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Celebrating Israeli Pride under sequestering - inside & outside of Israel

Yaakov Kirschen cartoon courtesy 246mag


Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Shimon Deri seen at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem,
where the official national celebrations were held in honor of Israel's
72nd independence day. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 courtesy: Times of Israel)
With Israeli Independence Day events limited or canceled amid coronavirus pandemic, the IDF’s Home Front Command invites parents and kids to recreate part of traditional festivities at home on video to air nationally on television. 

Read more in  "Army calls on families to film home foot drills for Independence Day." The Times of Israel, 25 April 2020.

The good news is that Israel's vigilance against the Wuhan Virus has resulted in keeping her mortality rate lower than in China, the United Kingdom, or the United States.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued this video statement - praising the Israeli public for its patience - and looking forward to more interpersonal conditions in the near future.



According to the Hebrew calendar, Israeli Independence Day (also known as Yom ha Atzma'ut) falls on the 5th of Iyar, which results on a different Gregorian calendar date each year. In 1948 it coincided with May 14th, which is the date it's popularly known for. But in 2020, in falling April 29th rather than later, the absence of celebrations on this date have been anti-climactic.
 
So without outdoor celebrations in N. America this year, let's revisit some of the interesting lovers of Israel we met at last year's outdoor Celebrate Israel Festival in Los Angeles:

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti tells Celebrate Israel Fest of his experiences and
views upon returning from AJC's Project Interchange in Israel
At the Celebrate Israel Fair, L.A. Mayor Garcetti recounted his experience returning from Israel on bi-a partisan, AJC Project Interchange organized trip (led by AJC CEO David Harris) with four other American mayors. They met with Israeli officials and Palestinian civic and business leaders in Judea and Samaria. They also attended the Eurovision song competition in Tel Aviv.


L.A. Councilman Paul Koretz contests mainstream L.A. media's smearing Mayor Eric Garcetti over his support for President Trump's moving the US Embassy to Israel's capital - Jerusalem:



L.A. Councilmember Paul Koretz praises L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's endorsement of the USA relocating her embassy to Jerusalem, Israel's capital- which the L.A. Times reported Friday 17 May - with criticism from two anti-Israel organizations, C.A.I.R., and the "Jewish Voice for Peace."


During the German occupation of France, the SS arrested French Jew, Marc Wiesenfeld, 88, on three separate occasions.



Marc Wiesenfeld, 88, explains what he went through during the Nazification of France - and how, after abandoning his identity to survive among Christian antisemitism, he finds a sense of security from the Jewish autonomy and sovereignty in the Holy Land.



Israel's former National Security Advisor, (ret.) Brig Gen. Jacob Nagel, negotiated the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding with Pres. Barack Obama's administration. Here in 2019, he lauds praise on President Donald Trump's benevolence towards the Jewish state.



Brig. Gen. Nagel is currently a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and visiting professor at the aerospace faculty at the Technion in Haifa. He is also a former head of Israel’s National Security Council and national security advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He led the Israeli experts' team working with the international teams negotiating with Iran on the JCPOA (Iranian nuclear program). He led the negotiations with US on the ten- year, "Memorandum of Understanding," and signed the agreement. While Israeli Brig. Gen. Nagel did secure Obama's negotiators to guarantee 10-years of military aid to Israel, the Democrat administration took away longstanding conditions on for Israel to spend any of the subsidy in its domestic defense industry.


Israeli-American entrepreneur and  Naty Saidoff, on international support for Israel (and Israelis) on their 71st year of independence.


Festival impressario, Naty Saidoff with the Israeli-American Council, discusses views as an Israeli-American riding along with the visiting, Israeli Bicycle Racing Team.


How Jewish-American songwriter, Sam Glaser, reacts to daughter, 19, making her life in Israel?


Performer and producer, Sam Glaser, discusses and describes his experiences in Israel and at the fair - and encourages American support for Western civilization's outpost in the Middle East.


L.A. Jewish Journal publisher, David Suissa, discussed his perspectives on the evolution of Celebrate Israel Fest:


When public gatherings were free and unfettered, in 2018, publisher of Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, David Suissa, remarked on the successful evolution of celebrating Israel's independence in L.A. - during varying conditions for Jews - and certainly for the expression of Israeli pride in public. He expresses how the ability to hold such non-denominational fairs across America is a compliment to how our country has been a largely tolerant refuge for our Jewish-American citizens.


Israeli-Americans, Israel Discount Bank executive Mr. Gal ben Naim and photographer, Orly HaLevy.


Israeli-Americans, Mr. Gal ben Naim of IDB (Israel Discount Bank) and photographer Orly HaLevy, comment on Israel's Independence Day at the Celebrate Israel Fest in L.A. 2019. Mr. ben Naim discusses sending his American kids to learn there - and why int'l citizens should respect Israel. Ms. HaLevy offers kudos to the I.A.C. Israeli American Council and JooTube.TV.


