Celebrants worldwide hit a high note to put 'Hatikva' in the record book

An Israeli initiative sought to break the record for "Most people singing an anthem simultaneously."

independence day 224 (photo credit: )
independence day 224
(photo credit: )
Independence Day celebrants truly had faced something to sing about for a few hours on Wednesday night in Tel Aviv's Kikar Rabin, where thousands of participants lent their voices to a worldwide singing of 'Hatikva' aimed at getting into the Guinness Book of World Records. Israeli businesswoman and actress Galia Albin founded the "Live Hatikva" organization for the purpose of uniting Jews around the world and breaking the record for "Most people singing an anthem simultaneously." "Hatikva is the song of the Jewish people," Albin said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post before the singing. "The goal is to unite the Jewish people. I did it as a philanthropist." Jews participated in the singing from all over the world, including such far-flung locales as Shanghai, Tunisia, and Holland, in addition to larger Diaspora communities such as America, Britain, South Africa, and Australia, according to Albin. "When I had the vision and the idea that all the Jews would sing Hatikva, everybody said 'How are you going to do that?' I said, 'Look, it's the 21st century.'" The global event was broadcast on Israel's Channel 2 and the Internet."I was surprised to see how excited the Diaspora was to join," remarked Albin. Diaspora Jews from around the world were not only singing in their home communities, however. Some were in Israel to participate in the event at the source. Vanessa Border, an Australian volunteer at the WIZO Hadassim Youth Village near Netanya, attended with a group of animated Australians to participate in the celebrations and the mass singing. She commented on the unique nature of celebrating in Israel as a Diaspora Jew. "[In Australia] we wouldn't feel comfortable singing 'Hatikva' in the streets," remarked Border, 18, enthusiastically from within the thick of the crowd. "As we walked here, we were singing 'Hatikva' in the loudest voices we could. Everybody was clapping and cheering and we felt so comfortable." Sharon and Benny Mirzoeff of London came to Israel to celebrate Independence Day with their daughters Abi and Talya and their friend Deborah Yamin-Joseph. It was an "unbelievable feeling to be surrounded by Jews in the Jewish homeland," said Yamin-Joseph, 35. Sharon Mirzoeff, 38, agreed. "I felt very lucky to be here in Israel." Added Abi, 10, "And they were the best fireworks!" The Britons said that they had heard about the event on the popular social networking site Facebook. The event brought out strong Zionist sentiments in the attending Israelis as well. Ilan Dimri, a 27-year-old accountant, remarked on the pride he felt at being Israeli on such an occasion. "It's really exciting to be a part of 60 years for my country," said Dimri. "My opinion is it's a place to die for." Heftzi Moyal, a travel agent, showed her pride to be celebrating with the Jewish community worldwide. "To be with us, it connects all the Jews. It makes me feel very proud," said Moyal, also 27. Although it will take some time for the Live Hatikva organization to confirm that the mass singing broke the 15-year-old Guinness world record, Albin is confident that it will do so. She was expecting 40,000 participants in Israel alone, and added: "We're going to break [the record] right here in Kikar Rabin." For Albin, however, breaking the record was not the only important thing on Wednesday night. "We have one song that unites us, and that's 'Hatikva,'" she said proudly.