Sunday, May 5

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

Pre-registration for ticketed events is strongly encouraged.
All programs will take place at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun
(257 West 88th St., between Broadway and West End Avenue).

Street Fair

Come on over for a day of fun, including Israeli bands and dancing, a kosher food extravaganza featuring food trucks and vendors, arts and crafts, places for kids to bounce and climb, dual-language children's theater and face-painting, Israeli crafts for sale, and more!

The street fair will take place from 11 am to 6 pm on West 88th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue.

Mobile Stage Line up

11 am Room for Rent
MusicTalks presents an original score for Leah Goldberg's popular children's book Dira Lehaskir (Room for Rent), which celebrates diversity and equality. Enjoy this timeless classic narrated by actress Shira Averbuch, who will be accompanied by the MusicTalks ensemble. Following the performance, participants will be invited to see the musical instruments up close at our "Musical Instrument Petting Zoo."

12:30 pm Eurovision Showcase
This upbeat concert, featuring singers Ariella Edvy and Judah Gavra, along with the MusicTalks ensemble, will celebrate Israel's participation in Europe's colorful song competition. Host Elad Kabilio will highlight the songs Israel has entered in the competition throughout the years, including winning titles such as "Abanibi," "Hallelujah" and "Toy" by Netta.

1:30 pm Israeli Folk Dancing
Join in dances that combine Middle Eastern, Eastern European, and even Latin and African traditions. Inspired by the jovial ambience of Israeli festivals, world-renowned instructors from the Israeli Dance Institute create a party atmosphere welcoming to both new and long-time learners. No partner necessary-in group dancing, everyone participates! Experience this mix of cultural learning, gentle exercise, and social fun!

2:30 pm Yeladudes Theater Company: Kef in Israel
Join best friends Romy and Gili on a magical adventure in Israel. Travel all around Israel, learn Hebrew, and have a Kif Kuf Kef Time! Gadol and Katan, from Eilat to Golan learning Hebrew and having fun!

3:30 pm Drumming and Sing Along for Families
Join us for a one-of-a-kind adventure into the wild world of percussion. Together with our artists, we will play and sing Israeli songs and learn about the exciting role of rhythm and beat. Get ready to break a sweat as we explore the relationship between rhythm and movement. With a large variety of instruments at hand, everybody gets to play!

4:30 pm Performances by the Choirs of the Upper West Side and others

4:45 Shira B'tzibur with Gilad Paz of MusicTalks
Join Israeli singer Gilad Paz as he leads Shira B'tzibur: a sing-a-long of Israel's most memorable songs by Naomi Shemer, Arik Einstein and many more.

Party by the Shore
Thu, May 9
Israeli Beach Cafe Party

Due to inclement weather, this event has been cancelled.
We apologize for the inconvenience.

The Hudson River becomes the Tel Aviv Tayelet (promenade) as the Upper West Side community comes together to celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut. Come early for kids' activities, or join us at 6:30 pm for an after-work celebration. Great live Israeli music and food included in the ticket price. Your first drink is on us!

Dietary Laws Observed.

Family activities: 5 pm
Happy hour: 6:30 pm

New Location: Ellington in the Park
Enter park on 103rd (ramp on 102nd)
(Riverside Park @ West 105th Street)
$15 per person, free for children under 12

All programs will take place at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun,
257 West 88th St., between Broadway and West End Avenue.

Bipartisan, Israel & Jewish Values
Congressman Nadler will address the community on issues relating to the United States' relationship with Israel and the importance of bipartisanship support for Israel. How do attempts to divide the Jewish community affect American support for Israel?
11:30 am, $10


Religious Pluralism in Israel - A Case Study of Israel Chofsheet-Bfree
Join a conversation with Uri Keidar, Israel Chofsheet's (Bfree) CEO and SAJ's Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann about pluralism in Israel, the struggle for secular marriage, public transportation on Shabbat, LGBTQ rights and the Jewish liberal American perspectives on those topics.
12:30 pm, Free

Disabilities in Israel
Representatives of Israeli organizations for people with disabilities in a conversation about disabilities in Israel, accessibility, inclusivity and more
2:30 pm, Free

Tech Talk
Israel is widely regarded as a startup nation. Join Amir Reuveny (, Dana Mazia ( and Adi Shemesh (; three Israeli entrepreneurs and their very interesting startups for a conversation about the Israeli DNA of tech and entrepreneurship. Moderated by Hila Drechler, WZO representative.
3:45 pm, Free


