Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebrations in Buenos Aires

Celebrating Yom HaAtzmaut in the diaspora is a unique opportunity to reconnect as Jews, exalt the values of Zionism and highlight what the State of Israel represents for the community of nations.

For those of us who lead one of the 33 Zionist Federations around the world, organizing the festivities is one of our key activities. Transmitting the values of Israeli society and Zionism in everything related to diversity, pluralism and modernity and linked to entrepreneurship and innovation is a fundamental objective that can’t be ignored.

The Zionist Organization of Argentina, the federation over which I preside as a representative of MERCAZ Argentina, carried out four different celebratory events across the entire country.

Our Yom HaAtzmaut pary in General Roca, in the Rio Negro province at the gateway to Patagonia had a massive dinner show which was attended by other nearby Kehillot such as Allen, Cipoletti and Neuquen.

In an open activity for the entire community in the capital of the Neuquen province, over 500 people sang along with band “Tiembla el Mohel”.

One week later the party moved on to Parana where 3,000 people (including over 500 youth) participated in a phenomenal party in the Zionist Union stadium with Israeli dancing and bands.

The enormous distances in Argentina represent a huge organizational challenge, but for the most part, it was a great success. The most impressive of all, however was the central celebration in Buenos Aires where 5,500 people took part in an electronic concept party, replete with references to Israel and Zionism, where, for a welcome change, the State of Israel was portrayed in a positive light.

From a Masorti worldview, my greatest challenge was to convey the imprint of a modern, diverse and pluralistic Judaism on a federation that precisely represents diverse ways of living Jewishly. However, it has an advantage—Zionism transverses all forms of Jewish life, and coming from the leadership of a Zionist religious movement, the message was comprehensive and inclusive.

An interactive show took participants on a journey through 120 years of political Zionism, including the creation of the state and its development. From the screen Herzl interacted with people on a stage, including Golda Meir. Thirty artists participated in the staging, with laser beams, special effects, singers and dancers make it a brilliant spectacle.

In my own speech I praised the values of an innovative society that promotes development and respect for human rights and individual freedoms. I spoke of  the spell that it carries for all those who live in the diaspora where each new development, every new discovery that it uses for its own benefit and for the benefit of greater humanity identify us with more Israel.

2,000 youth participated in this huge party, including 700 from NOAM, the Masorti youth movement. This was quite a distinction for the Conservative Masorti Movement in Argentina.

I would like to thank the Masorti members of the Zionist Federation’s Board of for their enormous input to produce this party with a Masorti profile.

Sergio Jorge Pikholtz

Secretary General, MERCAZ Argentina

President of the Zionist Organization of Argentina