J'lem gears up to celebrate 40 years of reunification

The Jerusalem Municipality and the State of Israel have allocated NIS 36 million for a series of celebrations.

temple mt east jerusalem (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
temple mt east jerusalem
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Jerusalem Municipality and the State of Israel have allocated NIS 36 million for a series of celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, city officials said Tuesday. The funding, which will go towards a wide array of city and nationwide celebrations that will get under way in May and run for a whole year, includes NIS 21m. in city funding and at least NIS 15m. in state funding, Jerusalem Municipality Director-General Eitan Meir said. The celebrations will begin with special government and Knesset assemblies on May 13 in accordance with past resolutions by the Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies and the government, Jerusalem Affairs Minster Ya'acov Edri said Tuesday at a city hall press conference announcing the planned events. "Jerusalem is not only an inseparable part of the Jewish nation, it is the basis of the existence of the Jewish nation," Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski said. Israel's 59th Independence Day next month, which precedes Jerusalem Day, will be celebrated under the theme "40 years since the reunification of Jerusalem," and all of the torch lighters at the official state ceremony this year will be Jerusalem residents, city officials said. The municipal events scheduled include a July 26 Israel Philharmonic concert conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta, which will be broadcast on live screens throughout the city center, a week-long Israeli song festival in the city's Sacher Park starting May 15, a 10-day Jerusalem cultural festival beginning May 24 in which all the city's museums and cultural institutions will be open free of charge, and an all-night Jewish and Israeli music festival at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem on September 6. Festivities around the world marking the anniversary will include an Israeli film festival in New York, a special "Unity with Jerusalem" show in Melbourne, a "Parade for Jerusalem" down New York's 5th Avenue, special shows in Prague, Buenos Aires, Panama, Moscow and Berlin, as well as a "Jerusalem Party" for participants of the Eurovision Song contest in Helsinki.