The Hebrew Academy community gathered for a Yom Hazikaron ceremony and a Yom Haatzmaut celebration at the school on Wednesday night to remember the fallen soldiers and terror victims and to celebrate Israel’s independence.
The ceremony in the school auditorium focused on the commemoration of four soldiers who fell in the Second Lebanon War of 2006: Adam Goren, Uri Grossman, Alex Bonimovich and Benaya Rein. They were soldiers of the unit “Koach Benaya,” fighting together for Israel. On August 12th, 2006, the four left base in a tank, and terrorists shot at them, killing the unit of four.
After the commemoration of the four soldiers, the ceremony shifted gears into life after war, portraying Jews of different backgrounds describing why they love Israel. The kindergarten and middle school boys performed dances, the 8th grade girls did a flag dance and the choir sang Israeli songs. These upbeat performances showed that the four soldiers didn’t die in vain. Because of them and many before them, who stood to defend the Jewish people in their homeland, Israel is now celebrating 68 years of Independence.
“It opened my eyes to really think about Israel and what they go through to defend us as a land and a mission,” said Hannah Mayer (9th grade).
After the ceremony concluded, everyone convened on the outdoor basketball courts for Yom Haatzmaut festivities. Israeli food was for sale and a fireworks show filled the sky. Hebrew Academy students of all ages and their families danced, sang and laughed together in celebration of Israel’s birthday.
Many students and community members said the event was powerful.
“Between the ceremony, the fireworks and everyone that surrounded me, I felt really great about Israel in my heart,” said Melanie Arougeti (11th grade).
By: Raquel Zohar