Honoring Israel's National Days with Masa Israel Journey

We are one

The National Holidays in the Hebrew month of Iyar are marked by a challenging week where we observe two days of remembrance followed by a day of celebration. This period encompasses: Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom Ha’Atzmaut. 

  • Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, is when we honor the memory of the Holocaust victims 
  • Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s National Day of Remembrance, is dedicated to the soldiers and civilians who sacrificed their lives for the State of Israel. This year we will also hold in our hearts those who fell on October 7th and the subsequent months, in defense of our nation. 
  • Yom Ha’Atzmaut is a festive day when we celebrate the historic return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the establishment of the State of Israel. 

These days reflect the resilience and spirit of the Jewish people, from solemn remembrance to triumphant celebration. 

This year, the world as we knew it changed forever. Loss and grief have become a daily reality. Within the uncertainty, the borders between Jewish communities have blurred, as we share our pain and the urge to rebuild. The theme “We Are One” reflects the shared fears and hopes of the Jewish people. It is a reminder of the need to gather in these challenging times, to be together in our pain and remember those who are gone, and to hold on to light together. Now is not the time to be alone, we must seek out community and find strength in it.  

On this page, you’ll find educational resources to help frame and contextualize the National Days, events and offerings for Masa fellows, and training opportunities for our organizers to prepare for this year’s National Days.  

Educational Materials

We have compiled resources from organizations that consider this year's unique and challenging context to provide framing for these National Days. Our goal is to connect the fellows to Israeli society through the frame of the National Days, and through the Israelis they know best: their organizers, madrichim, and coordinators.

We recommend exploring the below educational offerings for this year.

Yom Matzpen- April 14 at Beit Avichai

This year presents an exceptional chance to deeply engage fellows in Israeli society without the need to venture far. Your personal stories and experiences as Israelis offer a valuable window for fellows to gain insight into Israel. This in-person training day will offer essential framing, context, and educational tools as we approach the National Days.

Yom Hashoah- Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5-6

We invite you to take part in these Memorial events and learning opportunities with your Fellows. With our partners at Yad Vashem and ANU museum, we’ve created workshops and testimony sessions specific to the context of this year. There are options on Erev Yom HaShoah at the ANU Museum and Yad Vashem, including the official state ceremony. On the day of Yom HaShoah, there are multiple workshop options at Yad Vashem. Spaces are limited.

Yom Hazikaron- Israel's Memorial Day, May 12-13

Each year, Masa hosts the largest English-speaking international ceremony, the Yom Hazikaron Memorial Ceremony, to honor Israel's Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism. It's a time for Jewish communities worldwide to come together in remembrance and grief for those who are no longer with us. In their passing, they command us to embrace life and uphold their legacies.

Light a Virtual Yizkor Candle in Memory of Israel’s Fallen Defense & Security Forces

You can now light a virtual Yizkor (memorial) candle together with millions of others commemorating this day.

Yom Ha’Atzmaut- Israeli Independence Day, May 13-14

While holding in our hearts the pain and challenges of this last year, we must celebrate the accomplishments and bravery of the people of Israel.
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