Last night flags were waved, toes were tapping and people were singing along as the Victorian community came together to celebrate Israel’s 66th birthday.
The Melbourne Recital Centre, provided the perfect venue for ths incredible celebration. Young and old celebrated as they revelled in Israel’s rich tapestry of cultures and traditions – a tapestry that weaves together old and young, east and west to bring a completely new and vibrant look and sound to the world.
The transition from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut was a poignant occasion and as we neared the close of the period of reflection and sorrow, we honour and stand proud in recognition of the Israeli Defence Forces, members of other security forces and all those who strive for peace and security for all Israel’s citizens and for Jews around the world.
Yom Ha’atzmaut is a celebration of a country that for 66 years has offered the world the fruits of its innovation and resourcefulness. A country who have offered the Jews of the Diaspora a homeland and a country for which we are extremely grateful and proud.
School groups, youth movements and community leaders all played a vital part in making the sold out concert a successful event. The headline act of the concert, Lior did not disappoint. His velvet voice weaving a story of his childhood songs and memories, bringing an extra special angle to the event.
Musical director Adam Starr outdid himself yet again bringing a perfect mix of old and new to the venue.
Zionist Council of Victoria’s President, Sam Tatarka said:
“Israel thrives at 66 years of age, the nation State and homeland of the Jewish people is a truly amazing country that has achieved so much in its short history and looks set to go on doing so for many years.
“In the coming year the Zionist Council will continue its efforts in advocating for the State. We will give the community the opportunity to engage with the issues through the provision of a range of stimulating, thought provoking and educational activities that give expression of diversity of opinion and perspective. Activities that inform an empower people to engage with Israel and the issues that continue to confront it as it develops in the years to come.
“At the heart of all our efforts is the hope that Israel will one day live in peace and harmony amongst its neighbours. May that day indeed come soon.”
His Excellency, Shmuel Ben-Shmuel, Israel’s Ambassador to Australia said:
“To be independent, to be free, and to have the right to express our own destiny as a people and as a nation was a dream that we kept alive even in the darkest moments our history.
“Perhaps one of our greatest successes to date is the State of Israel’s commitment to protecting our fellow humans; preserving their right to survival – no matter their religion, creed or ethnicity.
“Israel is a true success story. A small country with already six world-class universities, more scientific papers and Nobel Prizes per capita than any other nation, and the most advanced high-tech sector outside of Silicon Valley.
“It brings me great pride to see Israel’s national day celebrated with as much passioin and pleasure here, as it is in the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, because this is truly one of the most warm, passionate, and committed Zionist communities I have ever seen.”
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