Honoring the 73rd year of Israel’s independence, several landmark buildings across the United States will light up in Blue and White, which are the primary colors of the Israeli flag, starting today evening, through Thursday.
To honor Yom Ha’aztmaut, buildings across the country will display the two colors beginning on the night of April 14 and through April 18 as part of a “Celebrate Israel” festival organized by the Israeli-American Council (IAC). The festival will also feature a global concert by Israeli musicians Idan Raichel, Rami Kleinstein, T-Slam, and Sarit Hadad. The performance will be live-streamed across the United States from Israel’s Jerusalem International Convention Center at 7 p.m. on April 18.
Among these landmarks in the country are Austin City Hall, Boston City Hall, and Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, Cleveland’s Terminal Tower, Denver City Hall, Las Vegas City Hall, and Los Angeles City Hall. Also participating will be several town halls in New Jersey areas that have a substantial Israeli-American population, including Closter, Demarest, Fairlawn, and Tenafly.
Meanwhile, other American cities are holding their own events on different dates between the 14th and the 18th of April, in honor of the country. These include several festivities planned for New York City’s Times Square; a drive-through car parade in St. Louis; an Israeli-style tailgate party in Boston; drive-in events with Israeli music and food in Las Vegas and Los Angeles; and even a tournament of the classic Israeli pastime of backgammon (known locally as shesh-besh) in Rochester, along with other events nationwide.
“The Celebration of the Jewish state is a privilege and duty,” IAC CEO and co-founder Shoham Nicolet said in a statement. “This is why we had no question that even during a pandemic we must celebrate Israel. We are taking innovative and creative steps, to make sure we have a safe way to celebrate together as one community from coast to coast.”
To commemorate Israel’s fallen soldiers, on Wednesday, Yakir Ben-Moshe and other community members will host a writing experience, and will read songs and stories about bereavement and loss, to address the collective pain felt on this day. On the 15th of April, celebrations will be underway in St. Louis, Missouri at a Drive-In Community-Wide Yom Ha’Atzmaut Celebration in the back parking lot of the JCC Staenberg Family Complex.
Similar celebrations will take place across, Austin, Texas; Aventura, Florida; Denver, Colorado; East Bay, CA; Arizona; Huntington Beach, CA and Rochester, New York, among several others.