Yom Ha'atzmaut

Yom Ha'atzmaut, or Israel Independence Day commemorates the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. In Israel, Jewish people celebrate the day with fireworks, barbecues, and public concerts. Outside Israel, Jewish communities host parties and gatherings to celebrate. Often, the focus of these events is on Israeli culture, everything from classic Israeli foods -- hummus, falafel, schnitzel, and shawarma -- to Israeli dance, Israeli music, and all things Hebrew. People wear blue and white and wave Israeli flags. You can celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut too by trying Israeli foods, listening to music, and learning about Israel with the books, videos, and activities below.



The three books listed below focus specifically on Yom Ha’atzmaut. To see all PJ Library selections about Israel, click here.

Engineer Arielle and the Israel Independence Day Surprise by Deborah Bodin Cohen

Recommended for ages 4 to 5

Engineer Ari’s great-great-granddaughter, Arielle, drives a lightrail train through Jerusalem. Readers follow her along her stops on a very festive day -- Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day!

Meg Goldberg on Parade by Andria Rosenbaum

Recommended for ages 5 to 6

Israeli Independence Day is a holiday in Israel -- but many people around the world celebrate it, and New York City throws a parade, too. Lucky for Meg -- she adores a parade!

Shmulik Paints the Town by Lisa Rose

Recommended for ages 5 to 6

Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, is here -- and the mayor wants Shmulik to paint a mural to celebrate. But what should Shmulik paint?

Find more books to help your family learn about and explore Israel:
Tour Israel With These Picture Books
Why We Chose This Book: Israel


Grover’s Postcards from Israel Playlist via Shalom Sesame

Everyone’s pal, Grover, tours Israel and records video postcards of his journeys. Learn all about Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Jaffa and many other cities in these adorable, short, videos.

What is Yom Ha'atzmaut: Israel Independence Day via BimBam

This video is best for parents and older kids who are looking for an historical overview of Yom Ha’atzmaut.



Sample the flavors of Israel by making some delicious hummus. Try dipping different veggies and crackers in your hummus, spread it on a sandwich, or stir in roasted red peppers, spinach, or chocolate—yes, chocolate—for dessert hummus.


Image via Chai and Home

Your family can make your own Israeli flags to wave or put on your own parade. Decorate construction paper or felt with stamps, ink, and markers and attach to a popsicle stick, or follow this tutorial for something a little bit more formal. You can also download a printable flag kit here.


Archaeology is a hobby in Israel and you can fashion your own “dig” in your backyard sandbox or by using a storage bin and some garden sand. Bury Israeli coins, “shards” from pottery, shells, rocks, etc. Put archaeologists’ tools in the table, such as sifters and paintbrushes--and dig.


Read a story like Ella’s Trip to Israel and prepare for a trip with your kids. Talk about what you’d pack to go to Israel and then enjoy an “imagination vacation” together.