NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee hosted its annual Israel Independence Day celebration Sunday afternoon at Centennial Park.
Local Jewish congregations, the Akiva Jewish Day School, Vanderbilt Hillel, and several other local Jewish agencies and organizations provided music, food, and entertainment for attendees.
The celebration marked the 70th Anniversary of the founding of Israel in May 1948.
"Nashville is a diverse community, and the fact that we have Jews from all of the world that are celebrating, it’s consistent. Nashville is diverse, Israel is diverse. We share commonality in the fact that we are leaders in the world in technology, medical research, and innovation. So there are a lot of similarities in both communities," Nashville Vice Mayor Sheri Weiner said.
Governor Haslam proclaimed April 29 as 70th Anniversary of the State of Israel Day.
It was also a time to remember Jews killed in the Holocaust.
"Keeping that memory alive starts with the people here today, and Nashville's Jewish community has brought so much to this city over the years and given so much that I'm proud to be here today to acknowledge the 70th anniversary," Mayor David Briley said.
"We estimate there’s about only 5,000 Jewish households in all of Nashville and the seven-county area. But the Jewish community has always been involved in civil rights and working in strong interfaith relations, so we’re trying to share the message of unity here today," Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Mark Freedman, said.