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Press Release – 9 June 2006

Yom Hazikaron Community Commemoration

The Commemoration ceremony for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers was once again, received extremely well by the audience and the community. The program included the lighting of memorial candles by family members and close friends of fallen soldiers and victims of terror; readings of stirring poems and two extremely moving personal testimonies.

Mr. Yaron Zinger spoke about his emotional experience in the 1997 Helicopter Disaster, in which he was part of the recovery of the 73 soldiers and air force crew killed while on active duty to a mission in Israel’s northern security area. Amongst those 73 killed were his best friend and several close friends.

Mr. Yonatan Yagadovsky, Head of the International Department of MDA, related his own personal experience of the night of September 9, 2003, when his good friend and colleague, Dr. David Appelbaum, was killed by a suicide bomber at Cafe Hillel on Emek Refaim St., the main thoroughfare of the German Colony neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

Musical tributes were provided by members of the Israel Defence Force band, and it was extremely powerful to witness young soldiers in uniform performing at such an event.
The Commemoration was coordinated by the SZC and co-hosted by AUJS, Hagshama, Hamerkaz Haisraeli, JNF, UIA and WIZO.

Yom Ha’atzmaut Celebrations

This year’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations included the highly successful “Festival in the Foyer” which had 30 communal organisations and patrons exhibiting, displaying, running interactive activities and generally building a wonderful, exciting atmosphere. Everyone was given a “show bag” with merchandise from our communal organisations and supporters. The Festival was a fantastic celebration of Israel and the great extent to which Melbourne shows local support, and a perfect prelude to the concert.

This year’s concert again raised the bar of professionalism at this event. The concert band of 18 musicians, together with a cast of 100 performers, provided an entertaining and uplifting show, to which the audience responded warmly and with great excitement. Many members of last year’s cast returned to continue the story of Roni & Shai, who after meeting last year when Roni was visiting Israel, this year, got married.

A highlight was the IDF troupe’s performance – four young musicians bringing the spirit and atmosphere of Israel to our community.

Yom Ha’atzmaut at the Jewish Day Schools

The State Zionist Council “toured” members of the IDF troupe to five Jewish Day schools over the following two days to perform as the schools’ Yom Ha’atzmaut programs. With concerts at Bialik College, Leibler Yavneh College, Mount Scopus College, Sholem Aleichem College and The King David School, over 2,500 students enjoyed a fantastic Yom Ha’atzmaut experience, connecting them even closer to Israel and the wonderful musical culture of the chag.