Israel’s Independence Day is widely celebrated in Israel through state ceremonies, parties, barbecues and military fly-overs. Whilst Israelis celebrated, CAMERA-supported groups also hosted numerous events on campus to mark Israel’s 69th birthday. Students from Bulldogs for Israel at Brooklyn College, MIT Friends of Israel, EMET Israel at the University of Miami and RCC Friends of Israel at Rockland Community College all hosted various parties, carnivals and educational events.
The party at Brooklyn College had a strong emphasis on informing attendees how Israel has benefited the world, with stands promoting the work of Israeli charity IsrAID and Israeli company SodaStream. The party featured music, cotton candy, fresh popcorn, henna and sandwiches, attracting a large number of visitors.
The Israel celebrations continued at MIT, where CAMERA-supported MIT Friends of Israel hosted a Yom Ha’azmaut Carnival to educate students about Israel and celebrate the Jewish state’s existence with the MIT student body. The carnival included camel rides, a photo booth, cotton candy, inflatables and food trucks. The carnival also had a strong emphasis on Israeli culture, with a hummus-making contest in which several groups of students made hummus from scratch!
In a typically Israeli style, Rockland Community College Friends of Israel celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut by hosting a barbecue which featured lively Israeli music. The party also included sports, games, and dancing, which attracted otherwise uninvolved students to join and hear about Israel’s Independence Day. Students enjoyed the blue-and-white theme of the party, and were engaged in discussions, learning more about the meaning of the day and the importance of Israel as a democratic state and homeland of the Jews in the Middle East.
At the University of Miami, EMET Israel members offered students a break from their finals with fun Israel-related activities and explained to students how Israel celebrates the holiday of Yom Ha’atzmaut. The event was so successful that over 50 new students signed up to be part of the club.
The parties, celebrations and carnivals were a great way to wrap up a successful year for CAMERA-supported organizations, with all events occurring in central campus locations, attracting large numbers of students from various different backgrounds and beliefs to celebrate Israel’s independence.
Contributed by Daniel Kosky, CAMERA Intern