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Honolulu's Jews gather for Israel independence day celebration

Traditional Middle-Eastern goodies courtesy of Moishe & Lilly
Traditional Middle-Eastern goodies courtesy of Moishe & Lilly

Yesterday was Israel's commemoration of Yom Hazikaron, the national memorial day, honoring the fallen heroes, and all those who have served in the defence of Israel. It precedes Yom Ha'atzmaut, literally "Day of the Independence," which is observed today in Israel and all over the world in Jewish communities at various times during spring.

Chef Yudi Weinbaum
Chabad of Hawaii

The 8th Annual Israel Day Hawaii Festival will be held on Sunday May 2nd, 2010 at Skygate Park on the lawn fronting the Frank F. Fasi Municipal Building in Downtown Honolulu.

It just so happens that the Honolulu observance of Yom Ha'atzmaut will be held on Lag B'Omer, a Jewish holiday marking 33 days between Pesach and Shavuot.

"You shall count for yourselves -- from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving -- seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days..." -Leviticus 23:15-16

"You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu'ot for the L-RD, your G-d" -Deuteronomy 16:9-10

Though there will be no bon-fires, as is the tradition in Israel, there will be plenty of lively entertainment, including the six-piece Israeli Sunlight Orchestra, lead by Eddie Grimberg. Hora! Israeli Circle Dancers will perform and demonstrate the traditional "circle" style dancing that makes this event such a wonderful time.

This is a family event which includes Kosher Israeli and Jewish food from Chef Yudi Weinbaum's catering company Oahu Kosher, as well as Kosher dogs and burgers from Chabad of Hawaii. Other food vendors, shave-ice and deserts will abound, as well as booths selling Judaica, Crafts, and official event gear.

As usual, this annual event is open to the public, and admission is free. Parking is free as well, whether it's on the street of in the underground lot (enterence on Beretania Street). Skygate Park is located at 650 South King St. in Honolulu, near the intersection of King St., Kapiolani Blvd., and Alapai St. The Festival begins at 11:00 am and ends at 5:00 pm. Free public and street parking. More information at


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