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What Is Yom HaAtzmaut?

Israel's national Independence Day is marked by public ceremonies in Israel and informal gatherings around the world.

Yom HaAtzmaut is a time for Jews to come together and celebrate the establishment of the state of Israel.

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Is Yom HaAtzmaut a Public Holiday?

While this is not a public holiday in the United States, some Jewish-run organizations are closed on this date.

When Is Yom HaAtzmaut?

Yom HaAtzmaut (or Yom Ha´atzmaut) is celebrated on the 5th day of the month of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar, which usually falls in April or May in the Gregorian calendar. The holiday is moved if it lands on the Sabbath (Saturday).

National and International Celebration

Immediately following the observance of Memorial Day, or Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Independence Day celebrations feature large-scale public ceremonies, and smaller-scale events, in Jewish population centers around the world.

In the state of Israel, Yom HaAtzmaut starts with a ceremony in the capital city of Jerusalem featuring speeches by leading public figures, musical performances, and a special lighting ceremony in which twelve torches are set alight, each representing one of the foundational tribes of the nation.

Other Israeli cities such as the tech and financial center of Tel Aviv, fly the national flag, close off streets to vehicles, hold concerts and set off fireworks displays to mark the occasion. Many Israeli families celebrate with picnics and barbeques.

Among the diaspora, or Jewish communities outside of Israel, this holiday is often celebrated by community events featuring Israeli songs or performers, traditional food, and children's activities.

Religious and Political Differences

While many temples recite prayers of thanksgiving on the day, some very religious branches of Judaism, known as Haredim, do not make any changes in their prayers for the holiday.

Members of the Orthodox Edah HaChareidis community believe that establishing the Jewish state before the arrival of the Messiah is a heresy, and so view Yom HaAtzmaut as a day of mourning.

Some Israeli Arabs consider this date to be a tragic day in their history that is referred to as Nakba or “the catastrophe.”

About Yom Ha'atzmaut in Other Countries

Read more about Yom Ha'atzmaut.

Yom Ha'atzmaut Observances

Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2019ThuMay 9Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday
2020WedApr 29Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday
2021ThuApr 15Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday
2022ThuMay 5Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday
2023WedApr 26Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday
2024TueMay 14Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday
2025ThuMay 1Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday
2026WedApr 22Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday
2027WedMay 12Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday
2028TueMay 2Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday
2029ThuApr 19Yom Ha'atzmautJewish holiday

While we diligently research and update our holiday dates, some of the information in the table above may be preliminary. If you find an error, please let us know.