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Jerusalem Day to Be National Holiday

November 17, 1978
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The annual anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification will become a national Jewish holiday, Leon Dulzin, chairman of the World Zionist Organization Executive, announced at the weekly session of the Executive, which was attended by Mayor Teddy Kollek, He said the holiday, which falls on the 28th of Iyar (next year on May 25) will demonstrate the unity of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

Dulzin said the Jerusalem Day festivities will be held throughout the Jewish world and will have a specific national Jewish character–to stress the confidence of the entire Jewish people that Jerusalem will remain united beyond all conditions and contracts.

In order to express the unity of the Jewish people behind Jerusalem, the Zionist Executive will hold an international gathering on Jerusalem Day during which thousands of Jews from all over the world will participate. Invitations will be sent to outstanding Jews such as scientists, politicians and writers. The Executive will appoint a special committee to organize the gathering, with representatives of the Jerusalem municipality participating.

Kollek said at the meeting that since the reunification of the city in 1967, all governments have neglected the city and the special care that it deserved. “For years I have warned that the case of a united Jerusalem is not guaranteed and I urged we be prepared to face situations and plans to change the status of the city,” Kollek said.

He noted that the Zionist Executive, which he termed “the government of the Jewish people,” was the real address for the strengthening of Jerusalem as the enternal capital of the Jewish people and not only of Israel . Kollek was especially bitter speaking about the minimal assistance the city received from the government in providing proper services for the seven new neighborhoods built around Jerusalem since 1967.

Kollek asked the Executive to give Jerusalem special preference, especially in the project to rehabilitate underprivileged families. He also asked the Executive to provide aid for 17 communal centers in Jerusalem which specialize in the absorption of immigrants and in youth activities. He also asked that the Jewish Agency be provided with land to build its central offices and suggested that the new offices be built in one of the new neighborhoods in order to stress the belief of the Agency in the unity and strength of the city.

Dulzin, who is also chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, promised Kollek that the neighborhoods of Jerusalem will indeed receive special preference in the Agency’s activities. He said he would bring before the Agency’s Board of Governors a suggestion to grant a regular annual sum for the support of communal centers in the city.

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