Shalom Life | April 23, 2014

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.

Germany Responds to neo-Nazis with 'The German Apples Front' Germany Responds to neo-Nazis with 'The German Apples Front' TrendingFrazier Glenn Miller to Rabbi: Get Rid of Every Jew Frazier Glenn Miller to Rabbi: Get Rid of Every Jew TrendingSynagogue Firebombed in Ukraine [VIDEO] Synagogue Firebombed in Ukraine [VIDEO] Trending
 

Israeli Wi-Fi Powers Russian Subways

April 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Israeli Wi-Fi Powers Russian Subways

Passengers aboard subways in in Moscow enjoy Wi-Fi courtesy of Israeli communications provider, Radwin

Read More

Israeli Comedian on 4.20: Let My People Smoke! [VIDEO]

April 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Israeli Comedian on 4.20: Let My People Smoke! [VIDEO]

Gadi Wilcherski and a group of Israeli pot advocates campaigned outside Health Minister Yael German's house early Sunday morning

Read More

Shalom, French Polynesia: A Jewish Culture Guide

April 22, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
Shalom, French Polynesia: A Jewish Culture Guide

Approximately 130 islands comprise French Polynesia, with Tahiti being the most famous, largest, and most populated.

Read More

Katy Perry Impersonates Unfunny Rabbi in ‘Birthday’ Music Video [VIDEO]

April 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Katy Perry Impersonates Unfunny Rabbi in ‘Birthday’ Music Video [VIDEO]

The pop star takes on a number of the "World's Worst Birthday Party Entertainers"

Read More

Seth Rogen and James Franco to Perform ‘Bound 2’ Spoof at Kim Kardashian Wedding?

April 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen and James Franco to Perform ‘Bound 2’ Spoof at Kim Kardashian Wedding?

Franco shared some interesting intel about the Kardashian/West wedding on 'The View'.

Read More

Drake to Join Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar at iHeart Radio Music Awards

April 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Drake to Join Pharrell and Kendrick Lamar at iHeart Radio Music Awards

NBC has announced several big names for iHeart Radio's inaugural event

Read More

David Foster Wallace’s Estate Opposes Upcoming Segel and Eisenberg Biopic

April 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
David Foster Wallace’s Estate Opposes Upcoming Segel and Eisenberg Biopic

Wallace's family and literally trust "have no connection with, and neither endorse nor support" the film entitled 'The End of the Tour'.

Read More

Missouri Mayor Resigns After Siding with Kansas Shooter

April 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Missouri Mayor Resigns After Siding with Kansas Shooter

After saying that he "kind of agreed" with 73-year-old former white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller, Dan Clevenger has now renounced his position as Mayor of Marionville

Read More

More Headlines