The predominantly Jewish northern Israeli town of Upper Nazareth (Nazereth Illit) has voted to adopt a new name, with the establishment of a public committee comprised of 21 residents of different ages and religions to make the choice.
After reviewing some 200 names, the committee decided that city will now be called “Nof HaGalil” – reflecting the fact that it is the largest central municipality in the Galilee region.
The city itself was established in 1957 by the government of then-Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion as part of the general plan for Jewish settlement of the Galilee. But “Upper Nazareth” has always been confused with its more famous neighbor, the city of Biblical fame known as the hometown of Jesus, according to Christian belief.
The two cities are completely different in character and identity, of course – but the only way to make that point clear, the residents finally decided, was to change the name once and for all.
The decision must still be approved by the Prime Minister’s Office, and requires a signature from the Interior Ministry.