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Students Commemorate Israel with Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut Programs

Hundreds of students filled the Wilf Campus’ Lamport Auditorium May 5 for Yeshiva University’s Yom Hazikaron (Israel Memorial Day) ceremony honoring Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror. The student-led event featured a candle lighting ceremony and video presentation, as well as remarks from Yehuda Avner, former Israeli diplomat; President Richard M. Joel; Dr. Wolf Lebovic, Canadian communal leader and recent YU honorary degree recipient; and Rabbi Meir Goldwicht, Joel and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva.

After the moving program, students proceeded to the Max Stern Athletic Center for a night of dancing and refreshments at the annual Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) Chagigah celebrating Israel’s 66th birthday.

Yom Ha’atzmaut festivities continued May 6 with a Tefillah Chagigit, a special prayer service, followed by breakfast and a Yom Iyun dedicated to learning about the importance of Israel. After a seudah [meal] for the men in the Max Stern Athletic Center and a mesiba [gathering] for the women in Weissberg Commons, a festive outdoor celebration was held in Tenzer Gardens in the afternoon, featuring a concert, barbecue, carnival and art exhibit.

“There’s nothing like celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut at YU,” said Arel Levkovich, ’15YC. “It’s amazing to see so many people coming together from all different parts of the University to show their support for the state of Israel. The programs were well done and helped me get into the spirit of the day.”

For Tammy Last ’14S, the festivities were particularly meaningful. “I’m making aliyah [emigration to Israel] this summer and I’m enjoying my last Yom Ha’atzmaut here with all my friends from Stern, at this beautiful celebration. It’s nice to be able to dance and celebrate with so many people who all love Israel like I do.”