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Ha’kol ihiyeh be’seder / Everything will be ok.

So it was sung and so it came to be.

On Thursday 9th May, the ZF and JNF UK hosted London’s biggest celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel’s Independence Day.
And everything was ok.
In fact, everything was great.
From the busy, bustling stands hosted by JNF UK, We Believe in Israel, Herut UK, Stand With Us, Union of Jewish Students, Masa, Birthright, Camera and the London School of Jewish Studies to the show itself, last night’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration was indeed a great evening.

500 people came to central London last night to celebrate Israel’s 71st birthday. And celebrate they did, in a mass of blue and white flags, singing and dancing in celebration of Israel’s 71st year of independence.

The evening commenced with a welcome by the ZF’s chairman Paul Charney, followed by an address by Israel’s Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, Mark Regev  and the JNF UK’s trustee Gary Mond, all of whom spoke passionately and excitedly about Israel’s momentous achievements and contributions to the world. Israeli MK Ze’ev Elkin was in the UK and joined the celebrations, speaking to the audience about his journey from the Ukraine to the Knesset.

The show kicked off with the angelic voices of the Naima JPS choir, followed by the twists and twirls of the dancers of the Israeli Dance Institute. Then came Guy Barzily who sang a medley of Israeli Eurovision-winning songs which literally brought the entire audience to their feet, singing, dancing and waving their flags to the iconic tunes.

Magician Nick Crown brought an air of mystery and wonder to the evening, demonstrating his mind reading and memory prowess to members of the audience, even allowing one audience member to control the beating of his heart!

And then came the headline act.
Café Shachor Hazak, a hip-hop duo of Ethiopian descent, burst onto the stage, electrifying the audience with their energy and beats, the younger members of the audience surging to the front of the stage, everyone waving their flags and singing along to the voices belting out of the duo on stage. Café Shachor Hazak closed their performance with their hit song, Ha’kol ihiyeh beseder (Everything will be ok).

And it most definitely had been ok.
In fact, it had been fare better than ok.
A wonderful audience entertained by wonderful performers, all in celebration of a wonderful country.

Chag atzmaut sameach Israel.
Happy 71stbirthday.

Thanks to everyone; from our partners, JNF UK, our sponsor Masa and supporters, to everyone in the audience for making this year’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration such an amazing one.

For those of us who won’t be celebrating the next YH in Israel, well…next year in London!

To see more photos from the celebrations, click here.