Yom Ha'atzmaut

Yom Ha'atzmaut, or Israel Independence Day commemorates the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. In Israel, Jewish people celebrate the day with fireworks, barbecues, and public concerts. Outside Israel, Jewish communities host parties and gatherings to celebrate. Often, the focus of these events is on Israeli culture, everything from classic Israeli foods -- hummus, falafel, schnitzel, and shawarma -- to Israeli dance, Israeli music, and all things Hebrew. People wear blue and white and wave Israeli flags. You can celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut too by trying Israeli foods, listening to music, and learning about Israel with the books, videos, and activities below.


Engineer Arielle and the Israel Independence Day Surprise

The Shalom Book
by Todd Parr

Recommended for ages 6 Months to 3 Years

For such a little word, “shalom” packs in a lot of meaning -- hello, goodbye, and peace. This simple, dynamic board book explores the many expressions of shalom.

Everybody says Shalom

Everybody Says Shalom
by Leslie Kimmelman

Recommended for ages 3 to 4

The first thing to know about Israel? Everybody says shalom -- a little word that means so many things -- and there are so many places to see and visit.

Engineer Arielle and the Israel Independence Day Surprise

Engineer Arielle and the Israel Independence Day Surprise
by Deborah Bodin Cohen

Recommended for ages 4 to 5

Engineer Ari’s great-great-granddaughter, Arielle, drives a lightrail train through Jerusalem. Readers follow her along her stops on a very festive day -- Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day!

Shmulik Paints the Town

Shmulik Paints the Town
by Lisa Rose

Recommended for ages 5 to 6

Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, is here -- and the mayor wants Shmulik to paint a mural to celebrate. But what should Shmulik paint?


Grover’s Postcards from Israel Playlist via Shalom Sesame

Everyone’s pal, Grover, tours Israel and records video postcards of his journeys. Learn all about Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Jaffa and many other cities in these adorable, short, videos.

What is Yom Ha'atzmaut: Israel Independence Day via BimBam

This video is best for parents and older kids who are looking for an historical overview of Yom Ha’atzmaut.


Make Hummus

Sample the flavors of Israel by making some delicious hummus. Try dipping different veggies and crackers in your hummus, spread it on a sandwich, or stir in roasted red peppers, spinach, or chocolate—yes, chocolate—for dessert hummus.

More Israeli Food Your Kids Will Love!

Wave Flags

Image via Chai and Home

Your family can make your own Israeli flags to wave or put on your own parade. Decorate construction paper or felt with stamps, ink, and markers and attach to a popsicle stick, or follow this tutorial for something a little bit more formal. You can also download a printable flag kit here.

Play Archaeologist

Archaeology is a hobby in Israel and you can fashion your own “dig” in your garden sandbox or by using a storage bin and some garden sand. Bury Israeli coins, “shards” from pottery, shells, rocks, etc. Put archaeologists’ tools in the table, such as sifters and paintbrushes--and dig.


Yom Ha’atzmaut: Israel Independence Day via MyJewishLearning.com