It was a wonderful afternoon and evening that the State Zionist Council and Carmel School organised this week for Yom Haatzmaut, with as many as 2,000 people enjoying a carnival on the Maccabi oval, almost half of whom stayed to enjoy the concert that followed.
There were plenty of community groups present, and activities. Despite the long queues, it was great to know that all the food on sale was kosher, and it was also reasonably priced. There were kids activities, music, rides, and stalls. In particular, the youth groups had a strong presence. My vote for the best stand went to the Perth Yeshivah whose bachurim (recent IDF soldiers) were in uniform, taking “photos at the kotel” and collecting notes that will be taken to the kotel itself.
The concert that followed was also a well rehearsed and enjoyable presentation. It was nice to know that the community can use its own talent and produce an event locally to mark the occasion, and without the big budgets required to import international entertainment. Carmel School is a wonderful host for the community and the involvement of their primary students was nothing short of delightful. There was a lot of energy on the stage. Event the Israeli dancers (who in the past have twirled around in bland hora circles for 20 minutes) were entertaining, lively, and did not overstay their welcome.
With dignified speeches (also not overly cumbersome in length), the honour of the presence of the Israeli Ambassador to Australia who provided a professional address, we were suitably honoured. The President of the Zionist Federation of Australia accompanied the ambassador and also spoke of Israel’s accomplishments in very inspriring terms.
It takes many hundreds of hours of planning, preparation and rehearsing to get a major event such as this delivered to the community. Recognising the limitations, we were not expecting a professional production – but we got the closest thing to it, and a very meaningful expression of local community through our Yom Haatzmaut celebration. A huge yisher koach to those involved.