Israel at 70

Hi everyone! Welcome to our Israel at 70 project. This is just one of the ways Noam as a movement is marking the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence. The project involves Noamniks from all ages choosing a picture from a year of Israel’s independence, and writing a short piece about what it means to them, and their personal connection to Israel.

The pictures will be published every day in the lead up to Yom Haatzmaut, cycling through the years until we reach the present day! Noam’s connection with Israel is vital, meaningful and special, and we aim to educate Noamniks on all our events about the importance of understanding Israel’s history, grappling with its issues, and forming a purposeful relationship with the country.

The Israel at 70 project demonstrates the commitment of our movement to Israel and its history, as well the cultivation of young engaged Zionists!

Noah Libson,
Zionism Tafkid

Below you will find the timeline which we will update as the project goes on.

Israel at 70

1991 – Operation Solomon

By Georgie Friend (Bogeret and Madricha) Ethiopia has long been home to small Jewish population, known as the Beta Yisrael. In 1991, Ethiopia began to destabilise as the Soviet Union relinquished control of the area. This left the country at the mercy of various rebel groups vying for control, which left Israel concerned about the … Continue reading 1991 – Operation Solomon..Read More

1990 – USSR open borders

By Noa Lightman (Madricha) The 1990s Post-Soviet aliyah began en masse in the late 1980s when the government of Mikhail Gorbachev opened the borders of the USSR and allowed Jews to leave the country for Israel. Between 1989 and 2006, about 1.6 million Soviet Jews and their non-Jewish relatives and spouses, emigrated from the former Soviet Union, of this amount about 61% migrated to Israel. As … Continue reading 1990 – USSR open borders..Read More

1989 – Mass Soviet immigration

By Aaron Barrie (Madrich) In 1989 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev lifted restrictions on emigration, allowing Soviet Jews who wanted to make aliyah to do so. That same year 12,000 of them immigrated to Israel by the Law of Return. They set up stock in places like Haifa, Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv, among others. Although … Continue reading 1989 – Mass Soviet immigration..Read More

1988 – Palestinian declaration of independence

By Jess Bloom (Bogeret and Madricha) In 1988 Israel’s right to exist was recognised following the Palestinian Declaration of Independence which was proclaimed by Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Whilst the declaration did not explicitly recognise the State of Israel, Yasser Arafat, who was then elected as the first President … Continue reading 1988 – Palestinian declaration of independence..Read More

1987 – Israel at Eurovision

By Georgie Levine (Bogeret, Rosh, Incoming Movement Worker 5778-9) Israel competed in the 32nd Eurovision Song contest in Brussels, Belgium. The entry by the ‘Lazy Bums,’ a comedic duo consisting of Avi Kushnir and Natan Datner dressed in black suits and ties, with black sunglasses shading their eyes, emanating a Blues Brothers style. They sang … Continue reading 1987 – Israel at Eurovision..Read More

1986 – Attack foiled

By Josh Ezekiel (Boger and Madrich) On the 16th of April 1986, a terrorist attack on Israel was foiled. Working with members of the Syrian embassy in London, Jordanian Nizar Hindawi had secretly planted a bomb in the bag of his fiance Anne-Marie Murphy while helping her pack for her flight from London to Israel, … Continue reading 1986 – Attack foiled..Read More

1985 – HaBonim train disaster

By Jojo Moss (Boger and Madrich) On 11th June 1985, near Moshav HaBonim south of Haifa, a train crashed at 60 mph into a bus of 7th grade schoolchildren on a trip from Y. H. Brenner middle school in Petach Tikva, killing 22 people (19 students, a teacher, a parent and the bus driver). The … Continue reading 1985 – HaBonim train disaster..Read More

1984 – Operation Moses

By Shanie Earl (Bogeret and Madricha) In November 1984, the first group of Ethiopian Jews arrived in Israel through ‘Operation Moses’. This operation facilitated the undercover evacuation of Ethiopian Jewish individuals from Sudan during the civil war that was occurring at the time. Its aim was to help this community to escape hardship and introduce … Continue reading 1984 – Operation Moses..Read More

1983 – The end of an era

By Ava Sharpe (Bogeret and Madricha) The Political Legacy of Menachem Begin Following a resounding political career as Israeli Prime Minister from 1977, 1983 saw the end of an era for Zionist leader Menachem Begin. After commanding the militant paramilitary group Irgun Zvai Leumi from 1943-8, Begin formed the Herut ‘Freedom’ Party and became the … Continue reading 1983 – The end of an era..Read More

