When I was a kid growing up in northern California, I used to collect buttons. You know, the kind you pin on your shirt or jacket with cute little phrases on them like: "I was crooked, till I went straight" (from my orthodontist when the braces finally came off) or my Mom's favorite, which simply said: "Go ask your father".

Outside the capital this important day goes by virtually unnoticed.

When my older sister came back from a summer in Israel, she brought me a button with a picture of the Western Wall and its surroundings on it which said in bold letters, "Jerusalem is one!" Honestly, when I got that pin I had no idea what it meant. I just put it in the shoe box with the others.

This Thursday night and Friday is Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), but outside the capital this important day goes by virtually unnoticed.

Jerusalem Day commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City (including the Western Wall) during the Six Day War in June 1967. On May 12, 1968, the government proclaimed a new holiday - Jerusalem Day - to be celebrated on the 28th of Iyar, the Hebrew date on which the divided city of Jerusalem became one.

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared Jerusalem Day a minor religious holiday to thank God for the six-day victory and for answering the 2,000-year-old prayer of "Next Year in Jerusalem". Religious Zionists gather for special holiday prayers on this day, and some hold special festive meals and wear holiday clothing. On March 23, 1998, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Day Law, formally making the day a national holiday.

As wonderful as all that is, Jerusalem Day has become just that - a day for Jerusalem. Jerusalem will have its parades, its festive dancing at the Kotel, its Jerusalem flag with the lion on it flapping in the wind. It's neither Jerusalem nor its residents that I am worried about.

Travel outside the capital and you will hardly see any signs of this holiday at all. Sure, many communities across Israel and the Diaspora hold festive prayer services or concerts for Jerusalem Day. Noami Shemer's classic ballad "Jerusalem of Gold" is sure to be sung countless times across the nation this week. But ask the average non-Jerusalemite Israeli on the street what's special about this Friday and you will likely get a blank stare.

Now, I don't begrudge Tel Aviv for pulling out all the stops for its centennial celebrations this year (okay, maybe they overdid it a little); how often does a city hit 100? But let's not forget about Jerusalem. If you're reading this article, then you're already ahead of the game, but what about those who don't? Will the rest of the Israeli press cover Jerusalem Day at all this year, or will they regulate it to their back pages and end of their newscasts, along with the weather reports? Will there be television programs about Jerusalem on Thursday night or will they take a backseat to whatever passes as "prime time TV" these days (maybe the Israeli version of The Amazing Race, filmed on the other side of the globe)?

What can be done? Last year, then Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski asked the transportation minister and the head of the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) to change the code for Israel's international Ben-Gurion Airport from TLV to JLM (Jerusalem Airport). That idea was rejected out of hand, but the former mayor had his reasons.

"Ben-Gurion Airport is today the main gateway to the State of Israel," wrote Lupolianski. "Precisely because of the refusal of many countries to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, it would be fitting to change the formal initials of the terminal from TLV to JLM, and to add the name 'Jerusalem' to the airport's official name."

Don't worry, Ben-Gurion Airport is not going to change its name from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem anytime soon. The idea may not be too practical, but the thinking behind it has merit. What the former mayor was trying to do was raise the consciousness of people in Israel and around the world (even in a minor way) about Jerusalem.

Simply focusing on "Jerusalem is one" is not enough. We need to emphasize that "Jerusalem is number one."

The Ministry of Education recently announced that 50% of Israeli students in public schools had never visited Jerusalem at all. Efforts are now being made to organize trips to Jerusalem (which will include visits to important sites like the Kotel, Yad Vashem, Ammunition Hill, the Knesset, etc.) for all Israeli schools. This is certainly a step in the right direction.

At every Jewish wedding, just before the groom stomps on the glass, the following verses from Psalms (reminding us in times of gladness that the Temple in Jerusalem has yet to be rebuilt) are said: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you... if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy." (137, 5-7)

I believe the key to those verses is in the last phrase - "above my highest joy." Jerusalem will never be forgotten, not in our prayers nor in our feelings. But simply focusing on "Jerusalem is one" is not enough. We need to emphasize that "Jerusalem is number one." Ideally, we should do this every day, but at the very least, on Jerusalem Day.