazikaron ceremony was led by children from both communities.
Then after a bite of Israeli food and the screening of a video by Shenley youth on what Yom Ha'atzmaut means to them, it was music all the way. A diverse bill featured the Joodoo drum workshop, an extract from Radlett Tribe's production of The Lion King, a performance by Radlett's male choir and a selection of modern Israeli and Hebrew songs from chazan David Rome.
There was more Israeli music and dance the following day as 300 Radlett and Bushey Reform, Elstree Liberal, St Albans Masorti and Elstree Masorti members shared a party at Clore Shalom School.
The Borehamwood, Bushey and Stanmore United shuls hosted Israeli teenagers visiting under UJIA's Magic Moments programme. In Borehamwood, the visitors appealed for donations of children's picture books for their libraries in Israel.
At Welwyn Garden City Synagogue, the dress code was blue and white for the Independence Day celebration. After an Israeli-style buffet supper, organisers set a light-hearted quiz on aspects of Israel. The proceeds from the evening's raffle went to a Wizo project in Sderot.
Children were to the fore at Edgware Synagogue, enjoying bouncy castles, arts and crafts and Israeli singing and dancing - with a pizza supper to finish.
In south London, over 80 people were at the Kingston Synagogue celebration, a highlight of which was the big screen premiere of a music video, Proud to be a Zionist, by shul member Samuel Green (aka Antithesis the Zionist Rapper).
The event was organised by Kingston Israel Forum chair Rosalynde Lewis and her committee and catered by Kingston Wizo.