Alon Wald (left) with visitors at Ammunition Hill.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Name: Alon Wald
Position: Events and marketing manager, Ammunition Hill
Ammunition Hill is the site of one of the toughest battles in Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967.
Today the historic site is faced with a challenge to remain relevant and to attract tourists as a “must see” attraction in Jerusalem. To that end, Alon Wald, the events and marketing manager of Ammunition Hill, has breathed new life into the historic site. How did Wald create a vibrant attraction that combines heritage, a memorial and modern-day acts of courage? I interviewed him to find out.
How did you get involved in working at Ammunition Hill?
I am the son of Capt. Rami Wald, a paratrooper who was killed in 1967 at Ammunition Hill when I was 11 months old. I spent my childhood playing in the bunkers and trenches at the feet of my father’s friends, who loved to share the stories of my father’s bravery.
Following in my father’s footsteps, I became a paratrooper and an officer in the IDF, while maintaining a strong bond with veterans who knew my father well.
After an encouraging request from one of my father’s close friends to continue the legacy of the fallen soldiers, I decided to work at Ammunition Hill professionally.
What changes did you make when you took over managing the events and tours at this historic site?
We needed to find a way to make the site relevant for the young tourists and locals today. It was important to me that the visit would not focus on death but rather on the lives of the soldiers that fought here and their bravery.
I decided to add interactive activities for group visits.
After seeing the movie about the battle and learning about the history from the 3D model, prearranged groups can choose from a selection of interactive team-building activities that encourage bravery and leadership, such as Laser Tag, the Jerusalem Ropes Course and Capture the Flag.
Younger kids can dress up and play in paratrooper’s uniforms and camouflage makeup as they run through the famous bunkers and trenches.
Why is working here so important to you?
The site is more than a memorial. It is a place to tell stories about human beings and stories of personal bravery. I am carrying on the legacy of my father and his friends.
Upcoming events: Family Adventure Day at Ammunition Hill – January 21 and 22.
The writer is the founder and FUN expert at Fun In Jerusalem (www.funinjerusalem.com). She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three children and loves to inspire family fun. You can reach her at joanna@ funinjerusalem.com