Israel's Independence Day is known as Yom Ha'atzmaut, and commemorated every year on the fifth day of lyar, in the Jewish calendar. In 2020, this falls on April 29. In the United States, this day is often celebrated on the Sunday closest to the date, so as to have more people participating.
It is not a public holiday in the United States, businesses and schools remain open.
On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, who would become the first Prime Minister of the State of Israel, decreed a declaration of independence of Israel from Palestine. The declaration of independence was founded on the Jewish people's belief that it was their natural and historic right to take back their homeland. In the Jewish calendar, this event took place on the fifth day of the month of lyar, in the year 5708.
The date of the celebration can vary from year to year, as the fifth of lyar can't fall on a Sunday. Also, if the day falls on a Friday or Saturday, commemorations change to the third or fourth of lyar, if it happens on a Monday, then Yom Ha'atzmaut is celebrated on the sixth day. In this way, it can be ensured that the celebrations do not interfere with the Sabbath.
At the same time, because days begin in the evening in the Jewish calendar, Yom Ha'atzmaut in 2020 will begin at sunset on April 28, and end at night on April 29.
Celebrations in the United States
Many Jewish Americans celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut to strengthen the alliance with the Jewish people of Israel. All around the country, Jewish communities and synagogues come together to organize events and celebrations for the day.
Unlike the Israelites, some American Jews commemorate Yom Ha'atzmaut on the Shabbat to have as many participants as possible during a religious service that incorporates singing the Israeli national anthem.
Jewish organizations in the United States often organize events such as dinners, musical performances, art festivals, and barbecues.
Some Jewish Americans will fly the Israel flag outside of their homes on this day.