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photo by Nathan



by Nathan Kirshner, grade 8 student, Gray Academy of Jewish Education



This year I attended the community Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration which was co-ordinated by the Rady Jewish Community Centre and held in the Rady JCC gym. I hadn't attended the celebration in the past few years and was glad I decided to go to it this year. When I walked in, the atmosphere was ecstatic. It was one of the only times of the year when you can see a very large portion of Winnipeg’s Jewish community all come together. There were also many friends of mine and other students from Gray Academy who attended. In addition to activities such as face painting and temporary tattoos, there was also an “Israeli inspired” menu at Schmoozers restaurant, with delicious foods such as falafel, pita and hummus, Israeli salad and more. The new Bermax cafe also had a stand where you could purchase different colorful drinks. There were lots of activities targeting younger children.



During the evening there were performances put on by students at Brock Corydon School and Gray Academy, as well as, a performance by Shaarey Zedek’s one and only Dor Chadash Youth Choir (formerly known as junior chazzanim) led by Cantor Anibal Mass. The gym was packed! I have never seen it so full with people, with everybody enjoying the festivities. There was also a large variety of people, including new immigrants to the community, all of whom came together as one, showing their pride in Israel. The saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun” was pretty much a description of this event. The night concluded with a wonderful display of fireworks with everyone standing outside and cheering together.


I never had anticipated that it would be so much fun. Another bonus for me was that I got to meet up with friends that did not go to the same school as I did because we met at Camp Massad or somewhere. It just shows how strong the bond in the Jewish community is.


My favorite part of the evening was the performances, because I had the opportunity to hear different people sing, including some that I had not realized had such good voices. It was also the moment when you could see all of the hard work pay off. 


Overall, this was a wonderful celebration of Israel’s birthday and I hope this community celebration stays for the years to come. If I could recommend one improvement, it would be to add an activity that would be especially designed to attract teenagers like me, in addition to the activities which are designed to attract younger children.

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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.