1982 – Yehuda Amichai wins the Israel Prize for Hebrew Poetry

By Hannah Kashman (Mazkira) Yehuda Amichai (1924 – 2000) is regarded by many, both in Israel and internationally, as Israel’s greatest modern poet. His contribution to Israeli culture was formally recognised when he received the Israel Prize for Hebrew poetry in 1982, the most prestigious honour the country can bestow upon a citizen.  The prize … Continue reading 1982 – Yehuda Amichai wins the Israel Prize for Hebrew Poetry..Read More

1981 – The Golan Heights Law

By Harry Jacobs (Movement Worker 5778 & Incoming Mazkir 5779) (Picture is me having just finished a hike in the Golan Heights circa 2011.) On the 14th December 1981, the Knesset annexed the Golan Heights. The law simply stated: The Law, jurisdiction and administration of the state shall apply to the Golan Heights… The reaction … Continue reading 1981 – The Golan Heights Law..Read More

1980 – Yigal Allon and Linor Abargil

By Jacob Virchis (Boger, Madrich and Drachimnik) 1980 was an exciting year for Israel with three big events happening: 1) Israel established diplomatic relations with their neighbouring country Egypt, 2) The Israeli Lira was replaced by the Shekel and 3) The Jerusalem Law came into place stating that Jerusalem is the capital, protecting the holy … Continue reading 1980 – Yigal Allon and Linor Abargil..Read More

1979 – Israel/Egypt Peace Treaty

By Harry Kelly (Rosh, Kehilla and CCR Tafkid on Va'ad Tnuah) The 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty, signed by Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, made Egypt the first Arab nation to officially recognise the existence of the State of Israel. The key elements of the treaty involved Israel withdrawing from the Sinai desert, and a cessation … Continue reading 1979 – Israel/Egypt Peace Treaty..Read More

1978 – Death of Golda Meir

By Dan Eisenberg (Mazkirut 5774-76) She was the first female prime minister of Israel. She was called Golda Meir and she died on 8th December 1978. I remember when I was a kid my parents telling me that it was very important that I go see a one woman show with them at the Shaw … Continue reading 1978 – Death of Golda Meir..Read More

1977 – Anwar Sadat

By Claudia Marks (Bogeret, Madricha and Drachimnik) Anwar Sadat, the third President of Egypt, made history in 1977 when he became the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel. On 19 November, Sadat met with Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, seeking a permanent peace settlement. This was four years after Sadat led Egypt in the … Continue reading 1977 – Anwar Sadat..Read More

1976 – Operation Entebbe

By Jake Libson (Drachimnik, Tour Madrich 5777, Movement Worker 5778-9) On the 27th June 1976, 4 hijackers seized an Air France flight flying from Israel to Paris via Athens with 250 people on board. The hijackers (2 from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and 2 from Germany’s Baader-Meinhof gang, plus 3 others) … Continue reading 1976 – Operation Entebbe..Read More

1975 – Resolution 3379

By Ruth Launer (Madricha) The United Nations Assembly Resolution 3379 was passed on the 10th November and stated that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”. The vote took place following Yasser Arafat’s “olive branch” speech to the general assembly in November 1973, and the resolution was passed a year later with the … Continue reading 1975 – Resolution 3379..Read More

1974 – The first Rabin administration

By Ella Cohen (Movement Worker 5775-6, Tour Madricha 5774) In 1974 Yitzhak Rabin was elected to office as prime minster, succeeding Golda Meir after her resignation earlier that year. Rabin would go on to be one of the most influential figures in Israeli-Palestinian peace process during his second term in office starting in 1992 and … Continue reading 1974 – The first Rabin administration..Read More

1973 – Yom Kippur War

By Amos Schonfield (Mazkir 5775-6, Israel Tour Madrich 2013) On Yom Kippur, the Arab and Syrian armies launched an offensive against Israel that was largely seen as a surprise. Israeli intelligence misjudged the timing of the war, and only began calling up reservists at the last minute. Prime Minister Golda Meir refused to launch a … Continue reading 1973 – Yom Kippur War..Read More

1972 – Terror in Munich

By Charlotte Caplan (Bogeret, Rosh and Israel Tour Madricha 5778) In late August and early September, an Israeli team were competing at the Munich Olympics. This was the first time the Olympics had been hosted by Germany since the famous 1936 games. As the 1972 games proceeded, there were tales of individual successes for both … Continue reading 1972 – Terror in Munich..Read More

