By John Fisher
MOVING from the solemnity and emotion of Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron to the joy of Yom Ha'atzmaut is quite a dramatic shift, but Leeds was in the mood to party on Wednesday evening.
The transition between the atrocities, battles and sacrifices of human life to the celebration and joyous reminder that world Jewry has a national homeland always sneaks up and takes people by surprise.
The community turned out in force to rejoice Israel's Independence Day at the Etz Chaim Synagogue's Reuben Vincent Hall and to wish the Jewish state a happy 70th birthday.
The Makor Culture backed programme couldn't have been more joyous with huge contributions from the Brodetsky Primary School choir and a touch of magic from mindreader and comedian Duncan Williams.
David Israel offered a warm welcome as presenter, and as well as a couple of videos about Israel, the ShakeShuka Party Band, led by Ilan Sherman, made a vibrant contribution.
There was also a fine display of stalls with huge offerings from UJIA, WIZO, The Zone, FZY, Bnei Akiva and Habonim Dror. . . and lots of food.