NEW YORK (May. 14)
Several hundred people attended a noontime celebration today which marked the 13th annual celebration of Jerusalem Day, the day on which the city of Jerusalem was reunited in 1967. According to the Jerusalem Celebration Committee, which sponsored the affair, the celebration demonstrated solidarity with the people of Israel and a commitment to a united Jerusalem, with free access to people of all faiths.
As this was the 13th celebration of this Israeli national holiday, today’s mood was that of a Bar Mitzvah with all the trimmings. Along with all of the speeches by various dignitaries, the program was highlighted by a five-foot-high cake, which was distributed to those who attended by 13 yeshiva students who will be reaching their Bar Mitzvah this year; and by a five-by-three-foot greeting card, which will be flown via El Al to Israel for delivery tomorrow to Jerusalem’s Mayor Teddy Kollek.
Among those who spoke at the celebration were New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams; New York City Comptroller Harrison Goldin, Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden; NYC Human Rights Commissioner Isiah Robinson; and Rev. Robert Everett of the National Christian leadership Conference for Israel, who was cheered by the crowd for his declarations in favor of on Israeli controlled Jerusalem.
He noted that before the Israelis recovered Jerusalem, most religious groups were banned from entering the city. Everett exclaimed: “Jerusalem will remain Jewish, so that way it will remain free.” According to Everett, Jerusalem is “the center of the universe,” and in order to keep it holy, it must remain under Israeli rule.
Representatives of the government of Israel included Knesset member Elyakin Bodian, and Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Yehuda Blum. Blum urged the participants to “rededicate ourselves to Jerusalem,” while pledging that it will remain united under the sovereignty of Israel.
The celebration was chaired by comedian Joey Adams, who opened the program with the statement that Jerusalem was “won with blood, sweet and tears, and no one will take it away from us. “His comments, along with performances by several musical guests, added to the festive tone of the program. According to the American Zionist Federation’s (AZF) National Jerusalem Celebration Committee chairman, Rabbi Leo Landman, similar celebrations are being held throughout this country and abroad. The outdoor event took place in Manhattan.
BROOKLYN STUDENT WINS JERUSALEM DAY CONTEST
In related Jerusalem Day activities, Rabbi Joseph Sternstein, AZF president, and Carmella Carr, executive director, announced today that Nina Simon, a 13-year-old student at the Bialik Hebrew Day School in Brooklyn, was the winner of the AZF essay contest on Jerusalem.
“This national contest involved 13-year-old Bar and Bat Mitzvah children in Jewish schools throughout the United States,” Sternstein said. “Thirteen-year-olds were chosen because this is the thirteenth, the Bar Mitzvah anniversary of the redemption and reunification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War.” He said: “The host of entries we received from every part of the nation breathe a reverence for each previous stone of Jerusalem that is so personally heartfelt by all Jews everywhere. Young Nina has captured this essence in her poem. “Ms. Carr said the prize is a six-week all-expenses paid trip to Israel.
Another program marking Jerusalem Day here consists of an exhibition of ceramics and paintings on the impressions of Jerusalem in the Publications Department of the Jewish Agency as well as essays on “What Jerusalem Means to Me,” it was announced by Moshe Ishon, director of the Torah Education and Culture Department of the World Zionist Organization, sponsors of the presentation. Ishon said that 5000 students in Jewish day schools and high schools in the U.S. participated in the essay contest. The prize winner will receive a scholarship for a year for Torah studies in Israel.