By Bill Finkelstein
Israel is a place like no other. It holds a special place in the hearts of Jews worldwide, with a strong sense of community and connection that is palpable. As we approach Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, it’s a time to reflect on the profound significance of this momentous day.
For many, Yom HaAtzmaut represents a triumph over years of persecution and hardship, a moment to celebrate the Jewish people’s resilience and strength. It’s a day to remember the struggles that led to Israel’s establishment and to honor the sacrifices made by those who came before us.
But Yom HaAtzmaut is also a day of celebration, a time to rejoice in Israel’s many accomplishments and contributions to the world. Did you know that Israel has a rich history of technological innovation? In fact, many of the technologies that we use today were developed by Israeli companies and innovators. For example, Microsoft-Israel developed much of the Windows NT operating system, while Israeli engineers developed the Pentium MMX chip, voice mail technology and ICQ. Israel is home to more than 3,000 high-tech companies, making it a major hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. Some of the technologies that have been developed in Israel, such as the USB stick, AOL Messenger, Disk-on Key, PillCam, Waze and Moovit, have had a profound impact on our lives and have changed the world as we know it. Today, Israel continues to be at the forefront of technological innovation, developing new and exciting technologies that will shape the future of our world.
Military parades, fireworks and state ceremonies are all part of this annual celebration, as well as other festivities such as lectures, concerts and cultural performances. In Dallas, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas sponsors a Yom HaAtzmaut celebration at the JCC that brings the community together to show support for Israel and connect with Jewish counterparts in Israel.
Beyond the celebrations, Yom HaAtzmaut is also a reminder of the work that still needs to be done. The Jewish people have faced countless challenges over the centuries, including exile, persecution and genocide. The Holocaust remains a painful reminder of the dangers of antisemitism and the importance of standing up for Jewish rights.
The work of organizations like the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas is essential in supporting Israel and the global Jewish community. From cultural and educational programs to community security and advocacy, the impact of the Federation’s annual campaign powers a range of vital services and programming that save and improve lives and build flourishing Jewish communities.
As we celebrate Israel’s 75th birthday, let’s take a moment to reflect on the country’s accomplishments and challenges. Let’s celebrate the spirit and resilience of the Israeli people, and let’s continue to work together to build a strong and developing Jewish Israel for all its citizens.
So, come and join the party with the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas at the JCC celebrating Israel’s 75th birthday on Sunday, April 30! You’ll have the chance to sample foods, drink, dance and celebrate with Itay Levi, one of the most popular stars of Israeli TV and Mizrahi music. It’s a time to come together and celebrate the spirit and resilience of the Israeli people, and to continue building a strong and vibrant Jewish community.
Tickets are available at https://jccdallas.org/event/israel75/.
Mazel tov to the State of Israel on celebrating 75 years of independence! May you enjoy a time of peace, unity and economic and social growth.
Bill Finkelstein is the board chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.