D.C.-area groups, synagogues celebrate Israel’s 66th

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Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 66th Independence Day, is Tuesday. But the community will be celebrating the Jewish state for the next two weeks.

On May 18, there will be communitywide events in Northern Virginia and Rockville:


Israel Street Festival, Mosaic District (2910 District Ave., Fairfax), May 18, 12-5 p.m.

Event highlights include a performance from headlining Israeli band Capa’im, gaga pit, moon bounce, dance and choral performances, and Israeli dancing.

This program is in partnership with The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, the Israel Embassy, World Zionist Organization and Washington Jewish Week; and in collaboration with area synagogues and Jewish agencies.

Israel Fest: Rock the Square for Israel’s 66th Birthday! Rockville Town Square, May 18, 1-5 p.m.

Israel Fest is an afternoon of music, entertainment and food. This event will also include a performance from Capa’im, as well as a drum circle, a cappella and dance performances, face painting and balloon animals. Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and Washington Jewish Week.

Other events include:

Celebrate Israel’s Independence all Weekend, Congregation Beth Ami, May 2-4

Includes Shabbat dinner with Israeli food and songs, service with speakers sharing their most memorable experiences in Israel.

Sunday, May 4

Yom Ha’atzmaut at Moishe House Arlington, 5-8 p.m.

Barbecue, brews and Israeli music to take advantage of beautiful weather.

Monday, May 5

Yom Ha’atzmaut @Kesher, Kesher Israel Congregation, 8-9:30 p.m.

Following a Yom Hazikaron commemoration, there will be a Yom Ha’atzmaut Tefillah Chagigit Israeli buffet dinner. Free and open to the community.

Tuesday, May 6
Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration and The Troupe
, Washington DC Jewish Community Center, 7:30 p.m.

Inflatable hammers, bamba, corn on the cob, and Goldstar Beer all capped off with a screening of the Israeli film The Troupe, from 2014, by Washington Jewish Film Festival Visionary Award honoree Avi Nesher.

Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration with the Robyn Heltzner Trio, B’nai Israel Congregation, 5-9 p.m.

Includes moonbounce and other activities for children, an Israeli-style “Al Ha-Esh” barbeque dinner and a musical performance by the Robyn Helzner Trio. They will be accompanied for some songs by B’nai Israel students.

Wednesday, May 14

Israel at 66: Is Covert Action the Best Protection? Adas Israel Congregation, 7:30 p.m.

Hear from two experts on Israeli covert intelligence – Dan Raviv, an American with decades of experience abroad, and Yossi Melman, an Israeli expert on the Mossad and covert action – as they present an inside look at how Israel defends itself against a wide array of dangers and challenges. The authors of the best-seller Every Spy a Prince and a new, updated Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars will have the latest, some of it reassuring and some of it not.

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