Yom haAtzma’ut (Israeli Independence Day) is the fifth day of Iyar on the Hebrew calendar. For those of us who don’t use the Hebrew calendar, this year it falls on May 12. This holiday marks the day on which the State of Israel officially came into existence, with the end of the British Mandate coming on May 14, 1948.

About Israel…did you know that:

the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) has 120 members in honor of the Great Assembly convened in Jerusalem by Ezra and Nehemiah in the 5th century B.C.?

the flag of the State of Israel is based on the design of the Jewish prayer shawl?

the official emblem of Israel is the menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum?

the State of Israel has been a member of the United Nations since 1949?

eleven minutes after the proclamation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, the White House announced that President Harry Truman had extended diplomatic recognition of the new state?