Sunday, April 15

Join the celebration! The Upper West Side's synagogues, schools, and Jewish organizations are coming together for a neighborhood-wide celebration of Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. The UWS Celebrates Israel is powered by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan and the UWS Celebrates Israel Coalition and made possible by UJA-Federation.

Pre-registration for ticketed events is strongly encouraged.

Limited walk-in availability on the day of the event.

All programs will take place at Peter Norton Symphony Space
(2537 Broadway at 95th Street)

Due to the forecast, all Street Fair activities will take place at Ansche Chesed, 251 W. 100th St.
Come on over for a day of fun, including Israeli music and dancing, a kosher food extravaganza featuring food trucks and vendors, arts and crafts, places for kids to bounce and climb, a puppet show and face-painting, Israeli crafts for sale, and more!

Kosher Food Festival
11 am - 5 pm

Games & Play
11 am - 5 pm

Ella Comes Back to Israel
11 am

The Story of Israel Through Song
12:30 pm

Urban Beit Midrash
1 - 6 pm

The choirs from the Heschel school, the Heschel Half Notes and the Heschel Harmonizers will perform a variety of Hebrew songs.
4:30 pm

Rain location: Congregation Ansche Chesed
11 am - 5 pm, Free

"Quite simply, it's one of the most exciting bands in world music right now."
— Time Out Chicago

Yemen Blues

Join us for a concert with the renowned Israeli group Yemen Blues. Drawing on a powerful mixture of Yemenite, West African,​ and jazz influences, charismatic founder and vocalist Ravid Kahalani uses his Jewish-Yemeni tradition as a base to explore global musical sounds. Hailed by fans for their high-energy and unique sound, coupled with their belief that music transcends differences, Yemen Blues will transport our community, bringing us together in celebration and song. Don't miss your chance to see this amazing group perform live!

Click here for tickets
Peter Norton Symphony Space
$18 includes a $5 contribution to UJA-Federation


Ambassador Dennis Ross: Israel at 70
A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ambassador Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has served as special assistant to President Obama, as National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and for one year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. For more than 12 years, Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process, serving as the U.S. point man in the administrations of both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. During the Reagan administration, he served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs to the National Security Council staff and as deputy director of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment. Rabbi Dovid Zirkind (The Jewish Center) will be opening the program.

Click here for tickets.

Peter Norton Symphony Space's Leonard Nimoy Thalia
10:30 am, $10

Ella Comes Back to Israel
Join MusicTalks for a fun-filled musical journey based on the children's book Ella's Trip to Israel, and discover breathtaking sites such as Jerusalem and the Kotel, the Dead Sea and an Israeli shuk. Ella's magical journey through Israel will be brought to life with a sing-along of well-known Israeli tunes such as "Hine Ma Tov" and "David Melech Israel," narrated and sung by actress Shira Averbuch, as well as original music composed by Or Matias and performed by a musical ensemble. Following the performance, participants will be invited to see the musical instruments up close at our "Musical Instrument Petting Zoo." Rabbi Lisa Gelber (Congregation Habonim) will open the program.

Bandstand @ the Street Fair
11 am, Free

The Story of Israel Through Song
Join MusicTalks for an upbeat look at the history of Israeli song and its most inspiring cultural figures. We'll start with Naomi Shemer, who revealed in the beauty and wonder of the young land and the foundation of our nation, moving on to the era of the popular army bands, aiding the nation through its hardships, and the rise of Mizrahi music with icons such as Zohar Argov. Learn how the Eurovision Song Contest fed the current trend of world music, and how young musical innovators such as Idan Raichel are blending the diverse cultures that make up the Israeli nation.

Bandstand @ Street Fair
12:30 pm, Free

Urban Beit Midrash
Come learn with some of the neighborhood's finest teachers and scholars.

1-2 pm
Rabbi Avi Killip, Hadar: From the Flood to the Rainbow – A Taste of Israeli Women's Midrash. The first crisis and covenant are inextricably linked. Together we will examine the biblical flood narrative, as well as a modern interpretation from the book Dirshuni, a collection of modern Israeli women's Midrash.

1 – 2 pm @ the Street Fair
Rabbi Jonah Geffen and Hadas Fischer, Congregation Shaare Zedek: hevruta-style learning of texts from the Jewish tradition and contemporary Israeli writers contemplating the experience and meaning of living in the city.

3 – 4 pm
Rabbi Moshe Grussgott, Congregation Ramat Orah, discusses 'Jerusalem as the Center of World Peace: One Potential Vision of the Messianic Age'

4 – 5 pm
Rabbi Daniel Sherman, West Side Institutional Synagogue

5-6 pm
Wendy Amsellem, Drisha: Bathhouses, Markets, and the Needs of the Nation/State. In Israel today, centuries of dreams collide with the practical challenges of modern nationhood. We will analyze the struggle between an idealized society and its real world needs as it is depicted in a narrative in the Babylonian Talmud.

Peter Norton Symphony Space's Leonard Nimoy Thalia

UWS Rabbis Forum
The adage "two Jews, three opinions" is perhaps nowhere more true than when it comes to how we relate to Israel. Come hear Rabbi David Ingber (Romemu), Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky (Congregation Ansche Chesed), Rabbi Robert Levine (Congregation Rodeph Sholom), Rabbi Shaul Robinson (Lincoln Square Synagogue), and Rabbi Joy Levitt (Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan), share what they struggle with and celebrate on the occasion of Israel's 70th birthday. Moderated by Rabbi Abigail Treu (Director, David H. Sonabend Center for Israel, Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan).

Click here for tickets.

Leonard Nimoy Thalia @ Symphony Space,
2pm, $5

Food for Thought with Gil Hovav
Join one of Israel's most popular foodies for stories about Israel's food culture while you learn to make three different Israeli salads. Gil Hovav, Israel's leading culinary journalist, has written three best-selling books, hosts a weekly radio show, and is the force behind some of Israel's most popular cooking shows on television. UWS Shaliah Hai Piasezky will open the program.

Click here for tickets

Bar Thalia @ Symphony Space
2:30 pm, $5

Let's Dance! Is a documentary about the phenomenal success of Israeli contemporary modern dance. It examines how Israel, despite its reputation as a militaristic and "macho society, became a recognized world leader in modern dance, and is responsible for part of its historical development. Through spectacular pieces of video- dance, rich archive material, interviews, and visual demonstrations, the film follows the circumstances that made Israeli modern dance one of the greatest local cultural achievements to date.

4:30 pm, $5

Click here for tickets

A Taste of the Israeli Vineyard: Wine-Tasting with Haim Amit
Learn about Israel's wine scene and sample something new with Haim Amit, wine connoisseur and owner of the neighborhood's favorite wine bar and restaurant, Vino Levantino.

Click here for tickets

Bar Thalia @ Symphony Space
4:30 pm, $10

Sharim Vezochrim: Songs of Remembrance for Yom Hazikaron
Moshe Bonen and his band lead us in singing beloved Israeli songs in memory of Israel's fallen.

Click here for tickets

Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan,
334 Amsterdam Ave @ 76th Street
Tuesday Night, April 17
8 pm, $5


Come together at communal gatherings to commemorate those who have lost their lives for the State of Israel and the moving transition from loss into celebration, a key feature of Israeli culture and life.

Wednesday, April 18


Click here to view lots of amazing community Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations