a family waves israeli flags ecstatically
A Yom HaAtzmaut party at Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, May 2017 (Photo/Peter Marcus)

Party like it’s 1948 at these Bay Area Israel Independence Day events

To commemorate Israel’s 70th birthday, Jews and friends of the Jewish state all over the world are gearing up to party. From a Rube Goldberg machine competition to an Israeli rap concert to a whole lot of falafel, here’s a sampler of ways you can get your blue and white on in the Bay Area this Yom HaAtzmaut. The holiday starts the evening of April 18, but events are happening throughout the month.


San Francisco

Contemporary Jewish Museum. In tandem with the “Art of Rube Goldberg” exhibit, Technion Israel Institute of Technology invites high school teams to compete to create the best Rube Goldberg machine. Sunday, April 8 in the lobby at 736 Mission St., S.F. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.

“PechaKucha Style: An Alternative Independence Day Event.” Seven speakers, 20 slides x 20 seconds. Co-sponsored by New Israel Fund, The Kitchen and Reboot. Thursday, April 19, Chez Poulet, 3359 Cesar Chavez St.. S.F. 7p.m. $18.

Friends of the IDF. Indie rock band The Boardroom performs; three IDF veterans speak. 21 and up. Monday, April 23 at Brick & Mortar, 1710 Mission St., S.F. 7 p.m. $10.


Peninsula & South Bay

Peninsula JCC. Israeli food, music, dancing and panels on Israeli farming and tech. Concludes with 3:30 p.m. puppet show in Hebrew and English. Thursday, April 19 at the JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free.

Addison-Penzak JCC. For adults: Israeli tech panel, wine tasting, live comedy and cooking show by Joel Chasnoff and Einat Admony. For kids: bounce house, arts and crafts. Israeli food will be served. Sunday, April 15 at the JCC, 14855 Oka Rd., Los Gatos. Tech panel 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., festivities 1-5 p.m. Free.

FIDF ride. A 70-kilometer bike ride with IDF veterans. Sunday, April 22 in San Mateo. Meet at San Mateo Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Must RSVP. Also Sunday, May 6 in S.F./Marin. Meet at Presidio Picnic, Lincoln Boulevard, S.F. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. $48-$70.

“70 Strong.” Community party features Israeli hip-hop group Hadag Nahash and a children’s show with Gili and Hanny Nahmias. Food, arts and crafts, fashion show, innovation fair. Co-sponsored by Oshman Family and Peninsula JCCs and others. Sunday, April 22 at San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. $10 and up.

Oshman Family JCC. Phil Rosenthal, host of Netflix’s “Somebody Feed Phil,” and photographer Steven Rothfeld, author of “Israel Eats,” celebrate Israeli cuisine. Food, wine, open discussion. Wednesday, April 18 at the JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $25.


East Bay

“Israel Live!” Contra Costa Under One Tent kids program includes kibbutz-style petting zoo, dancing, food, and Dead Sea science experience. Sunday, April 15 at Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. 9:30 a.m. Free.

Congregation Netivot Shalom. A musical history of Israel presented by musicians Achi Ben Shalom, Noa Levy, Michael Gil and Zack Mondlick. Gourmet falafel bar. Thursday, April 19 at the synagogue, 1316 University Ave., Berkeley. 5:15-8 p.m. $10-50. But tickets.

The Peatot. Israeli cover band performs at Contra Costa event hosted by Under One Tent. Thursday, April 19 at Congregation B’nai Shalom, 74 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. 7 p.m. Free.

Congregation Beth El. Mini-film festival featuring four Israeli and Israeli-themed films, plus a buffet lunch. Sunday, April 22 at the synagogue, 1301 Oxford St., Berkeley. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Suggested donation $10.

Dudu Tassa. Israeli-Iraqi-Yemeni musician known for fusion of Jewish and Arabic music performs with his band the Kuwaitis. All proceeds support Jewish Federation of the East Bay grantees in Israel. Wednesday, May 2 at UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave., Berkeley. 8 p.m. $25 and up.


North Bay

Congregation Beth Ami. Israeli musicians Noa Levy and Achi Ben Shalom perform. “Israel Faire” for kids includes petting zoo and face painting. Sunday, April 22 at the synagogue, 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. 10:30 a.m. Free.


Northern California

Jewish Federation of Sacramento. Israeli food, dancing, bounce house. Sunday, April 29 at Sacramento Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. 1-4 p.m. $7, $18 families, seniors free.