Shalom Life | April 16, 2014

Jewish Toronto Comes Out To Wish Israel a Happy 63rd

Mel Lastman Square filled with 5,000 jubilant participants.

By: Daniel Horowitz

Published: May 11th, 2011 in News » World

Jewish Toronto Comes Out To Wish Israel a Happy 63rd

Toronto’s Jewish community, which has always shared a strong, unique bond with Israel, were out in full force on Tuesday, May 10th, to celebrate the Jewish State’s 63rd birthday with a huge party that filled Toronto’s Mel Lastman Square.

Approximately 5,000 men, women and children – most of whom were clad in blue and white in honour of Israel – danced, sang, ate, and shared the joy of Israel with friends, loved ones, and plenty of strangers.

The event, sponsored by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Prosserman JCC, featured live Israeli music, inflatables, carnival rides, arts and crafts, children’s entertainment and Israeli food.

A live concert featuring the Elevation Band an acclaimed Atlanta-based world music group, widely known for its unique Israeli/Jewish/American Pop sound, had participants up and dancing for hours.

Israeli Consul General to Toronto, Amir Gissin, took part in the community celebrations along with UJA Board Chair Elizabeth Wolfe and UJA Federation’s President & CEO, Ted Sokolsky.

“Some of us are younger. Some of us are older. We come from a variety of backgrounds and we represent every stream of Judaism,” Wolfe told the crowd. “Some of us belong to the political left and some of us belong to the political right. But we all belong to the Jewish People. And for us, no other affiliation is more important. The Jewish people and Israel are indivisible. For thousands of years, we yearned for a state. And now that we have witnessed, in our time, Israel’s miraculous rebirth, we stand side by side with the people of Israel – our brothers and sisters – during these difficult days.”

The event, which wrapped up around 9:00 pm, concluded with an emotional rendition of Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, in which attendees joined in.

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