Shalom Life | April 25, 2015

Flag-Raising Ceremony Celebrates Israel at 62

Queen's Park hosts event to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut.

By: Elisabeth Galina

Published: April 21st, 2010 in News » World

Flag-Raising Ceremony Celebrates Israel at 62

Approximately 150 people gathered in Queen’s Park in front of the Ontario Legislative Building to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. A busload of students from Ulpanat Orot, an all-girls school, started the festivities by singing and chanting. Some proudly waved Israeli flags, others wore the flags as capes while dancing in a circle with their arms around each other.

Chagit, a teacher at Ulpanat Orot beamed as her pupils danced festively and sang Hava Nagila at the top of their lungs. “This is the second best place to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut besides Israel.”

The Israeli flag was raised as the crowd sang Israel’s national anthem, Hatikva. Liberal MPP for the riding of Davenport, Tony Ruprecht, acted as master of ceremonies. His opening speech was resonant with pro-Israel sentiments. “Israel’s roots go back to antiquity!” Ruprecht declared to thunderous applause.

Peter Shurman, the Progressive Conservative MPP for Thornhill spoke next joking that at 62 he is the same age as Israel. Cheri DiNovo, the NDP MPP for Parkdale-High Park, followed Shurman saying she hopes to one day visit Israel and kiss the sacred ground. She continued: “The Jews are the chosen people and the chosen land is Israel. Mazel Tov!”

“We celebrate Israel’s independence and in only 62 years, Israel has become a global leader,” said UJA Chair Alain Wiener. He concluded his speech with a chuckle, “62 never looked so good!”, before Dr. Leon Genesove of B’nai Brith Canada pledged to support democratic Israel.

The atmosphere turned playful as Len Rudner, the Ontario Director of the Canadian Jewish Congress greeted the crowd with a smile. “Is this a great day for a birthday party or what?” he said to a chorus of laughter.

Dr. Charles McVety the President of the Canadian Christian College spoke of the support the Evangelical community will continue to extend towards Israel. McVety said his community will forever be indebted to Israel and that, “Jerusalem must remain the eternal capital of Israel.” He also addressed the recent issue of settlement building in East Jerusalem and proclaimed that all Jews must have a place of their own in their capital city.

Amir Gissin the Consul General of Israel for Toronto delivered ceremony’s closing remarks. Gissin spoke of hope and the future of Israel. He commended the Ontario government and the city of Toronto for the beautiful ceremony. “I don’t think there is a place outside of Israel, as this specific place at this very moment,” Gissin said commenting on the patriotic, pro-Israel atmosphere of the event.

Recording artist Gitit Shoval, accompanied by a keyboardist, gave a two-song performance before leading the crowd in a final rendition of Hatikva.

The message throughout the ceremony was clear: At 62 years young, Israel is here to stay.

Anti-Semitic Class Taught At UC Riverside Is Not Being Pulled Anti-Semitic Class Taught At UC Riverside Is Not Being Pulled TrendingThe Miracle of the State of Israel The Miracle of the State of Israel Trending"I Couldn't Imagine That Happening,' Says 93-Year-Old Accountant of Auschwitz "I Couldn't Imagine That Happening,' Says 93-Year-Old Accountant of Auschwitz Trending
 

Yes, There's A Grateful Dead Album Entirely in Hebrew

April 24, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Yes, There's A Grateful Dead Album Entirely in Hebrew

Released by Sagol 59 and Ami Yaris, "The Promised Land" features songs from the revered jam band beautifully translated into Hebrew

Read More

Ban Ki-Moon Eats Shakshuka On Israel Independence Day

April 24, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Ban Ki-Moon Eats Shakshuka On Israel Independence Day

An exploration into Israeli food, and maybe the first step towards peace, Ban Ki-Moon tries shakshuka for the first time

Read More

WATCH: Tel Aviv Zookeeper Captures Awesome Footage of Animals Drinking

April 24, 2015 | By Maya Yarowsky, NoCamels
WATCH: Tel Aviv Zookeeper Captures Awesome Footage of Animals Drinking

Elad Hershkowitz captured the unique footage by placing a GoPro camera at the bottom of animals' water troughs to get a closer look at how giraffes, lions, rhinos and lemurs relieve their parched pallets

Read More

First Nations Actors Storm Off the Set of Adam Sandler's Western Spoof

April 24, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
First Nations Actors Storm Off the Set of Adam Sandler's Western Spoof

Despite concerns raised by actors on the set, and even following a walkout by cast, Netflix and Sandler stand by the 'The Ridiculous Six'

Read More

Poland Wants Mattel To Recall 'Apples To Apples' Game For Labelling Them As Nazis

April 24, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Poland Wants Mattel To Recall 'Apples To Apples' Game For Labelling Them As Nazis

A card which refers to their country as "Nazi Poland" during the second World War has been deemed offensive and demeaning to Poland

Read More

Former New York State Governor and Possible Presidential Candidate Has Longstanding Jewish Ties

April 24, 2015 | By Jacob Kamaras, JNS.org
Former New York State Governor and Possible Presidential Candidate Has Longstanding Jewish Ties

George Pataki has a strong history with Jewish voters for a Republican

Read More

Israel: One Of The Happiest Countries On Earth

April 24, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Israel: One Of The Happiest Countries On Earth

Israel takes the 11th spot on the UN's annual happiness report, coming out on top of countries like the U.S. and U.K.

Read More

Netanyahu Condemns Ultra Orthodox Jewish Attackers of IDF Officer

April 24, 2015 | By Kobi Nachshoni
Netanyahu Condemns Ultra Orthodox Jewish Attackers of IDF Officer

'They are lawbreakers. Service in the IDF is a source of pride,' the Israeli PM stated

Read More

More Headlines