By Maya Tripp, Jewish Life & Culture Manager
How to celebrate Israel all year long, and also on its independence day?
Israel will be 73 on April 15, and Jewish Silicon Valley — committed to strengthening the Jewish people here, in Israel, and around the world — will continue to build bridges and opportunities to connect to the land.
• Attend the outdoor Israel Independence Day celebration at the APJCC on April 25 between 10:00am-2:00pm. Open to all, family friendly, following the current COVID-19 guidelines and full of fun and learning of Israel!
• Watch the flag raising ceremony at San Francisco City Hall of Israel Consulate General with the San Francisco-Haifa Sister City event on April 14 at 7:00pm. On Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/israelinsf
You don’t need a Facebook account to watch! Simply go to www.facebook.com/israelinsf on April 14 at 7:00pm and the live video will automatically begin playing.
• Show pride in the Israeli Netflix hit “Shtisel,” and attend a 2-meeting series to meet the series’ creator and learn about Orthodox Jews. Register here.
• Learn Hebrew, and practice it with the many Hebrew speakers you can find in the bay area. Teach your kids Hebrew in Beged Kefet, at Yavneh Day School, or at one of the many synagogue Hebrew schools in the South Bay.
• Sign up to receive the APJCC’s Jewish Life and Culture newsletter, for various events and programs that create and maintain meaningful connections with Israel and between people who are interested in Israel.
• Do you have a story/ joke/ song about Israel? Register to perform at our “Burning Down the House” open mic night on 4/27 at 8:00pm!
• Interested in learning Israeli folk dance? Let us know! Email [email protected]
• Tour Israel over the summer, and let us know which authors/ performers/ artists and presenters influenced and inspired you. We might bring them to speak or perform to our community! Email [email protected]
And here are some fun facts about Israel from the ADL:
In the world’s fastest coronavirus vaccine rollout to date, Israel has given at least one shot to nearly 60% of its residents
• 43% of the world’s Jews live in Israel. (2017)
• Over one tenth of the Israeli population is 65 or older.
• There are approximately 186,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel. (2016)
• The Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth at about 1,300 feet (400 m) below sea level, lies at the southern end of the Jordan Valley.
• The Mount of Olives in Israel is the oldest continually used cemetery in the world.
• The cell phone was developed in Israel at the Israeli branch of Motorola. Other major high-tech companies, including Google, Apple, Intel and Microsoft, have significant presences in Israel.
• Relative to its overall population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth.
• The IDF’s policies regarding LGBT soldiers are recognized as among the world’s most accepting, ensuring that no soldiers are discriminated against based on their sexual orientation. In 2014, the IDF introduced new guidelines to ensure a supportive environment for transgender soldiers.
• Israel is one of the world’s leaders in the per capita number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 140 per 10,000 workers.
• Israel bank notes have braille on them so the blind can identify them.
• Israel is a world leader in in-vitro fertilization.
• Israel has more museums per capita than any other country in the world.
• In recent years, Tel Aviv has been consistently ranked as a top international tourist destination for its culture, cuisine, nightlife, architecture and large LGBT community.