(Jerusalem, May 20, 2020)—In light of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Jerusalem Day will be celebrated differently from past years. Thousands of people from all over the world who would have visited the Western Wall, the Old City, the Shuk and the old neighborhoods of Jerusalem on this festive day are unable to attend this year due to restrictions imposed by Israel’s Ministry of Health on assemblies and tourist travel.
To fill this gap, the World Zionist Organization and the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem will provide a unique opportunity to visit some of the major sites associated with Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) from the comfort of your home through a live internet broadcast.
The two-hour program will feature special sites in Jerusalem, along with history, heritage and interviews with those who fought in the Six Day War of June 1967 when the city was reunited.
The event will be broadcast on the Facebook pages and YouTube of the World Zionist Organization, Yaakov Hagoel and B’nai B’rith International on Thursday, May 21st from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Israel time (7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET).
Two expert guides will lead the virtual tour in English, beginning at the courtyard of the National Institutions in Jerusalem and concluding at the Western Wall. Yaakov Hagoel, vice and acting chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Alan Schneider, director of the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem who initiated this event, will deliver greetings.
The virtual tour will continue in the neighborhood of Rehavia, Tzahal (IDF) Square, Mamilla, Jaffa Gate, The Jewish Quarter, Mount of Olives, Golden Gate, the Monument of the Injured Bird, Lions Gate, the Photographer’s House Observation Point and the Little Kotel, among other sites. The tour will conclude with singing and the blowing of the shofar in the courtyard of the Western Wall.
Hagoel said: “As is written in the Talmud, ‘Ten cubits of beauty fell upon the world, nine of them on Jerusalem’ and on Jerusalem Day we see the beauty of the city in all its glory. In order for those in the diaspora who are unable to feel Jerusalem physically on this special day, in the re-establishment of the State of Israel, we have designed a unique live tour that will make available to our viewers, if not to smell Jerusalem and its fragrances and pure air, then at least to see the pastoral views and stories of the heritage of Jerusalem our eternal Capital, on this day that we mark the reunification of Jerusalem for eternity as the Capital of the Jewish People and those in the diaspora.”
Schneider noted: “B’nai B’rith began its activities in Eretz Israel in Jerusalem in 1888 with the purpose of creating a union to promote the concept of Jewish nationalism and countering missionary activities. It is still active and is among the international Zionist organizations that are members of the World Zionist Organization. Jerusalem Day is a significant watershed that signals the return of the Jewish people to ancestral places and that is celebrated in the shadow of the continuing struggle over Israeli sovereignty in its capital city. By way of the tour we wish to provide an opportunity for members of B’nai B’rith around the world and to our brothers and sisters in Jewish communities to experience this exciting city that the Jewish people have prayed for and have shown loyalty to for so many generations.”
For further information please contact:
Alan Schneider, B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Director: +972-52-5536441
Liron Yehezkel, WZO Spokesman: +972-52-8259892
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org