Join us in celebrating historical and current events surrounding the Balfour Declaration Centenary.
Lecture by Eyal Offenbach
[the dates and programme have still to be finalized]
Yom HaShoa, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, is observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. It is a national memorial day.
Yom HaShoah opens in Israel at sundown in a state ceremony held in Warsaw Ghetto Square at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes Authority, in Jerusalem. During the ceremony the national flag is lowered to half mast, the President and the Prime Minister both deliver speeches, Holocaust survivors light six torches symbolizing the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust and the Chief Rabbis recite prayers.
On Yom HaShoah, ceremonies and services are held at schools, military bases and by other public and community organizations.
On the eve of Yom HaShoah and the day itself, places of public entertainment are closed by law. Israeli television airs Holocaust documentaries and Holocaust-related talk shows, and low-key songs are played on the radio. Flags on public buildings are flown at half mast. At 10:00 a.m., an air raid siren sounds throughout the country and Israelis are expected to observe two minutes of solemn reflection. Almost everyone stops what they are doing, including motorists who stop their cars in the middle of the road, standing beside their vehicles in silence as the siren is sounded.
Yom Hazikaron, in full: "Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism", is Israel's official remembrance day. While the day has been traditionally dedicated to fallen soldiers, commemoration has also been extended to civilian victims of terrorism.
By law, all places of entertainment are closed on the eve of Yom Hazikaron, and broadcasting and educational bodies note the solemnity of the day.
Memorial candles are lit in homes, army camps, schools, synagogues, and public places, and the flags are lowered to half staff. Throughout the day serving and retired military personnel serve as honor guards at war memorials throughout the country, and the families of the fallen participate in memorial ceremonies at military cemeteries.
The day opens with a siren the preceding evening at 8:00 pm and s two-minute siren is sounded at 11:00 am the following morning.
The 70h birthday of the State of Israel
An official ceremony is held every year on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem on the evening of Independence Day. The ceremony includes a speech by the speaker of the Knesset, artistic performances, a Flag of Israel, forming elaborate structures such as a Menorah or Magen David, and the ceremonial lighting of twelve torches, one for each of the Tribes of Israel.
Every year a dozen Israeli citizens, who made a significant social contribution in a selected area, are invited to light the torches. Many cities hold outdoor performances in cities' squares featuring leading Israeli singers and fireworks displays. Streets around the squares are closed to cars, allowing people to sing and dance in the streets!
The San Remo Convention was an international meeting of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council; granting the right under international law for Jews to settle anywhere in western Palestine - the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. One should keep the San Romero conference in mind to remind us Jews of our rights to our ancestral home.
We have reason to celebrate the anniversary of the League of Nations Mandate, the Land of Israel which was previously part of the Ottoman Empire was taken by the British after WWI, which granted us the opportunity to establish the State of Israel with thanks to the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement.
The mandate was drafted by the victors of World War I. The mandates consisted of two phases: The formal removal of sovereignty of the state previously controlling the territory and the transfer of mandatory powers to individual states among the Allied Powers.
This is a day every Jew should remember as an important step toward establishing relations of peace and harmony with our Arab neighbors.
The resolution recommended the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States and a Special International Regime for the city of Jerusalem, but was not implemented.