The Event of the Year

1 Jul

Bialik-Rogozin Choir

Bialik-Rogozin Choir. (photo from U.S. Embassy flickr photostream)

USA Loaves of Bread

From last year's event but when I peeked through the window of the Residence I saw a similar display of loaves of bread. (from U.S. Embassy video)

The July 4th Reception held at the Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel was billed by the U.S. Embassy as the #1 Event of the Year…with Israel’s A List. And we were there! We must have been on the B or C List. We did not gain access to the actual residence, as I imagine the A-Listers did. We spent the evening on the back lawn with about 4,000 other attendees, though I believe many of the A-Listers mingled with the rest of us after having been received by the Ambassador and his wife at the Residence.

A stage had been set up on one end of the lawn and Winds Aloft, a US Air Force quartet, provided a tasteful set of music. The pool had been covered up and transformed into an open bar serving beer, wine and champagne. Aside from roving servers offering appetizers one could partake of food provided by event sponsors, some of whom were McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza, and Ben & Jerry’s. I opted to nosh on the Kosher food served up on a hill overlooking the lawn and my drink for the evening was the free-flowing champagne.

I enjoyed chatting with friends from the Embassy and the International Women’s Club as well as other people I was introduced to or just happened to meet that evening. We were entertained by a few songs performed by a choir from the Bialik-Rogozin school in Tel Aviv. They sang a couple of songs in Hebrew, then regaled the crowd with renditions of America The Beautiful and God Bless America.

The act everyone was waiting for, however, was delayed by about an hour. President Shimon Peres and PM Benjamin Netanyahu were scheduled to make an appearance and say a few words. Before they took stage the U.S. and Israeli national anthems were sung by two talented singers. I’d never heard the Israeli national anthem sung before. The singer did a wonderful job. I didn’t understand a word she sang but the tune was hauntingly beautiful. Peres and Bibi made brief speeches wishing the USA a Happy Birthday and praising our friendship and strong ties. After their speeches we were treated to a fireworks display.

Definitely a different way to celebrate Independence Day. We will have our chance at a more traditional cookout with hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill at the Embassy community party to be held on July 4th.

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2 Responses to “The Event of the Year”

  1. Alan July 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    The melody for Ha’Tikva (“The Hope”) Israel’s national anthem is taking from Smetana’s “Moldau.”

    Happy Independence Day Lenora — and here’s to our glorious Revolution.

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