Yom Hazikaron – Yom Ha’atzmaut Ma’avar Ceremony

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Program Overview:

7pm Minha in Sanctuary and Pilch (Egalitarian and Mehitza minyanim offered)

7:15pm Ma’avar Ceremony in Sanctuary

8:00pm Ma’ariv in Sanctuary and Pilch (Egalitarian and Mehitza minyanim offered)

8:15-9:00pm First Session of Learning with Tabby Refael, Amanda Berman or Gil Hoffman

9:15-10:00pm Second Session of Learning with Tabby Refael, Amanda Berman or Gil Hoffman

10:00pm Dessert Provided by Bibis Bakery


Gil Hoffman

Title of Presentation: From Ruin to Resilience: An insider’s look at the challenges facing Israel on the military, media & geopolitical battlefields- and how the Jewish State will prevail

Description: We will analyze the performances of Israel’s army, public diplomacy and international relations since the October 7 massacre. We will deal with the devastating disasters and surprising successes and explain why there is hope for a better future, against all odds.

Gil Hoffman is the executive director of the Jerusalem-based pro-Israel media watchdog HonestReporting and served for 24 years as chief political correspondent and analyst for The Jerusalem Post, where he is now a regular columnist.

He was raised in Chicago, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University’s School of Journalism, and served in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

He’s lectured in all major English-speaking countries in the world and recently made history in Hawaii by becoming the first Israel speaker to lecture in all 50 states. 

Tabby Refael

Title of  the presentation: My Heart is in the East: How the Other Half of the Jewish World Relates to Israel

Description of the presentation: A Tehran-born writer and activist on behalf of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews, Tabby will shed light on the connections and complexities behind Israel as it relates to Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. This presentation will include memorable personal stories as well as photographs, documents and first-hand accounts of living as a young Zionist Jew in the modern Middle East.

Tabby Refael is an award-winning, Iranian-American Jewish writer, speaker and weekly columnist for The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. She is also a co-founder and former execuive director of 30 Years After.

Amanda Berman

Title of Presentation : Not Ceding the Spaces We Helped Build: The Experience of Antisemitism for Jewish progressives in the United States

Description: This session will delve into the multifaceted experiences of antisemitism encountered by Jewish progressives, including gaslighting, microaggressions, and exclusion, alongside a deep dive into classical and contemporary antisemitic tropes and their evolution within modern political discourse. We will explore the intricate relationship between Zionism, Jewish identity, and the perception of Jews within the progressive movement, addressing how anti-Zionism and anti-Israel sentiment often intersect with antisemitic attitudes. Additionally, the workshop will tackle broader themes such as the racialization of Jewish people, the impact of domestic race categories on the Middle East conflict, and the role of anti-Zionist Jews in progressive spaces, striving to foster a more inclusive and informed approach to combating all forms of bigotry within our coalitions.

Amanda Berman (she/her) is the Founder and Executive Director of the Zioness Movement, where she works to empower and activate Zionists on the progressive left to stand proudly in social justice spaces as Jews and Zionists. She is also a civil rights attorney who previously worked to fight antisemitism legally, spearheading such groundbreaking initiatives as the international action against Kuwait Airways for its discrimination against Israeli nationals, and the dual cases against San Francisco State University for its constitutional and civil rights violations against Jewish and Israeli students and community members.



Nachum Peterseil

Nachum is an internationally touring Jewish singer/songwriter, song leader, and performer.  

His live performances bring communities together!

Nachum performs and provides various services ranging from early childhood centers to high schools, as well as colleges, private homes and synagogues. He travels to communities around the world creating an uplifting experience through music, song, and prayer, connecting body and soul.

Duvid Swirsky

Duvid Swirsky is a musician, producer and singer-songwriter from Israel living inLos Angeles. Duvid Swirsky is a co-founder of one of the most popular Jewish-Israeli bands: MOSHAV.

MOSHAV brings its fiery blend of traditional and original music to audiences across the world. In 2001, Duvid and his band moved to Los Angeles to sign a record deal withSONY JMG. In 2012 Duvid formed the indie-pop band, Distant Cousins, creating music for T.V, film, and various artists. Credits include “A Million Little Things” (ABC), “Archibald’s Next Big Thing” (Dreamworks), “Where’s Waldo?” (Dreamworks), “This Is Where I Leave You” (Warner Bros),”Graceland” (USA Network), “Daddy’s Home” (Paramount), Macy’s and the MLB Network.

Duvid Swirsky is the Musical Director/Cantor at Nefesh-a progressive spiritual community located in Echo Park, Los Angeles, and the Musical Director of Friday Night Live at Sinai Temple, a conservative synagogue in West Los Angeles.