1971 – Kibbutz El Rom

By Gabi Rosenberg (Bogeret, Madricha, Drachimnik 5778 and Gemilut Chasadim Tafkid for Va'ad Tnuah) Kibbutz El Rom was founded in 1971 by a group of chalutzim from the Machanot Olim Zionist Youth Movement. Machanot Olim was the first youth movement with both a Zionist and socialist ideology to be established in Israel, beginning in the … Continue reading 1971 – Kibbutz El Rom..Read More

1970 – War of Attrition

By Ben Geller (Boger, Madrich and Drachimnik) The year 1970 marked the end of the War of Attrition fought between Israel and Egypt. The war was sparked by Egyptian President, Gamal Nassar, who attempted to reclaim the Sinai Peninsula from Israel, that was captured during the Six Day War. The War of Attrition was unique … Continue reading 1970 – War of Attrition..Read More

1969 – The Iron Lady

By Noah Libson (Rosh, Drachimnik and Zionism Tafkid for Va'ad Tnuah) On 16 March 1969, after the sudden death of Labor Party leader Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel. Meir was the first, and to date, only woman to hold the office. She was referred to as the 'Iron Lady', long before … Continue reading 1969 – The Iron Lady..Read More

1968 – Continuing conflict

By Georgia Serlui (Chanicha) On 20 December- Lieutenant-Colonel Zvi Ofer commmander of the elite Haruv unit, former military governor of Nablus and recipient of the Israel medal of valour for the 1962 Nuqeib operation in syria, is killed in action in Wadi Qelt, west of Jericho while in pursuit of militants who had crossed the … Continue reading 1968 – Continuing conflict..Read More

1967 – Six Day War

By Riki Williams (Chanicha) In 1967 Israel fought its third war with its Arab neighbours. Many in Israel believed this was going to be the final war, were Israel would be wiped off the map and the Jews pushed into the sea. In the months before the Israelis could see that Egypt, Syria and Jordan … Continue reading 1967 – Six Day War..Read More

1966 – End of martial law

By Rosa Boyd (Chanicha) On 8 November 1966 – The martial law imposed on Israeli Arabs since the founding of the State of Israel was lifted completely and Arab citizens were granted the same rights as Jewish citizens under the law. These laws had restricted travel more than a given distance from a person's registered … Continue reading 1966 – End of martial law..Read More

1965 – Breakaway

By Abi Kashman (Chanicha) In 1965 the left-wing political party, Rafi (Israeli Workers list) was founded by David Ben-Gurion, who left Mapi and led a breakaway group of eight members of the Knesset. Even though this party did dissolve in 1968, it was one of the three parties to merge and form the Israeli labour … Continue reading 1965 – Breakaway..Read More

1964 – Water innovation

By Izzie Solomon (Chanicha) In 1964, construction on the National Water Carrier was completed, bringing water from Lake Kinneret in the North to the semi-arid south...Read More

1963 – The end of an era

By Pandora Yadgaroff (Bogeret, Rosh and Israel Tour madricha) David Ben-Gurion stepped down as prime minister for personal reasons in June 1963. Despite a brief hiatus, it was Ben-Gurion who had led Israeli through its formative decade, through a war and through the foundations of what Israeli society would come to be. Israel’s ‘founding father’ … Continue reading 1963 – The end of an era..Read More

1962 – The execution of Adolf Eichmann

By Jennifer Cohen (Bogeret, Madricha and Drachimnik) Following his arrest in 1960, Adolf Eichmann was sentenced was sentenced to hang for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the Jewish people; eventually bringing him to justice after his involvement in the Holocaust. Eichmann was key in the facilitation of the ‘Final Solution’, and in … Continue reading 1962 – The execution of Adolf Eichmann..Read More

1961 – The trial of Adolf Eichmann

By Sasha Miller (Bogeret, Rosh and Chair of Va'ad Tnuah) On April 11th, 1961 the trial of Adolf Eichmann began in Jerusalem, Eichmann having been recently captured by Mossad after going into hiding in Argentina. He was charged on 15 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including responsibility for the enslavement, starvation and … Continue reading 1961 – The trial of Adolf Eichmann..Read More

1960 – The Capture of Adolf Eichmann

By Adam Stephens (Boger and Madrich) In 1960, the Israeli Mossad carried out an operation that would end in the capture of Adolf Eichmann. The picture above is of a blindfolded Eichmann being led to a plane to bring him to Israel from Argentina to stand trial. Ben Gurion’s decision to capture Eichmann and transport … Continue reading 1960 – The Capture of Adolf Eichmann..Read More

