July 19, 2024
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Yom Yerushalayim Is a Special Experience at JEC

A tekes Yom Yerushalayim in the JEC Lower School this week gave students an emotional sense of what it was like prior to 1967 when Jews were restricted from visiting the Kotel and much of Yerushalayim.

Rabbi Uzi Beer, principal of the JEC Lower School, screened historical footage of IDF paratrooper units as they entered the Old City and made their way to the Kotel. Many eyes were glistening as students and faculty alike viewed the emotional footage.

The cries of “Har HaBayit B’Yadeinu” evoked an audible response from the audience, who were visibly moved by the magnitude of the declaration.

Following the screening, several lower school faculty members presented a skit on the gates of Yerushalayim based upon a legend that the gates petitioned Hashem to allow them to be the one that Jewish soldiers would enter when liberating the city. The teachers depicted how Sha’ar Ha’arayot was the winning gate, since, according to the legend, it cared not for itself but for the soldiers and welfare of the city.

Students walked away with a strong understanding that the Kotel was not always accessible the way it is to us today and a deep appreciation for the privilege of living in our time when many students have visited our holy city at least once.

Later in the day, the third grade girls presented a beautiful Israel fair in honor of Yom Yerushalayim. Their teacher Shoshana Kaplan assigned each student a city in Israel to research, write a report on and then create a model, diorama or poster depicting the city. JEC Lower School first and second graders visited the exhibits and received a stamp on their passport after learning about the various cities at each station.

As a school, the JEC re-released its special Yom Yerushalayim and alumni IDF tribute video that was first aired at the JEC’s recent annual gala. The video celebrates the reunification of Yerushalayim in 1967 and salutes the school’s almost 50 alumni who have served in the Israel Defense Forces. At present, the JEC is exceptionally proud of their nine RTMA and four Bruriah graduates who are bravely donning the IDF uniform in defense of the Jewish state. The video captures them and many other alumni soldiers who have served. To view the footage, visit Vimeo.com/TheJEC/YerushalayimIDF.

The JEC also revealed plans for a formal IDF Wall of Honor in salute to the many alumni who have served.

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