Community members gathered Sunday on the grounds of to celebrate a holiday geographically centered many miles away, but culturally centered very close to home.
“Israel’s anniversary is a celebration that connects the entire Jewish family around the world in joy, inspiration and hope for a peaceful future,” said Rabbi Neal Gold in an email.
On Sunday, Temple Shir Tikva hosted a celebration in honor of Israel's 64th birthday. It was the first large-scale celebration of Israeli Independence Day, but the Director of Israel Engagement Rachel Fadlon said the plan is to make it an annual event.
Fadlon said via email that the temple recently reinstated its Israel Connections Committee, and she wants to work with that committee to connect the Jewish community in Wayland with the country of Israel.
"Jews' connection to the land of Israel is paramount to our faith," Fadlon said in an email. "It is important to remember and celebrate the founding of the modern state of Israel."
Sunday's celebration included a cookout, performances and crafts as well as Israeli dancing, music and games.
"The best part of the day was watching the whole community gather together to celebrate Israel," Fadlon said, "but also just to enjoy being together as a community."
Fadlon said one of her goals as director of Israel engagement is to work with the Israel Connections Committee to produce programming that helps the community feel more connected to Israel throughout the year and not just on Independence Day.