"Jews have lived in almost every country under the sun. In four thousand years, only in Israel have they been a free, self-governing people. Only in Israel are they able, if they so choose, to construct an agriculture, a medical system, an economic infrastructure in the spirit of Torah and its concern for freedom, justice and the sanctity of life.
Only in Israel can Jews speak the Hebrew of the Bible as the language of everyday speech. Only there can they live Jewish time within a calendar structured according to the rhythms of the Jewish year. Only in Israel can Jews live Judaism in anything other than an edited edition. In Israel, and only there, Jews can walk where the prophets walked, climb the mountains Abraham climbed, lift their eyes to the hills that David saw, and continue the story their ancestors began." -- Rabbi Jonathan Sachs
A few minutes after sunset, the state that was born of the sacrifice of over 24,000 people will turn the page from Yom HaZikaron - a day of mourning and somber reflection - to Yom Ha’atzmaut, a day of national celebrations. This transition reminds us of the care, responsibility and duty the Jewish people have as a collective to continue to vehemently support this great nation.
Israel remains the only country in the world whose right to exist is continuously challenged. Yet, despite constant political and military pressures unlike any placed on any other nation in the world, Israel is stronger today than ever before. A world leader in many industries, especially in the fields of innovative technology, it is also a country rich in cultural diversity that continues to attract new citizens from across the globe every day. It is a country that welcomes Jews with open arms, at any age, from every corner of the world.
This year, Israel marks its 70th birthday – an event inconceivable to our ancestors that dreamt of a Jewish homeland. Jews around the world join with Israelis in celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut, and our eternal connection to the land of Israel.
For Jews around the world, celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut links them firmly to the land of Israel. For Israelis, it is a national holiday that connects them to one another. People in communities across the world will come together to sing and dance and celebrate Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948.
On Israel's 70th birthday, we salute our Jewish homeland and the extraordinary accomplishments of the Jewish people. Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA is very proud of its longstanding relationship with Israel. Every day of every year - alongside domestic and international partners and affiliates - we work to strengthen our connection to Israel and to the global Jewish people.
Leslie Gales, Chair
Linda Kislowicz, President & CEO
Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA