Americans associate the celebration of Independence Day with night-time fireworks, bar-b-ques and more. But how does one celebrate in Israel; or at an American Jewish overnight camp? The Jewish calendar provides an answer: “Erev Independefest.”
From the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Israel to Jewish camps across the U.S., yesterday and last night heralded in parties, carnivals and fireworks celebrating the U.S.’s Independence Day.
And while the most popular station at the Ambassador’s residence was the bar serving unusual blends of Jack Daniel’s, the real action was taking place at Jewish summer camps stateside.
One of many camp Independefest events took place at Camp Airy where they played host to Capital Camps and Camp Louise. There, 1500 campers and staff came together for carnival rides, games, snow cones, a dance for the older campers and a 30 minute long fireworks display.
Yesterday’s event was part of a new spirit of collaboration appearing in many Jewish summer camps. In addition to a joint staff Birthright trip in May, the staffs of Capital, Airy & Louise came together for staff training programs during pre-camp staff week.
Following last night’s program, Jonah Geller, CEO of Capital Camps & Retreat Center, told eJP, “We are very excited about the partnership that we continue to develop with Camp Airy & Louise. From the Birthright trip, to collaborating with the Associated (Jewish Federation of Greater Baltimore), to celebrating July 4th, we are thrilled to be their neighbors and partners in Jewish camping.”
As we like to say at eJP, the photos say it all (photos courtesy Capital Camps).
For what a number of synagogues are doing to celebrate Shabbat and Independence Day, check out “US and Israeli flags to wave at Jewish July 4 celebrations” in The Times of Israel.
Happy Independence Day and Shabbat Shalom!