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Family Day (Yom HaMishpacha)
While the United States and other countries around the world celebrate Mother's and Father's Day individually, Israel is celebrating its annual Yom HaMishpacha, or Family Day. This day, which originally began as Mother's Day in 1947, was established to honor the family unit and its centrality to Israeli life. It was decided around the year 2000 that Yom HaMishpacha would be celebrated on the 30th of Shevat, the day of Henrietta Szold’s death. Though Henrietta Szold never had any kids, she was known as “the mother of all children” and was extremely active in creating the framework for Jewish immigrant children from around the world. Yom HaMishpacha has evolved into a day of love and celebration for mothers, fathers, and children. It is particularly popular in Israeli schools and kindergartens where children create art projects and bring photographs of their families to be displayed at school. After school, many families celebrate by going on hikes, picnics, or playing games together. Yom HaMishpacha is a special day in Israeli society when families celebrate and remember the importance of cherishing those closest to them.