Above left: At Akiva, Hannah
Fischer, 3, of Southfield makes a
visit to the drinking fountain, care-
I not to douse her painted face.
Community events celebrate
57 years of independence.
everal spirited celebrations
marked Israel's 57th anniversary
of independence. The
Southfield-based Yeshivat Akiva held its
annual Yom HaAztmaut event May 12.
The Jewish Community Center of
Washtenaw County celebrated all day
May 15, and the local Israeli community
sang and danced at a West Bloomfield
restaurant May 14.
Akiva's family celebration, co-spon-
sored by Young Israel Council of
Metropolitan Detroit and Kollel Torah
Mi'Tzion, drew 700 people. It included
a barbecue, children's activities, services
and more. The evening was highlighted
by a concert from the Israeli group,
Moshav; 80 high school students from a
Cleveland yeshivah also attended. The
love of Israel was evident, especially in
the children, who dressed in blue and
white and waved small Israeli flags.
Event coordinators were Sherri Weil and
More than 400 people turned out in
Ann Arbor to mark Yom HaAtzmaut at
the community's biggest celebration in
40 years. The afternoon was filled with
family activities and an Israeli market-
place. The event continued into the
evening with Israeli dancing and singing.
More than 100 people — nearly all
Israelis — attended a Yom HaAtzmaut
celebration at Hashbrowns restaurant in
West Bloomfield, which was trans-
formed into an Israeli cafe complete
with blue colored lights, steamers of
miniature Israeli flags and traditional
Middle Eastern food. A sing along fea-
tured favorite Israeli songs, which natu-
rally led to Israeli folk dancing.
Though very different, what shone
through at all three events was a love of
—Keri Guten Cohen,
story development editor
Above: Alexandra Swordlow, 15 months, of Ann
Arbor applauds Eyal Rivlin, also of Ann Arbor,
singing 'Songs of Simcha!" at the JCC celebra-