BROOKLYN - Israeli and Jewish people across Brooklyn celebrated Israel's Independence Day Thursday.

In Kensington, a group of Holocaust survivors celebrated Israel's independence but also remembered their loved ones who died.

Around 75 Holocaust survivors gathered at the Flatbush Jewish Community Center. Survivors lit memorial candles and prayed for family members who died in the Holocaust.

The event ended with the singing of Israel's national anthem. 

Organizers say that it is part of the Jewish tradition to go from a place of sorrow to joy.

Selfhelp Community Services, who organized the event and provides care for Holocaust survivors, say there are around 55,000 survivors living in New York City. They say more than half of those survivors live underneath the poverty level.