Nazareth prepares for papal pilgrimage

Mayor Jaraisy: We've completed 50%-60% of the work but haven't received even 1 shekel from gov't.

April 7, 2009 03:35
2 minute read.
Nazareth prepares for papal pilgrimage

Nazareth 88 248. (photo credit: Courtesy, David Landis )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Massive preparations are already under way in Nazareth for a mass that Pope Benedict XVI will lead there on May 14, even though the government has yet to officially allocate any money for the event, Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy said on Monday. "We did not even receive one shekel. We have not even paid one shekel, and we have already completed 50 to 60 percent of the work," Jaraisy told The Jerusalem Post following a press conference on the topic. The Nazareth mass, which is expected to draw some 40,000 worshipers, will be the largest of the three masses held in Israel and the West Bank during the pope's first visit here from May 8-15. The other masses will be held in Jerusalem and in Bethlehem. The Nazareth municipality did receive a letter from the office of the Prime Minister's Office director-general some weeks ago, informing it that NIS 16.7 million would be approved and that the municipality should find other sources to finance the NIS 3m. plus additional money that would be needed, he said. But the municipality had yet to receive "official approval" that would lead to the transfer of the money, he said. Jaraisy said he had spoken to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday by phone and expressed his concerns regarding the heavy risk the municipality was taking, since much of the work was already done. Netanyahu "promised to nominate someone from his office to take care of the issue," Jaraisy said. A spokesman from the Finance Ministry said it would first have to be decided which ministry would allocate the money. He said he did not know when that would be. Jaraisy said he was confident the money would be transferred, but hoped it would be sooner rather than later. Contractors and service providers have begun their work, but have not signed contracts due to the lack of approval, he added. Construction under way includes an amphitheater on 25 dunams of Mount Precipice (Mount Kedumim) for the pope's mass, which will include 7,000 permanent seats and an additional 35,000 terraced plastic seats. Part of the amphitheater was built in the 1990s, in preparation for a large mass that Pope John Paul II was expected to hold there in 2000. However, the mass was eventually held in Korazim, near Tiberias, he said. The additions to the amphitheater will cost around NIS 4.5m. The amphitheater will be available after the pope's visit for cultural events and is expected to become "a cornerstone for economic development," he said.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town