Bringing Israel to Vancouver


Throughout the year Jewish Federation’s Israel and Overseas Affairs Department (IOAD) and Israel and Overseas Committee (IOAC) bring opportunities for the Vancouver community to experience Israel’s dynamic, vibrant culture locally.


Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day)
Yom HaZikaron is Israeli’s official remembrance day. This day is dedicated to remembering Israeli military personnel who have lost their lives in the struggle leading to the establishment of the State of Israel, those who have been killed subsequently while on active duty in Israel's armed forces and civilian victims of terrorist attacks. Every year our community comes together for a moving memorial in their honour.

Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day)
As the sun sets and Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, begins, the Israeli flag is raised to the top of the pole on Mount Herzl from the half-mast position it flew in on Yom HaZikaron. Our community’s annual Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration brings an Israeli music group for a live performance that’s full of life. Over 1,200 people attend the annual event.



The ShinShinim are teenage emissaries from Israel who spend a year volunteering in Vancouver. They create meaningful Israel connections with local youth, engage children of all ages in a variety of activities, and build people-to-people ties to Israel for our Vancouver youth that last for a lifetime. The ShinShinim are also a special part of our regional communities’ strategy since they visit youth who may have little exposure to Israel, or whose families would otherwise have to travel long distances to experience Israeli cultural events.


Israeli Arts and Culture at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver

Each year the Jewish Community Centre hosts festivals and events featuring Israeli artists, including the Chutzpah! Festival, Festival Ha'Rikud, and the Cherie Smith JCC Jewish Book Festival. The Chutzpah! Festival has brought culturally rich works of comedy, dance, music, and theatre from exciting, critically-acclaimed artists from all over the world to Vancouver for over two decades. Jewish Federation funds support for the participation of Israeli artists at all three festivals.


Gesher Chai (Living Bridge) Programs

Gesher Chai (Living Bridge) programs promote global Jewish identity and unity through people-to-people connections between Canadian and Galilee Panhandle residents at three different levels: student-to-student, teacher-to-teacher, and peer-to-peer connections. Each of our Gesher Chai programs has an impact felt in hearts around the world. More...