Cape Town Celebrates Yom Ha’atzmaut with great GEES! 

As the clock struck 14.00 – the gates to Ratanga Junction opened for Israel’s 70th Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations and the children rushed through the walkways into the walled city under a sky of blue and white umbrellas and the pulsating sound of Israeli music.  Not for the feint hearted, they headed straight for the theme park rides. 

From young to old there was something for everyone, as not a stone was left unturned to ensure all would have a good time.  Bnei Akiva, together with Rabbi Thurgood of Beit Midrash Morasha, conducted the Mincha and Ma’ariv service. 

The opening ceremony choreographed by Roxy Levy and Martine Kawalsky, together with pupils from Herzlia Primary Schools, Cape Town Sinai Academy and Phyllis Jowell School, were led in by our esteemed Machalnick Leslie Marcus along with Jake Kaimowitz carrying the Israeli Flag. His Excellency, Israeli Ambassador, Lior Keinan, DCM Ayellet Black and Consulate, Yaffa Mendel followed them. Aaron Diamond brought in the ballooned “70”, as they directed the procession into the arena to the sound of the Herzlia vocal ensemble, headed by Cantor Ivor Joffe. 

The atmosphere was electrifying as the audience clapped and sang while the primary school children danced in the formation of a 70, in the main arena.  

After a resounding Hatikvah, people broke out into communal dancing until reigned in by MC Tracy Klass. Most of the organisations and individuals, were represented by either selling food or their wares, adding colour to the theme of 70 Years, 70 Faces, 70 stories.  

A candle was lit marking the past 70 years, followed by a candle for the continued light to come in the future.

One of the highlights of the evening was the well-known Israeli band, THE SOLOMON BROTHERS, who had the crowd stomping the floor. The ruach was hard to beat, but was for the one lucky winner of the much-anticipated raffle won by Dana Silva. 

We thank our community for coming out in their droves and for their support of one of the main events in the calendar of our Cape Town community to honour our beloved Israel.