Yom HaAtzma’ut, Israel Independence Day, (Iyar 5) celebrates the State of Israel's establishment on May 14, 1948. Jewish communities around the world celebrate Yom HaAtzma'ut with festivals of food, music, and dancing. On Yom HaAtzma’ut we often take time to reflect on the rich and complex history of Zionism, the State of Israel and the historical achievements of the modern Jewish homeland.
This Yom HaAtzma’ut as we celebrate the founding of the State of Israel, we can also honor Israel by learning about some of the countless scientific, academic, cultural, technological and economic contributions which Israeli innovators have made to society. By learning about the some of the many innovations which Israel has contributed to the world, we as Jewish people are able to recognize Israel’s universal role in the global community, while deepening our own distinctive connection to the country.
Did you know?
•The first computer anti-virus software package was developed in Israel. So was the technology that enables mobile phone voicemail and text messaging.
•The writings of Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, Nobel Prize winner, S.Y. Agnon, and many other Israeli writers have been translated and made available to readers throughout the world. Israeli musicians, filmmakers, and artists receive the same level of global recognition which extends far beyond the Jewish people.
•Israel has the world’s highest per capita rate of university degrees. Additionally, Israel has the world’s second-highest per capita output of new books annually and produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation in the world.
•Israel is at the cutting edge of environmental innovations, including usage of solar power, new agricultural systems, technological solutions to solving the world’s water shortage problem.
•Israel has the third-highest rate of entrepreneurship in the world, and has the highest rate among women and people over 55.
Facts for this “Learn Something Jewish” were gathered in part from Stand With Us, a member organization of the Israel on Campus Coalition.