Halfway through Yom Ha'atzmaut in Los Angeles, nearing the end of the day in New York, and with the celebrations already behind them in the Birthday country, most people have already found a way to celebrate Israel's 61st birthday. For instance, I like to take this moment during the calendar year to look through my photos, and revisit the real promise of the Promised Land: "Almost-Free Pizza."
But just in case you haven't yet celebrated, or want to celebrate more, here are a few ways to connect with the land and people of Israel in the remaining moments of the day and throughout the year ahead, as we look forward to 62 and beyond.
Recite this special Israel Independence Day version of "Al Hanisim," a prayer traditionally said on Chanukah and Purim. This new version is composed by Avi Shmidman (an old friend of my brother's) and Bentzi Spitz, and here's some additional explanation from the authors:
Here are two writers' takes on celebrating Israel: at Beliefnet, Rabbi Brad Hirschfeld takes on "Loving Israel As a Model for Loving Anything or Anyone"; while some oleh named Benji Lovitt, in a guest blog over at JPost, shares "61 More Things I Love About Israel."
Want to know how Jerusalemites celebrated - and continue to celebrate all week? Check out go-to source Jerusalem.com and sister site Jerusalemite.net to experience some of the diverse celebrations of Jerusalem residents.
Living or looking to live in Tel Aviv? Check out Telalivit, a new social network designed for people in Tel Aviv. Telalivit's mission is to encourage greater social cohesion in Israel's multicultural society by facilitating the absorption of olim, all the while presenting a different face of Israel to a broader international audience. Telalivit values the principle of collective responsibility and will work together with the community in pursuing its objectives.
Want to Tweet your support for Israel? Birthright Israel next (@BI_NEXT on Twitter) has launched the #israel61 hashtag for all related/celebratory tweets and created a special, embeddable widget following the Independence Day conversation. You can check out the widget at the NEXT homepage. Tag your Tweets with #israel61, and they'll be fed into the widget on the site. NEXT also has a list of local celebrations and parties.
"Hatikvah" like you've never heard it before...This “Hativkah” video is an expression of hope and optimism, with a new beat. In a time when the image of Israel is too often of war and conflict, “Hope Remixed” celebrates Israel’s diversity, beauty, history, and modernity. Sponsored by Hillel and created by Dewdrop Films.