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Yom Haatsmaut:60 Years of Statehood

“Yom huledet same’ach l’Israel! Happy Birthday Israel! We are proud to stand with you today!” cried Hillel student Alina enthusiastically. With so many connections between the local Jewish community and the State of Israel, it is no surprise that Israeli Independence Day, or Yom Haatsmaut, is always celebrated in Moldova with a special feeling of pride. This year, as the 60th anniversary of Jewish statehood, was of course especially festive. In one of the biggest events of the year, the KJJC hosted a concert program featuring some of the most talented performance troupes in Moldova. Featuring a multimedia presentation on Israel’s history with songs in Hebrew, Russian, Romanian and English, the event attracted a large audience of community members and VIPs, including representatives from the Hungarian, Ukrainian and American embassies, the United States Peace Corps, and the local office of the United Nations.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the crowd was addressed by Dr.Efim Simhovich, Chair of the KJJC Superboard, who presented a personal letter to Shimon Peres, President of Israel on behalf of the community. Bella Goldenberg, First Secretary of the Israeli Embassy in Ukraine and Moldova, and Evgenya Tsobor, Resident Director of the Sokhnut in Moldova also spoke on behalf of the Israeli government. Lastly, Mickey Katsif, Resident Director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) in Moldova, offered his congratulations, underlining the strong historical ties between JDC and the development of the State of Israel.

 “The history of Israel is full of miracles”, said Pasha, age 17, with wide eyes “the next sixty years are bound to be even more incredible”.