(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The Knesset will hold its annual open house in honor of its 65th birthday next
Tuesday, opening its doors to the public for the day.
“We’re opening the
Knesset to the public so it can get to know its representatives up close and to
remind them that the Knesset is the ‘house of the people,’ and belongs to every
citizen,” said Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
Edelstein added that he
hoped the open house would help visitors understand that the Knesset was
relevant to their lives and affected every citizen.
“I expect that we
will all have an extraordinary experience,” he stated.
birthday festivities will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m., when they
will end with a special prayer from the chief rabbis and a celebratory plenum
meeting featuring speeches by Edelstein, President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor).
wishes to visit the Knesset on Tuesday must sign up in advance through the
Knesset’s visitor center, which can be reached at (02) 675-3337 or
Some of the planned activities include children’s
story time, with Edelstein and other MKs reading books aloud; workshops on
drawing and adopting seeing-eye dogs; and a demonstration by the Knesset’s guard
There will also be performances by actors portraying artist Mark
Chagall, who designed the tapestries and mosaics in the Knesset; former prime
ministers Golda Meir, Menachem Begin and David Ben-Gurion; and other historical
Some lawmakers will host “Hyde Park” discussions, in which high
school students will debate various issues.
There will also be a panel
discussion between reporters and three of the many legislators who used to be
journalists, on the relationship between the Knesset and the press.
addition, pairs of MKs will discuss issues they care about. One such parley will
be between Yesh Atid MKs Dov Lipman and Shimon Solomon on being
Besides these activities, the Knesset will host a Tu Bishvat
Seder with Rabbi David Stav, cofounder of rabbinical organization Tzohar.