Area will celebrate Israel at 59 years


An evening of comedy and Israeli dancing will be the theme for this year’s community celebration of Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

This year’s festivities, set for 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 23, at the JCC, 2 Millstone Campus Dr., will mark the Jewish State’s 59th anniversary. The events will feature two comedy acts and two dance troupes as well as the St. Louis Jewish Women’s Choir. According to Rabbi Brad Horwitz, director of the Helene Mirowitz Department of Jewish Community Life at the Jewish Community Center, the comedy will include hometown talent.

“We’re going to have two comedian acts,” he said. “One is the Sklar Brothers. They’re native St. Louisans who have made it in Hollywood.”

The other act is Joel Chasnoff, who served with the Israeli Defense Forces and performed stand-up comedy for soldiers on bases throughout Israel. The comedy events are not recommended for children under 13. Babysitting is available for children ages 5 and under and other activities are scheduled for those 12 and under with paid admission. Childcare reservations must be made by April 20.

The dance events will be performed by the Hora Gil Dance Troupe and the Magniv Israeli Dance Troupe.

Horwitz, who served on the event’s planning committee, said the comedians are a bit of a departure from previous years when the performances were more strongly focused on Israeli music.

“This is kind of a different focus,” Horwitz said. “The performers are American which is kind of a change for this year as well. I think the committee’s hope was that in addition to the Israeli community who always come out in full force for this kind of program, that we can bring in some of the American Jewish community as well.”

Horwitz stressed how important it is for the American Jewish community to support Israel yearround, not just on Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

“Support for Israel is very important for being a Jew outside of Israel,” Horwitz said. “It is the Jewish homeland. By celebrating Israeli Independence Day, we’re connecting with our brothers and sisters in Israel and recognizing how special that place is.”

The community’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration is directed by CAJE in concert with the JCC and funded by the Lubin-Green Foundation. Tickets for the community’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration are available for $5 for adults and $3 for children if bought in advance. If purchased on the day of the event, they are $2 more. Tickets can be ordered online at or by calling 314-442-3765. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m.

“Hopefully, there will be something there for everybody,” Horwitz said.