Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash 90
Jerusalem Day Parade (Archive)

Tuesday night officially marked the half-century anniversary of the reunification of the holy city of Jerusalem, an event that was heralded with festivities at the Western Wall in the Old City.

Representatives of the IDF units who participated in the battle to liberate Jerusalem in that historic war were present at the ceremony along with IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

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President Reuven Rivlin kicked off the ceremonies, speaking of the moment in which Israeli Defense Forces managed to seize control of the site.

“We gave our all for Jerusalem because we knew that on Jerusalem we must insist. We will always insist on Jerusalem. There never has been, there never be any other reality.

“Here, in these stones, beats the heart of the Jewish People. Jerusalem is the heart of the State of Israel, and the Kotel (Western Wall) is the heart of Jerusalem.

“On the day of Jerusalem’s liberation, then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan wrote a note, and slipped it into the cracks between the stones of the Kotel: ‘May peace be upon Israel’,” Rivlin said.

“Today too, we continue to carry that prayer. May God give, and bring peace over Israel. ‘“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her,’ Happy Jerusalem Day.’”

Here are a selection of Jerusalem Day events from the Jerusalem City website:

The best Israeli artists performing live alongside the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in a delightful concert. Who to expect: Miri Mesika, David D’Or and Kobi Aflalo.

Where: Old City
When: May 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm
Cost: Free

STUDENT DAY IN JERUSALEM

Students in Jerusalem will be celebrating 50 years of Jerusalem’s reunification with The Yehudim, Abraham Tal, Beri Saharof, Shalom Hanoch, Adi Ulmansky, and more.

Where: Sacher Park, Jerusalem
When: May 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Buy tickets: Tel. *6226

LATE-NIGHT STREET PARTY AT ZION SQUARE

Dance ’till the morning light at the summer’s craziest night party at Zion Square! Bonus: live performance by Mayumana dance troupe.

Where: Zion Square, Jerusalem
When: May 23, 2017 at 3:00 am
Cost: Free

“FLAG DANCE” PARADE – PRAYER & ASSEMBLY AT THE WESTERN WALL

Tens of Thousands of people from all around the world come every year to Jerusalem to take part in this dancing, singing and flag-waving parade, produced by “Am Kalevia” association. The parade ends with a celebratory ceremony which includes a prayer and an assembly. Famed vocalist Yaakov Shwekey will be performing at the Western Wall Plaza at the end of the parade.

Where: Starting point – Agron Streen; Endpoint – Western Wall Plaza
When: May 24, 2017 4:30 pm (Dancing in front of the Great Synagogue, Be’eri Street and Yeshurun Synagogue); 6:30 pm (marching)
Cost: Free

FREE TOURS OF SAFRA SQUARE

The Visitor Center of the Jerusalem municipality invites you to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem. The tour includes the model of the old and new Jerusalem and an observation point offering a breathtaking view of the city’s neighborhoods.

Where: Safra Square, Jerusalem
When: May 24, 2017, 11:00 am
Cost: Free
More info: Tel. 02-6295363

MORE FREE TOURS

The Jerusalem Development Authority invites the public to enjoy free guided tours around Jerusalem. Visit the National Institutions Building, pass through Safra Square, stroll around Teddy Park, admire the view from The Wall Builders Garden, visit the Old City and end your tour at the Western Wall Plaza.

Where: Safra Square, Jerusalem
When: May 24, 2017
Cost: Free
More info: Tel. 1-800-350-550

SALUTE PERFORMANCE BY THE JERUSALEM CANTOR CHOIR

In honor of Jerusalem day, Heichal Shlomo will host the Jerusalem Hazanim (Cantors) Choir and their special salute performance. The show is composed of prayers, Israeli-Hasidic singing, and the reading of cantorial chapters describing love and sentiment towards the city of Jerusalem.

Where: Heichal Shlomo, 58 King George St, Jerusalem
When: May 25, 2017 at 20:00 pm
Cost: 60 NIS
Buy Tickets: At the choir official site

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.