Knesset to open doors to public on 65th birthday

"We're opening the Knesset to remind the public that the Knesset is the 'house of the people,'" Edelstein says.

Knesset 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Knesset 370
(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.
The Knesset’s 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).
Anyone who 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 [email protected]
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 dogs.
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 figures.
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.
In 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 immigrants.
Besides these activities, the Knesset will host a Tu Bishvat Seder with Rabbi David Stav, cofounder of rabbinical organization Tzohar.