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Jerusalem Day in 80 Cities Around the Country

Not long ago, Jerusalem Reunification Day was “eulogized” for its lack of attraction outside the capital. It will be marked this week in 80 cities.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 5/30/2011, 1:13 PM / Last Update: 5/30/2011, 1:06 PM

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Jerusalem Reunification Day - the day marking Israel’s return to the Temple Mount, the Old City , Mt. of Olives, and the areas that became Ramat Eshkol, Gilo and more during the Six Day War in 1967 – is increasingly being celebrated not only in Jerusalem. In fact, over 80 cities around the country will mark the occasion with marches and otherwise, this Tuesday night and Wednesday.

These nationwide commemorations - the first time, in most cities - are being organized and coordinated by the Merimim et HaDegel (Raising the Flag) movement, in a campaign named, “We are All Jerusalem: Celebrating Jerusalem Throughout the Country.”

Until recently, the few schools around the country that remembered Jerusalem Day would send some of their students to Jerusalem for the day, having them take part in some of the celebrations and learn about the modern and ancient history of the holy city. The capital's main event, for some years now, has been the Rikudgalim Flag-Dance, in which tens of thousands of religious-Zionist youth march and dance down the city’s main streets and into the Old City.

This year, thanks to the logistics help and sponsorship of the Merimim organization, cities such as Ramat Gan, Sderot, Ashkelon, Nazareth Illit, Be’er Sheva, Jaffa and many more will be holding special events in Jerusalem’s honor.

In Ashkelon, a march will set out from Pioneers Park towards the local Yeshivat Hesder, with the participation of Mayor Benny Vaknin, families of Ethiopian immigrants, and the students of local schools and Tzviyah Girls High School. Participants will be given blue and white shirts and balloons. A memorial will be held at its end for those Ethiopian Jews who died on the dangerous and difficult trek to Israel.

In Sderot, the “We’re All Jerusalem” celebrations will include a march with the participation of the town’s synagogues and the IDF Golani Brigade. It will end with a ceremony featuring IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Mayor David Buskila, Rabbi Elisha Vishlitzky and the Golani Commander.

In Be’er Sheva, the city’s mayor will take part in the Jerusalem Day festivities, together with leading musicians. In Modiin, the synagogues of the city have stepped forward to organize a Jerusalem Day march.