CENTERAhead of Holocaust Remembrance Day, some 50 Holocaust survivors now residing in Kfar Saba celebrated a mass bar mitzva at the Western Wall on May 2 in Jerusalem.For some, the joyous Jewish coming-of-age tradition came 70 years late. For others, the festive event was celebrated alongside family members.The annual initiative brings survivors from around the country to the holy site in Jerusalem.According to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, since 2012 some 3,600 Holocaust survivors have taken part in the initiative. Of those, about 1,100 survivors were of bar-mitzva age during the Holocaust and were not able to celebrate the occasion.TA candle vigil memorializes Shoah victims Thousands of memorial candles were placed lining Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv on Thursday in commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day.As part of the “Name and Candle” initiative spearheaded by the Shem VeNer organization, each candle placed along the central Tel Aviv thoroughfare bore the name of a person who perished in the Holocaust along with details of the individual’s life and death.Pedestrians and passersby were encouraged to take home one of the commemorative candles to light at home to mark the solemn day. Shem VeNer encouraged those who could not make it to the boulevard to print a label with the name of a relative or personal connection or from the database on Holocaust victims on their website.Shem VeNer said it sought to introduce the initiative as part of a new national tradition to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust.Independence Day flotilla will sport colors of freedom Dozens of sea vessels are slated to take part in a celebratory flotilla sailing between Herzliya and Tel Aviv on Thursday, May 12, to mark this year’s Independence Day.The boats will set out from the Herzliya Marina at 11 a.m. and head slightly north to Apollonia Beach before making a 180-degree turn to sail toward the Tel Aviv shoreline before returning to Herzliya.The public is invited to watch the flotilla along the beaches of the nautical display’s route.NORTH Jacob’s Ladder Festival marks 40 years at Lake KinneretFor the 40th year running, northern Israel is gearing up for the renowned Jacob’s Ladder Festival of folk music.This year’s 40th Anniversary Spring Festival is scheduled to take place on May 19-20 on and around the pastoral lands and beaches of Nof Ginossar Hotel, located on the shores of Lake Kinneret.The weekend festival lineup includes more than 40 concerts along with various workshops and recreational activities for the whole family.The 40th anniversary celebration will feature a combination of veteran artists who have been playing at the festival since the ’70s, along with artists who will make their debut appearance at the jamboree.The spring festival’s artists largely hail from North America and the British Isles. This year’s leading artists include the Americana roots folk band Spuyten Duyvil, British singer-songwriter Jason Feddy and Canadian singer-songwriter Tim Isberg.Wilfrid Museum to open summer exhibit on China, JapanThe Wilfrid Israel Museum at Kibbutz Hazorea is slated to open its summer art series on May 20 with three new exhibitions focusing on the cultures of China and Japan.The featured exhibition includes the collections “Shadow Play,” by the Chinese couple Lily and Hongley; “On Dragons, Samurais and Dim Sum,” by Reuven Cooperman; and “Current Mythology,” by Rafi Mintz.Quotes from art and traditional culture will appear alongside contemporary mythologies through the displays of animation works, sculptures and paintings which combine elements, reality and fantasy.SOUTH Former IDF chief to headline Beersheba cultural forumFormer IDF chief of staff and Israel Air Force commander Dan Halutz is due to be hosted at a cultural forum on Saturday, May 7, in Beersheba in light of the upcoming Independence Day.The festive program, moderated by journalist Roy Katz, is set to take place in the city’s Opera House at 11 a.m.Additional guests in the program include former MK and IDF general (res.) Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Israel, who now serves as the chairman of the Israel Space Agency. Former Israel Police chief Moshe Karadi is also due to take part in the event.Popular musician Moshe Lahav, known as the “Great Tisch,” will provide musical entertainment at the event. Admission is free to the public.