Observing Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha'atzmaut


Yom Hazikaron (Israel Memorial Day) and Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) are observed on the fourth and fifth of Iyar, respectively (typically in April and/or May) unless that date should occur on Shabbat, in which case they may be moved forward or back a day.   


Following on the heels of Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom Hazikaron honors Israeli veterans, fallen soldiers, and Israeli civilians killed by acts of terrorism. It is a day observed with moments of silence and ceremonies at cemeteries and official venues across Israel.


The day ends as the sun sets and Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, begins with the raising of the Israeli flag on Mount Herzl from the half-mast position it flew in on Yom Hazikaron to the top of the pole. The link between these two days is obvious; without the sacrifice of those in the armed forces, there would have been no independent Jewish state.


In normal years, Yom Ha'atzmaut is celebrated with parades, family gatherings, and public shows and dancing. It concludes with the awarding of the "Israel Prize", the most prestigious award given by the State of Israel, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions in their field or to Israeli culture. This year, in the interest of public health, it was announced that large public gatherings will be prohibited.

Yom Hazikaron Observances

  • Register in advance. You are invited to a Greater New Haven Communal Yom Hazikaron Ceremony for fallen IDF soldiers and victims of terror, which will include a message from the Consul General of I...

Yom Ha'atzmaut Events

  • BEKI will join congregations across the U.S. for a celebration of Yom Ha'atzmaut [Israel Independence Day]. The on-line program will include Israeli music and dancing, interviews with Israelis, and...

  • Register in advance. Join our Afula Gilboa partnership friends for an aerial flight over Israel with retired Israel Air Force pilot Lieutenant Colonel Alon Moller - in honor of Yom Haatzmaut - Isra...

Videos and stories that might interest you

Travel to our Afula-Gilboa partnership region in Israel without leaving your couch (or your workout machine!). Below is a set of videos from Michael and Daniel of Running Around Jerusalem. They first ran in the Gilboa and then in Afula, relating some stories from history, going back to Biblical times but concentrating on the 20th century. These videos are sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, with a special grant from Jewish Community Centers Association (JCCA). They were designed as a companion to your workout but are fascinating to watch from your sofa as well. Enjoy!

Hear from the people of our Afula-Gioboa partnership and see the impact of our Jewish Federation in that region of Israel, especially during the time of the pandemic. The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven is part of Southern New England Consortium - a band of 12 Jewish Federations. Together we invest in the Afula-Gilboa region of Israel, creating a significant impact in the lives of children, women, and young people at risk.