Discover the Foods of Israel: Culinary Demo
You do not have to travel to Tel Aviv or go to a restaurant with your friends in order to enjoy an Israeli feast and celebrate Yom Haatzmaut this year. Learn how to entertain your friends and family with a table full of a variety of fast and easy dishes according to Mediterranean traditions. Talia Segal Fidler, MS, AADP is a culinary nutritionist, whole foods chef, and she has a master's degree in science of health and nutrition education.
Two sessions: 1 pm and 3 pm, $15

Session 1:

Session 2:

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.
3 pm, $15

The Fashion of Israel
Israel is a unique place, creating and comprising a mind-boggling array of styles, flavors, and colors, as well as talented individuals who use them to make unforgettable creations and collectively move it all forward. Join Israeli fashion expert and lecturer Liraz Cohen for a one-of-a-kind experience–a unique and engaging talk, filled with fun and style, about the history of Israeli style and all the funky modern trends. Your first drink is on us.
4:30 pm, $10


Come learn about Israel with some of the neighborhood's finest teachers and scholars from Hadar, Drisha, and Darkhei Noam:

Dr. Sarit Kattan Gribetz, Drisha
She Built... Jerusalem: Women's Roles in the City's Construction from Antiquity to Now

1:30 pm, Chapel

Talia Graff, Hadar
"Whose Zionism Is It Anyway? Historical Perspectives on Jewish Nationalism and Peoplehood"

2:45 pm, Chapel

Community Beit Midrash
Come learn about Israel with some of the neighborhood's finest teachers and scholars from Yeshivat Maharat, Shalom Hartman Institute and Pardes Rabbanit Goldie Guy (Yeshivat Maharat), Dr. Sarah Wolf (Shalom Hartman Institute), and Maya Zinkow (Pardes). Maya Zinkow: Hayinu K'Cholmim: The Eternal Dream of Zion - Exploring texts of dreaming, sleeping, and yearning for Zion Dr. Sarah Wolf: What Questions are Out of Bounds? We often think of Judaism as encouraging a culture of questioning, but in some contexts, maybe especially that of our relationship to Israel, we consider certain questions to be too problematic. Why? Through the lens of several Talmudic stories about questions, we will explore how we perceive and respond to difficult questions in our own communities. Rabbanit Goldie Guy: "When will Mashiach come?" An exploration of the idea of redemption in Tanach and Chazal.
4 pm, Chapel.

Indoor Performances

Kol Isha: A Tribute to Israel's Most Prominent Female Poets
With a "beguiling voice" (The New York Times), Israeli-American singer-songwriter and actress Shira Averbuch and an all-female Israeli-American ensemble pay tribute to Israel's female poets. Through story and song, Shira will take you on a journey into the heart of Israel's inspiring women of song like- Rachel, Leah Goldberg, Tirtza Atar and more.
2:30 pm, Free

Celebrate 3,000 years of Jerusalem's rich history. Journey through the cultural landscape of this ancient holy ground, and reflect upon its importance to Jews, Muslims, and Christians both in Israel and around the world. This program explores the diversity of cultures that call this city home through an array of musical genres such as klezmer, Ladino, Israeli and Arabic song, gospel and opera.
3:30 pm, $10

Yom Hazikaron and Tekes Maavar

Tekes Yom Hazikaron, Commemorating Israel's Memorial Day
Join us as we mark Yom Hazikaron and memorialize the fallen soldiers of the state of Israel, led by the Shinshinim and Shlichut program, IAC and Chofshi B'Manhattan.

Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan,
334 Amsterdam Avenue @ 76th street
Tuesday, May 7, 7:00 pm, Free

Sharim Vezochrim: Songs of Remembrance
for Yom Hazikaron with Moshe Bonen

Moshe Bonen and his band lead us in singing beloved Israeli songs in memory of Israel's fallen.

Program will be in Hebrew
Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan,
334 Amsterdam Avenue @ 76th street
Tuesday, May 7, 8 pm, $10

Yom Ha'atzmaut Seder
Mark Israel's 71st Independence Day with a festive communal dinner, readings, and songs. Inspired by the traditional Passover Seder, we will eat symbolic foods representing Israeli culture, read inspirational texts retelling Israel's narrative, engage in conversation with both strangers and friends, and sing Israeli oldies. Rabbis of the partnering institutions will also contribute words of Torah. Register now, as seats are limited. This program led by B'nai Jeshurun, Congregation Habonim, Sha'are Zedek, and Hadar.

B'nai Jeshurun,
Wednesday, May 8, 7-8:30 pm $18 per-person

Tefilah Chagigit and transition Tekes
West Side Institutional,
Wednesday, May 8, 7 pm

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