Yom Ha’Atzmaut: Hebrew name means “Independence Day.” What’s it about? The modern State of Israel formally declared independence from Great Britain on May 14, 1948. Observance of this holiday is tied to the Hebrew date, Iyar 5. Foods: This is a good time to get falafel and other Israeli foods. Activities: In many Jewish communities, it’s the custom to have a fair or other celebration. Some religious Jews add celebratory liturgy to weekday prayers. Symbols: Israeli flags, music, foods.