1959 – The Carmelit Funicular

By Tammy Sapir The Carmelit is an underground funicular railway and the only subway in Haifa. Construction took three years and finished in 1959. It is currently the only underground transit system until the expected completion of the Tel Aviv Light Rail. It has a line length of 1.8 km and travels at 17 mph..Read More

1958 – The Year Israel Went Nuclear

By Vitale Stone (Bogeret and Madricha) What did you do for your 10th birthday? I had a trampolining party, Israel went nuclear. 1958 saw the beginning of the construction of the Negev Nuclear Research Centre, or colloquially, the Dimona reactor, located in the Negev desert about thirteen kilometres outside of the city of Dimona. The … Continue reading 1958 – The Year Israel Went Nuclear..Read More

1957 – Strikes at a Textile Factory

By Miriam Clifton (Israel Tour Chanicha 2017) A strike breaks out in the ATA Textile factory, after failed negotiations between the owners and the workers’ representatives over the terms of the workers’ collective agreement and the management intent to fire a percentage of the workers. Despite the attempt of government involvement in ending the dispute … Continue reading 1957 – Strikes at a Textile Factory..Read More

1956 – The Suez Crisis

By Daniel Burns (Madrich) The most notable event involving Israel in 1956 was the Suez crisis (also known as the second Arab-Israeli war), in which Egypt attempted to nationalize the Suez canal. The Result of this was an invasion of the Sinai Peninsula, in which Israel occupied Gaza, as well as capturing the straights of … Continue reading 1956 – The Suez Crisis..Read More

1955 – Uri Ilan

By Thomas Cohen (Madrich) On the 13th January 1955 Uri Ilan, having been imprisoned by Syrian forces, committed suicide in captivity. Only a month earlier, Ilan, along with four other IDF soldiers, had been entrusted with a secret mission to change the batteries of a wiretapping device across the Israel-Syria armistice line in the Golan … Continue reading 1955 – Uri Ilan..Read More

1954 – The Case of Rudolf Kastner

By Jacob Smith (Madrich)   At the beginning of 1954, the construction of Yad Vashem began, just outside Jerusalem. It was to become the biggest holocaust memorial in the world. A key tenet of Yad Vashem was to remember not just those who perished in the holocaust, but those who risked everything to help others … Continue reading 1954 – The Case of Rudolf Kastner..Read More

1953 – Israel Prize פרס ישראל

By Toby Kunin (Tour 2017 Chanich)   The first set of Israel prizes are awarded (see here President David Ben Gurion awarding the prize for Social Sciences to Mark Dvorzhetski on Yom Haatzmaut 1953). Awarded annually in the presence of the President, Prime Minister and Supreme Court Chief Justice, the prize is the highest civilian … Continue reading 1953 – Israel Prize פרס ישראל..Read More

1952 – A Family Story

By Guy Pollack (Boger, Drachimnik and Mazkir 5777) While 1952 was a busy year in Israel’s history, seeing the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany signed, the death of President Chaim Weizmann and the election of Yitzhak Ben-Zvi as the second president of the State of Israel, I would like to take a journey … Continue reading 1952 – A Family Story..Read More

1951 – The Hula Valley

By Miki Friend (Bogeret & Madricha) The Jordan River feeds water into Lake Hula, previously a swamp and a feeding ground for birds migrating from Africa to Asia, was a problem for Israel due to its inability yield crops. In the early 1900s a plan was made to drain the swamps in order to make … Continue reading 1951 – The Hula Valley..Read More

1950 – The Law of Return

By Hannah Arnaud (Bogeret & Madricha) On the 5th of July 1950, the Knesset ratified חֹוק הַשְׁבוּת‬, (the law of return). This is the law that allows any Jewish person to settle in the land of Israel and become an Israeli citizen. I have chosen to think about this event because it goes some way … Continue reading 1950 – The Law of Return..Read More

1949 – Election of the First Knesset

By Bz Gilinsky (Boger & Rosh)   Probably the most important event in 1949 is the election of the First Knesset, as highlighted by the picture above, where a woman weighs up some of the options open to her at the ballot box. This somewhat lacks the drama of the establishment of the State of … Continue reading 1949 – Election of the First Knesset..Read More

1948 – Declaration of Independence

By Leo Style (Boger & Madrich) 15th May 1948 David Ben-Gurion declares independence for the State of Israel underneath a picture of the founder of political Zionism, Theodore Herzl. This year represented the beginning of Israel’s short, arduous and eventful journey towards being the most liberal democracy in the Middle East, providing Israeli’s and diaspora … Continue reading 1948 – Declaration of Independence..Read More