Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, four new holidays have been added to the Jewish calendar – Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day), Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day), and Yom Y’rushalayim (Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the reunification of the city in 1967). In Israel, these days are observed as national holidays; around the world, they are observed in various ways by Jewish communities.
The Israeli Knesset (parliament) established the day that precedes Yom HaAtzmaut as Yom HaZikaron, a day to memorialize soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the War of Independence and subsequent battles, as well as a day to remember civilian victims of terrorism. The official State name given to the day is Yom HaZikaron LeHalalei Ma’arakhot Yisrael ul’Nifge’ei Pe’ulot HaEivah which means “Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism” and was enacted into law in 1963.
Yom HaAtzmaut marks the anniversary of the establishment of the modern state of Israel. It is observed on or near the 5th of the Hebrew month of Iyar on the Jewish calendar, which usually falls in April.