The Chief Rabbi led celebrations as over 1,400 people came together to mark Israeli Independence Day in Finchley yesterday.

Israeli ambassador Mark Regev also spoke at the ceremony – hosted by youth movement Bnei Akiva – along with cabinet minister Stephen Crabb MP.

The service at Finchley Synagogue also commemorated Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s day of remembrance for those killed in wars and terror attacks.

Paying tribute to his movement’s “distinguished guests”, Bnei Akiva Mazkir David Reuben said the community had come together to celebrate the “incredible miracles that re-established Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel”.

He told guests: “We celebrate those from all walks of life, and every place on earth, who came together to contribute to Israel.

“Whether religious or secular, from the West or the East, rich or poor, the one thing they all have in common is a lifelong dedication to improving the Jewish future in our shared homeland.”

The shul service was followed by a dance for young members of Bnei Akiva, while a sit-down dinner and raffle was held for adult guests.