By: Darren May  | 

Yom Haatzmaut Kumzitz: From Times Square to Rubin Hall

Yom Ha'atzmaut is a unique date on the Jewish calendar. Although many feel it has a distinctively important spiritual significance, it is unclear what is the proper way to celebrate it.  Everyone knows that Yom Kippur is commemorated by fasting and introspection, and that on Pesach, one must eat matzah. On Yom Ha’atzmaut, however, the disputes fly, from Hallel to special prayers or foods. Still, at Yeshiva University, this year’s Yom Ha’atzmaut introduced a new tradition, to commemorate this day of joy with a Kumzitz, gathering in the Rubin Hall Lounge to sing songs, play guitars, and celebrate Israel’s birthday.

The Yom Ha’atzmaut Kumzitz was spearheaded by the Israel Club. In previous semesters, the club ran kumzitz’s in Times Square. The motivation for a change in locale was because of a talk between club president Michael Osborne and Joshua Nagel, Secretary/Treasurer of YCSA. Nagel, in charge of the Yoms’ festivities advised Osborne to plan the kumzitz for the night of Yom Ha’atzmaut they could create an inspiring event that everyone would appreciate. After the dancing and food, Osborne organized a group of seventy students in the Rubin Hall lobby, which sang and swayed until 1:45 in the morning.

“It was amazing to have so many students come together in a communal love for the state of Israel, and the history of the Jewish people,” said Osborne. “Even though the weather did not permit us to do the kumzitz outside as we would have liked, it was truly a smashing successes. The kumzitz inspired a great sense of Jewish camaraderie.”

“It was absolutely astounding to see so many different Jews united under the umbrella of the land of milk and honey,” said David Fattakhov, a YC student who participated in the kumzitz. Whether they were singing, playing the guitar, or just enjoying the music, everyone had a great time. Such events really show the desire for YU students to come together and appreciate the each other, and the State of Israel. Indeed, plans are in place to run a kumzitz every Yom Ha’atzmaut.