By: Adi Gorbman (Shinshinite in Denver)
This year, I celebrated the birth of Israel for the first time on the other side of the world, and it felt very strange. How could I celebrate a country’s birth without being physically there? Then I stopped and thought: this is what Americans do every year.
In Israel, there are a wide variety of celebrations for Yom Haatzmaut. The whole country knows and hears about the celebrations, the fireworks, and the performances on the lighted streets. And here, Independence Day is a normal day, not a special day. Everything goes on as usual, going to bed on time, waking up on time, and going to work.
In Israel, the celebrations continue until the morning – everyone is dancing and happy and celebrating the fact that we have a country and a Jewish state.
The celebrations here were different for me, but it is an experience of its own just like all of this year was. I celebrated at every institution I worked at, starting with celebrations at the Jewish school in Denver with stations related to Israel. We also celebrated at the JCC with the kindergarten kids, military games and an obstacle course.
In Jewish club, every day we did a different activity related to Independence Day. After that, I celebrated with the Hillel at CU – we even celebrated twice. On Friday, graffiti artists came in and made a beautiful work in honor of Independence Day. And, of course, we celebrated with music and good food.
On Sunday, we screened the IAC show and celebrated the country’s real birthday. I felt proud to be an Israeli. I will not lie. I am thankful for every opportunity I have been given here and for every moment I have here. I am proud to be an Israeli and part of the amazing country! And finally, Israel, I wish you a happy birthday!