West Midlands based Israelis who had served in the IDF - including Rabbi Chanan Atlas, the new minister at Birmingham Central Synagogue - participated in a ceremony to mark Yom Hazikaron.
The event commemorated those killed in Israel's defence, soldiers held in captivity and victims of terror. The event, held at Birmingham Hebrew Congregation, was organised by the Israel Information Centre and attended by 120 people. The community also celebrated Yom Ha'atzmaut at Birmingham Central where over 140 people enjoyed JerusalemOnlineU.com's film Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference. Birmingham was one of 64 communities across 27 countries, where the film was screened on Israel's 64th birthday.
Edgware Synagogue marked Yom Ha'atzmaut with an evening of music and food. The 230 people at a dinner were addressed by David Turek, 85, who fought in the 1948 War of Independence, and the IDF's Sergeant Benjamin Anthony. Rabbi David Lister interviewed local MP Matthew Offord about Government views on the Middle East. Over £2,000 was raised for shul funds.
The Yom Hazikaron service at Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation was led by Rabbi Aaron Lipsey while Samuel Pearlman said Kaddish. Israeli-born Yael Tankel spoke to the 100-strong audience about a friend who served in the IDF and who was killed in the last Lebanon War, leaving a wife and unborn child. At Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations, Israeli-style food and dancing was on the menu as well as a presentation about Israel by the community's youth. The event was organised by the Representative Council of North East Jewry.
Following a Yom Hazikaron service at Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation led by Rabbi Adrian Jesner, a Yom Ha'atzmaut celebration attracted over 140 people to a blue-and-white bedecked hall. The event raised £750 to aid this summer's trip to London by Israel's Paralympic Games team.
At Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation's Yom Hazikaron service, a candle was lit by Elan Revivo and Rabbi Binyomin Bar read a memorial prayer. The shul's youth then gave a presentation about the IDF. Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations included the girls' choir singing a medley of songs in Hebrew and English for the 100 guests who also danced to Israeli music. The evening raised £600 for Zahal, supporting disabled Israeli veterans.
Almost 70 people celebrated Israeli Independence Day at Sheffield's Kingfield Synagogue. A reception was followed by Rabbi Jonathan Golomb speaking on the importance of supporting Israel, particularly, he said, since at last week's National Union of Students conference in Sheffield the Union of Jewish Students' stall had been vandalised.
Israel's Independence Day was celebrated in style in Belfast with over 100 people enjoying Israeli dancing, cuisine, and a shouk selling arts and crafts in aid of Magen David Adom. The evening at the Jewish community centre began with a service commemorating Israel's war dead, led by Rabbi Menachem Brackman.The event was organised by Paula Tabakin and Sandra Baillie and was sponsored by the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel and the Belfast Jewish community.
LJY-Netzer, the youth movement of Liberal Judaism, and its emissary Adva Sapir, visited nine Liberal communities in a flurry of activity for Yom Ha'atzmaut. The team ran youth activities, as well as adult educational programmes celebrating Israel.