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Raise the Profile of the Celebration

[Editor’s note: The folllowing was written after the Community Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations in May 2009]

By Rhonda J Spivak, B.A., L.L.B.

In past years, for Yom Ha’atzmaut our community brought in Israeli entertainment, which  had the crowd  of adults, youth,  and children up on their feet dancing and singing ( For example, this was the case when Irit Banit and Oded Shmueli performed here forYom Ha’atzmaut  in 2005). 

In my view, this is the model for Yom Ha’atzmaut that we as a community should be striving to achieve.

I stayed until the end of this years Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations  but by about  twenty after eight everyone had gone home.  While  local entertainers featured  this year performed well, the event  generates more excitement and enthusiasm when we bring in out of town  Israeli entertainment.  Others  I have spoken to about this feel the same way.

To bring in this type of entertainment costs money but is well worth it. Sometimes, it is possible to bring in an Israeli  singer or group from the United States, making it more affordable. 

It is necessary that during times of celebration we make our best effort to celebrate. We must not skimp when we are celebrating life, and renewal.

This means that the costs for this kind of entertainment  must be put in the budget now for next year, and if no one organization has enough funds, then hopefully  a number of them can join  together to contribute,  so that funding can be arranged.  If not, then an application to the Jewish Foundation can be made. If necessary, efforts also can be made to attract corporate or private sponsors for the event. 

Perhaps more funding should be given to the Rady JCC’s Israeli Concert Series to allow for the presentation of an Israel performer at Yom Ha’azmaut.

Which ever route is chosen, planning  must be done months in advance to arrange this type of entertainment for Yom Ha’atzmaut.

In the last several years, virtually all of  the new immigrants to our city have been Russian Israelis,  many of whom have served in the I.D.F.  These new immigrants speak Hebrew, are familiar with Israeli music,  want to mark Yom Ha’atzmaut and would attend with their young families, especially if we had an Israeli singer.  Yom Ha’atzmaut with Israeli entertainers would no doubt be a draw for them, as well as for others in the community. 

There is only one State of Israel. Its birthday is only once a year. We ought to raise the profile of  the celebration.   



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.