AMSTERDAM (May. 11)
Israel’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Michael Bawly, tried something different on Yom Ha’atzmaut this year, apparently with great success.
Instead of the usual Independence Day reception at the Embassy May 7, the Israeli envoy arranged a concert in the vast new concert hall in The Hague, featuring young Israeli musicians.
Instead of several hundred guests, several thousand were able to attend, including diplomats, politicians, members of Parliament and guests from the local Jewish community.
Among the featured performers was 13-year-old violinist Yonathan Gandelman, accompanied on the piano by his mother. Both artists recently arrived in Israel from Russia. They were greeted with a standing ovation.