Yom Ha'atzmaut in the United States
Many Jewish Americans in the United States remember Israel’s Independence Day, also known as Yom Ha’Atzmaut (or Yom HaAtzmaut). Celebrations are annually held on or around the fifth day of the month of Iyar, according to the Jewish calendar.
What Do People Do?
Many Jewish organizations, including community centers, university student groups, and some schools, organize events to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Many of these events are open to the general public and include entertainment such as:
- Kosher pizza dinners.
- Singing, music and dance games or performances.
- Face painting.
- Flag making activities.
- Special rides, including camel rides.
Some Jewish communities also celebrate Israel’s Independence Day with benefit concerts featuring bands from Israel, as well as local bands. A variety of music is usually offered, ranging from traditional music with a rock twist to modern music from Israel. Various art and craft activities for children and young teenagers are also incorporated into events that celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut.
Yom Ha’Atzmaut is not a federal public holiday in the United States.
Many Jewish Americans celebrate Israel’s independence on Yom Ha’Atzmaut. It commemorates when David Ben-Gurion, who was Israel’s first prime minister, publicly read the Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. According to the Jewish calendar, this was the fifth day of Iyar, the eighth month of the civil year, in the year 5708.
According to the Jewish calendar, the fifth day of the month of Iyar cannot fall on a Sunday. If this date falls on a Friday or Saturday, Yom Ha'Atzmaut is observed on the third or fourth day of the month. If the date falls on a Monday, it is observed on the sixth day of Iyar. This is so that the festivities do not fall just before, on, or just after the Sabbath.
The most prominent symbol seen at events that celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut is Israel’s flag. This is a white rectangle in the ratio 11:8 with two horizontal blue stripes, one at the top and one at the bottom. A regular hexagram, known as the Star of David, or Megan David, is depicted in blue between the stripes.
About Yom Ha'atzmaut in other countriesRead more about Yom Ha'atzmaut.
Yom Ha'atzmaut ObservancesNote: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where it is Observed|
|Tue||Apr 20||2010||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||May 10||2011||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Apr 26||2012||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||Apr 16||2013||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||May 6||2014||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Apr 23||2015||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||May 12||2016||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||May 2||2017||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Apr 19||2018||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||May 9||2019||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Apr 29||2020||Yom Ha'atzmaut||Jewish holiday|
Quick FactsMany Jewish communities in the United States celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut, which is Israel’s Independence Day, on the fifth day of the month of Iyar in the Jewish calendar.
Yom Ha'atzmaut 2016Thursday, May 12, 2016
Yom Ha'atzmaut 2017Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Name in other languages
Alternative nameIndependence Day
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
Other holidays in May 2016 in the United States
- Orthodox Easter – Sunday, May 1, 2016
- Orthodox Easter Monday – Monday, May 2, 2016
- Primary Election Day Indiana – Tuesday, May 3, 2016
- Yom HaShoah – Wednesday, May 4, 2016
- Ascension Day – Thursday, May 5, 2016
- National Nurses Day – Friday, May 6, 2016
- National Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Day – Saturday, May 7, 2016
- Mother's Day – Sunday, May 8, 2016
- Truman Day – Monday, May 9, 2016
- State Holiday – Tuesday, May 10, 2016
- Pentecost – Sunday, May 15, 2016
- Whit Monday – Monday, May 16, 2016
- National Defense Transportation Day – Friday, May 20, 2016
- Armed Forces Day – Saturday, May 21, 2016
- Trinity Sunday – Sunday, May 22, 2016
- Emergency Medical Services for Children Day – Wednesday, May 25, 2016
- Corpus Christi – Thursday, May 26, 2016
- Memorial Day – Monday, May 30, 2016