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Israel and the Diaspora; Theme for Israel’s Independence Day

Israel’s 28th Independence Day–to be celebrated next Wednesday–will focus on the theme of “Israel and the Diaspora” officials in the Premier’s office announced here. “We have decided on this because we have learned that in the final analysis our fellow Jews abroad are our most loyal friends,” explained Yehuda Ilan, head of planning for Independence Day.

Ilan said that for the first time since the Yom Kippur War, the government would provide fireworks to brighten up the atmosphere in towns and villages throughout the country next Tuesday, night. Tuesday–Remembrance Day for Israel’s fallen–will end at 6:30 p.m. and Independence Day celebrations will begin two hours later, thereby avoiding the sharp change of mood that had been an object of public criticism in the past. Ilan said.

The diaspora theme will be expressed, inter alia, by the dispatch of 35 young Israeli volunteers to Jewish communities abroad to take part in festive entertainment programs there. The35 were selected out of 400 applicants, Ilan said. Other annual events scheduled for Independence Day include: the international children’s Bible quiz, the award ceremony of the Israel Prizes, and President Ephraim Katzir’s reception for the diplomatic corps.

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