How might a physician's religiousity influence a patient's perception and relationship? Orthodox, Persian-American anesthesiologist:


Dr. Isaac Kourosh Noormand, an orthodox Jewish, Persian-American discusses life as a kippah/yarmulke-wearing anesthesiologist / pain-manager. How would you feel if - in entering a hospital procedure, you encounter a technician, nurse, or doctor wearing an open religious display? Such as a Christian cross pendant? Or a hijab or niqab? How would it vary based on your religion and the medical-provider's religion, such as a Christian patient being treated by a Jewish doctor? What role does the practitioner's orthodoxy or devotion play?

Pastor Rich Escobedo: Celebrate Israel - Christianity's first-line of defense from worldwide jihadism!


Hispanic-American Pastor Richard Escobedo of Compton, Los Angeles (introduced by I.A.C.'s Miri Shepher) interprets why he feels it essential that Christians stand by Israel (and Pres. Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson) for America's supporting her).

Heydon Morales, a Protestant, Latino-American political science student: Why I admire Israel - also what I don't like: - 


The Episcopalian, Latino-American, volunteering at the Fair, considers Jerusalem the capital of the world and believes that Jews should continue managing the reunited city. He voices support for Pres. Trump's Middle East policies, particularly in support of Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iran, despite Saudi Arabia's limitations on Christianity and Judaism. The political science student recognizes the need for a strong US - Israel relationship to protect liberty from fascism, Socialism, and Communism around the world.  

Though Israel held no local Yom ha Atzmaut celebrations outdoors in 2020, here's what Israeli audiences got to see on the annual broadcast television event:


(Live English translation courtesy of i24 News)

Passover & Mimouna - the journey to Israel, America, and now seders via teleconference

Israeli Pres. Reuven Rivlin attends a Moroccan Mimouna dinner in 2017
(Photo: Flash90 courtesy BreakingIsraelNews.com)
Mimouna, the traditional festival celebrated by North African Jews on the last day of Passover, is often overlooked when discussing that Jewish holiday of liberation.


David Suissa, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal (of L.A.) writes of this year's Mimouna in the context of coronavirus sequestration:
On Thursday night, as sundown falls on the holiday of Passover, Sephardic Jews everywhere will celebrate the centuries-old tradition of Mimouna. This is the night when Jews open their doors to their neighbors, offering tables lavish with sweets to usher in a year of sweetness and good fortune. If there’s a Jewish ritual that calls for maximum social connection, Mimouna is it.
As I wrote in a column years ago, “Mimouna represented the love and intimacy of a neighborhood. There’s nothing like popping in to see 10, 20, 30 different neighbors on the same night, most of whom you see all the time.” This year, after centuries of continuity, Mimouna parties around the world will come to a stop, conquered by a tiny virus.
  . . .
As with so many other areas of our lives, the pandemic times are forcing us to accept a new reality.
Laurie Wolf (left) and her family celebrate in a screen shot from a Zoom seder she hosted.
(Photo courtesy: Alaska Public Media)



Avihu Median was hosted by the I.A.C.
Six years ago,  Israeli singer/songwriter Avihu Medina performed at Los Angeles' The Mark venue for the Israeli American Council on Mimouna

The son of a cantor (chazan), Avihu has composed more than 401 Mizrachi (Oriental) songs. As of 2007, he had released nine albums. Mr. Medina is considered by some to be the best-known Oriental singer. He has composed many songs performed by Zohar Argov, considered the King of Mizrahi music. 
 
In this JewTube exclusive video series, Mr. Medina and some of his fans shared their views about the occasion- and about the Moroccan and Yemenite Jewish experience.  Enjoy:


   


Avihu Medina entertains at The Mark in Los Angeles, 2014
While Mr. Medina was pleased that he found so many fans of his music there, he expressed joking regret that conditions are such that so many Israelis have recreated their culture outside of the country, and not contributing to benefit the country.
 


Jewish communities outside of North Africa would also celebrate the end of Passover with similar traditions: the Iraqis customarily went out into nature and took a dip in the Tigris. The Persians also went out into nature. In Egypt, Israel and Turkey, the Jews celebrated the opening of a new year. "- "Ten things you didn't know about Mimouna" by Cafe Gibraltar, +972, April 10, 2015 


How did so many Jewish citizens of predominantly Muslim societies come to Israel?  The Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries, or Jewish exodus from Arab countries, was the departure, flight, expulsion, evacuation and migration of 850,000 Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab countries and the Muslim world, mainly from 1948 to the early 1970s. The last major migration wave took place from Iran in 1979–80, as a consequence of the Iranian Revolution.


SILENT EXODUS from Pierre Rehov on Vimeo.