SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A number of Israelis gathered in Springfield Tuesday night to honor the nation’s 75th anniversary, despite social divisions in Israel.

There have been protests against the Israel prime minister’s nationalist-religious government stifling Israel’s judiciary but the unity of the local Jewish Israeli community remains evident. Those in attendance at the Temple Beth El first commemorated Israel’s fallen soldiers, then sorrow was replaced with celebration.

22 News spoke with Sonia Wilk, Executive Director of Temple Beth El, who told us, “It unifies the past, present, and future. it unifies us with our neighbor. And in Israel, it really unifies a community because every community has children that have died to fight for their independence…”

Since 1948, Israel has fought half a dozen wars with Arab neighbors, battled two Palestinian uprisings, and endured scores of deadly militant attacks.