When Yom Hashoah is over, that means only one thing in New York and in other cities with large Jewish populations: it’s Yom Ha’atzmaut party season. (Hey, isn’t it the Omer? I thought partying was on hold! Turns out, Israel Independence Day has emerged as an exception to the “no-party” rule. Which makes me wonder if there aren’t some other rabbinic rulings that the State of Israel could stand to eliminate or otherwise minimize. Hmm.)

So as I figure out which black top I’m going to wear to which event, I’ve put together a brief list of some interesting party prospects. Two are in NYC. One is in Chicago. There’s a link to events in the Bay Area. And one is a Lag B’Omer party. Attend one, or attend them all. And if the latter, you must write about your travels through the Jewish party circuit and send them to me…

NYC Community-Wide Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebration (Dor Chadash, nyblueprint.com and more than 100 other Jewish organizations)

The fifth annual community-wide memorial and celebration of Israel will take place on Monday, April 23rd at Capitale. Highlights include: Performance by the IDF Musical Ensemble; Tovah Feldshuh, performing excerpts from Golda’s Balcony; A special performance by Mayumana, the internationally acclaimed rhythm-dance phenomenon from Israel; Personal reflections from Karnit Goldwasser (via videotape), wife of captured Israeli soldier Udi Goldwasser; Ambassador Arye Mekel, Consul General of Israel in New York; Videotaped greetings from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Includes open bar/light hors d’oeuvres for first hour. A festive celebration of Israel’s 59th year of independence, featuring an Israeli DJ spinning both Israeli and American hits. Doors open at 6. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. VIP Tickets available: for more info or to order tickets, go to dorchadashusa.org.

NYC: Israel @ 59: The Journey of Exile and the Meaning of Return (Mark Pearlman, Sinai Live and the Sixth Street Community Synagogue)

David Solomon presents: Israel @ 59: The Journey of Exile and the Meaning of Return
Refreshments, music, discussion and socializing to follow
Yom Ha’atzmaut; April 23, 2007 at 7pm
Sixth Street Community Synagogue (325 East 6th Street)
$10 suggested donation
For more information and to reserve in advance, visit: www.sinailive.com/59
This event marks the beginning of an exciting new venture for the downtown community. The presentation also launches a regular showcase coordinated with and nheld at the Community Synagogue. The series will feature the world’s top Jewish teachers, music, refreshments, and an opportunity to mingle with like-minded individuals. For more info, check out SinaiLive.

NYC: Israel Week 2007

Sleep off the hangover, get up in the early afternoon, and party on Tuesday, April 24, 2:30pm – 6:00pm, Washington Square Park (west side). According to the Facebook profile, the party is sponsored by Israel Week 2007, and the following will occur:

Israel’s 59th birthday will be celebrated to its fullest extent with a live Israeli DJ, free food, backgammon tournaments, a “get to know” Israel twister competition, face-painting and necklace making. Free food will be given to anyone who dances. Raffle tickets towards THE grand prize of two tickets to the new off-Broadway hit “Mayumana BE” will be given to anyone who comes to the event.

Chicago: Rock Atzmaut–Heedoosh plays at Subterranean (Hosted by USD/Hagshama, Kfar Jewish Arts Center, Hamagshimim, Koach)

Monday, April 23, 2007 at 7:00pm: Rock Atzmaut is an ALL AGES show featuring Israeli fronted rockers HEEDOOSH (http://www.heedoosh.com) at Subterranean, one off Chicago’s best live music venues. From the Facebook event profile:

Heedoosh’s visceral sound is akin to shoving your soul into an electric socket. Embracing styles from hard rock grunge to sensually melodic ballads, Heedoosh sonically traverses a brooding, middle eastern fusion with Hebrew lyrics that convey both the longing for, and imminence of, redemption. Their songs are of breathtaking beauty and complexity, rooted in sacred text and combined with contemporary verses gilded with a true rock edge influenced by Stone Temple Pilots, Radiohead, Coldplay and Oasis- a mix of hard rock and brit-pop with Hebrew lyrics and Jewish themes. The songs hold fast to their rock roots and their Jewish sources without compromising any integrity on either front.


Personal birthday messages to Israel will be recorded at the show, edited along with photos and film from the rest of the event, creating a finished product that will be put up on youTube as Chicago’s birthday message to Israel.

Sponsors: Kfar Jewish Arts Center

Koach, the Conservative Movement on Campus

Bay Area: See OyBay for their extensive roundup of Yom Ha’Atzmaut events that puts this list to shame…

And finally, the Lager (that’s right, I typed “Lager”) BaOmer party that could only happen as a result of Jews banging it out. From the twin minds that bring you weekly emails of comedy and community, comes Lager BaOmer:

NYC: Bangitout.com Presents Lager BaOmer at Columbus 72

Saturday, May 5, 10pm: From the Facebook event profile: “It’s 10 bucks to get in and have the night of your life…The venue is huge and can fit about 1000 people. There are quiet lounges as well as incredibly large and loud dance areas – still unclear where the bangitout bonfire will be exactly, but we’ll figure something out…As always, portion of the proceeds will be goin to Tzedakah for this amazing spiritual night! So shave, show up wearing something mystical (use your imagination) and prepare to celebrate this incredible holiday with a throwdown that’ll put Meron to shame.”

The Galenas and their band of wacky Jews are expecting 500 members of the tribe. To see what it looked like last year, click here for photos

OK, kids, that’s it for events. Don’t party too hard.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.