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Israel during Yom Hashoa, Memorial Day and Israel's Birthday

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Israel during Yom Hashoa, Memorial Day and Israel's Birthday

Without realizing I was getting the trifecta, we will be in Israel for all three of these holidays in 2014.

While I realize on different days, different things will be shut down for memorial/celebrations. How difficult will it be to find restaurants and things to do on these days? Do we need to plan in advance?

We will be in Jerusalem on Yom Hashoa.....may plan a day trip to Ramallah that day if it is advisable...and in Tel Aviv for the other two.

A little concerned that I have too many 'holidays' including Shabbat on our trip, and wondering what affect that will have.

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1. Re: Israel during Yom Hashoa, Memorial Day and Israel's Birthday

Yom Hashoa and Memorial Day are regular working days. On both days places of entertainment and restaurants close down the evening before and most reopen by lunch time on the day itself. Hotels of course serve dinner as usual. There is public transportation.

The Independence Day festivities start at sundown on Memorial Day. Almost every city has a central stage where entertainers perform, there are fireworks as well as various other activities. Everyone is out on the streets. On Independence Day itself the tradition is to have a barbecue at home or in a park, many army bases, factories, etc, open their doors to the public, etc. There is public transport.

In summary, there is public transport on all three days and most sites will be open, although you have to check individual websites for the hours. Almost all restaurants are closed on the even of Yom HaShoah and Memorial Day. Independence Day has a lot of interesting activities that's most tourists enjoy participating in.

Edited: 28 December 2013, 05:59
Jerusalem
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2. Re: Israel during Yom Hashoa, Memorial Day and Israel's Birthday

Just to add to mbgg's accurate information:

If you're in Jerusalem on the evening of Yom Hashoah, you can eat at a restaurant in the Arab areas of the city, which will be open as usual (assuming you don't require Kosher food).

Sites and museums are open on Independence Day but can be incredibly busy - during the day the radio will often announce that a particular park or site is full and not allowing any more visitors to enter. Try to plan something for that day that involves little or no driving as the roads are choked - if you're in Tel Aviv, that should be easy.

Re. Ramallah - you could certainly go on Yom Hashoah. On Memorial Day and Independence Day a closure is always imposed on the Palestinian Territories and security levels are high. For that reason, although it's technically possible to visit Ramallah, I'd suggest you choose another time.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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3. Re: Israel during Yom Hashoa, Memorial Day and Israel's Birthday

I would suggest that you stay in Israel proper for all three days and drink in the experience. I have not been there for Yom Ha-Sho'a, but in 2008 I was there for Yom Ha-Zikaron (Memorial Day) and Yom Ha-Atzma'ut (Independence Day),and found it a moving, powerful, and wonderful experience. Yes, you'll have to deal with evening restaurant closures for the first two, and crowds on Yom Ha-Atzm'aut, but you'll gain a lot more in the experience of drinking in the feel of the holiday.

And on Yom Ha-Sho'a, where things aren't closed during the day for the most part, I think you'd probably want to be where you can stand in respect when the sirens sound and remember along with Israel and the world.

Enjoy your trip! By the way, my newly revised guide is done -- feel free to write me at Labatt@fuse.net if you'd like it.

Douglas Duckett

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4. Re: Israel during Yom Hashoa, Memorial Day and Israel's Birthday

Don't think of it as 'too many holidays'. Think of it as an opportunity for some powerful experiences you otherwise would not have had the chance to have. Independence Day is fantastic with such a party and family atmosphere everywhere in the country. An opportunity to visit with the soldiers on/near army bases who put up displays and talk about their lives- this is not normally available to the tourist.

Yom HaZikaron is something that is experienced in Israel but doesn't really translate to the Diaspora. You really have to be in Israel to 'feel' this day. There are sirens at mid-day. One year I experienced Yom HaZikaron at a school in Jerusalem. Very emotional. Even the youngest children stood quietly and attentively through the sirens. The contrast to the festivities that start after sundown is just striking.

Israel
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5. Re: Israel during Yom Hashoa, Memorial Day and Israel's Birthday

Only Uom Haatzmaut will be a bit difficult because the country is on vacation. Evetything is open all three days, but Indpendence Day expect extreme crowds everywhere. both Memorial and Holocaust days have ceremonies and every closes early on the eve of the holiday. There is no reason to make any special plans.

Chana

Israel

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6. Re: Israel during Yom Hashoa, Memorial Day and Israel's Birthday

To add to what's already been said, Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day) is the only one of these days that's a real public holiday on which hardly anyone goes to work (only those working in essential services) and schools are closed. Buses and trains run (but on a reduced schedule), and traffic on the roads will be extremely heavy. On this day the most popular activity is a barbecue in the open air, and just about any patch of greenery - even three yards from a highway - will be full of picknicking families. Don't try and cram in too much on this day as you will probably spend most of it stuck in a traffic jam. Better to stick close to where you are staying!

7. Re: Israel during Yom Hashoa, Memorial Day and Israel's Birthday

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