Coming home

A roundup of city affairs.

The Anshun Bridge in Chengdu, a Chinese city that is teaming up with the Bible Lands Museum on a Bronze Age-era exhibition. (photo credit: TYROSIN/FLICKR)
The Anshun Bridge in Chengdu, a Chinese city that is teaming up with the Bible Lands Museum on a Bronze Age-era exhibition.
(photo credit: TYROSIN/FLICKR)
Coming home
Some 14,000 students from all the academic institutions in the capital have officially changed their address so they can vote as Jerusalem residents. This number, representing about two council seats, could change the results of the elections dramatically. This drive was the initiative of the municipality’s “Youth Center,” which worked on the project with other city organizations, such as the Jeru-Shalem Forum and the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, to convince students from all over the country who spend four or five years studying (and have great potential to become permanent Jerusalemites) to register at the Ministry of Interior. The results are impressive.
Ultra-Orthodox mayoral candidate Yossi Daitch has changed his tune, and now says that if elected he will see to it that there is no more discrimination in haredi education institutions against girls with a Sefardi background. In the past, Daitch was involved in cases of refusal to register such girls in haredi seminaries, where a “quota” approach limited acceptance of certain types of girls. In a meeting with residents held last week in a haredi neighborhood, Daitch pledged that if elected he will personally ensure this no longer happens.
No choo choo
Following a failure of the electrical system, some 150 travelers on the rapid train from Jerusalem to Ben-Gurion Airport were stuck for more than an hour while in a tunnel. The passengers were finally rescued and brought back to the Navon Station in Jerusalem.
From Jerusalem to China
The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem is sending 15 ancient artifacts for display in an exhibition in Chendgu, China, which, despite the many thousands of miles separating them, will reveal similarities between East and West. The “Bronze Age Mesopotamia and the Chengdu Plain” will open on October 21 in China and be displayed for about six months, focusing on the two ancient civilizations that developed at the opposite extremities of Asia: Mesopotamia in the Middle East and the East Asian Chengdu Valley.
Each of these civilizations had a decisive influence on the development of their entire respective regions, East Asia and the Middle East. In both civilizations, cities sprang up near water sources and became political centers controlling smaller settlements in their vicinity. Governmental and religious institutions were established and magnificent royal temples and palaces were constructed. The cities’ residents communicated with each other using scripts made up of various signs, each of which represented a syllable or a whole word. In addition, in the two distant regions, impressive bronze objects have been found which were used for religious ritual and characterized the period between 3300 and 1200 BCE, known by scholars as the Bronze Age.
The objects displayed in the exhibition include 15 artifacts on loan from the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem. This is the first collaboration of its kind between Israel and China. Director of BLMJ Amanda Weiss says the goal of the Museum is to connect each individual with their own heritage through the treasures on display and provide a wonderful opportunity to create a dialogue between different cultures.
Honor for the Heroes
A special memorial ceremony was held last week for the centennial of the fall of the members of the Jewish Battalion of WWI, the “Gdud Ha’Ivri.” Some 17 of the fighters are buried in the British Military Cemetery on Mt. Scopus – the first time in nearly 2,000 years that a group of soldiers in military uniform was recognized as a Jewish battalion. The battalion is also considered as the precursor to the IDF.
Representatives of the Jerusalem Municipality, the British Military Attache, the Jabotinsky Institute, the Society for the Heritage of World War I in Israel, Yad Labanim Institute and Beitar laid wreaths and gave remarks at the gravesite. A delegation from the Jewish community of Hull, England, attended as well as descendants of the fallen.
Most poignant was the presence of the 103-year-old niece of the fallen soldier, Robert Marks, and the granddaughter of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, his commanding officer, who together with Josef Trumpeldor, initiated the battalion. Organized by Latet Panim LaNoflim (Giving a Face to the Fallen) volunteers who conducted a massive research effort to locate family members and collect historical details surrounding the soldiers, the ceremony ended to the strains of “Hatikvah.”
The graveyard is located near the entrance to Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus. Jews and Christian soldiers alike who died in that war are buried there together.