As Israel marks its 56th birthday, Hillel students and professionals came up with new and innovative ways of celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel Independence Day.
Everything's been thought of for public celebrations of the event. At Colorado State University, students handed out pieces of birthday cake and free giveaways while University of Arizona students created a giant living Israeli flag on their campus.
Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations weren't limited to areas west of the Mississippi River. At Cornell University and Ithaca College a giant, joint-party was held featuring Israeli food, DJ Bisman, Israeli products for sale and for the second year in a row, free camel rides.
"I'm really impressed with the scope of programming this year," said Wayne Firestone, director of Hillel's Center for Israel Affairs. "Any student, whether they are interested in the arts, politics, social justice or just hanging out had a chance to be engaged this Yom Ha'atzmaut."
Other schools showcased Israel in cinema with films at schools from Sarah Lawrence and Purchase Colleges to the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. Films included the Grace Mozes hit "Keep on Dancing," a documentary about the determination of Israelis to live a normal life through the intifada, and "Yossi and Jagger" a film about two gay men in the Israeli army.
Read more about the Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebrations:
University of Minnesota
University of California, Los Angeles