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Press Release – 9 June 2006

Yom Yerushalayim 2006

Zionism is very much alive and kicking, and connects our community from Melbourne to Jerusalem. That was the buoyant feeling received by the audience at the State Zionist Council’s celebration of Yom Yerushalayim on Sunday May 21st.

A live video link up between Melbourne and Jerusalem provided for a special connection between former Melbournians, new Melbourne Olim and current youth movement Shnat participants gathered in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Moriah, and members of the Melbourne Jewish community, including their families and friends, at the Beth Weizmann Community Centre.

Dr. Danny Lamm, President SZCV, described the theme of the Yom Yerushalayim function, Jerusalem Kaleidoscope, “A kaleidoscope is such an appropriate description for our diverse and colourful capital. Yerushalayim is different and distinctive from every angle and perspective, and for every person. Some may have caught a brief glimpse of her brightness, while others knows her vibrant twists and turns by heart. Yet, all will agree, however you experience in Jerusalem, it is magical and captivating.”

This sentiment was then expressed by each and every one of the guests in Jerusalem. Melbourne-born staff writer for The Jerusalem Post, Greer Fay Cashman, and author / teacher Dvora Waysman spoke about their personal experiences in Jerusalem, from their arrival in the city over 30 years ago to their present-day feelings about living in a city with so many different expressions of cultural, religious and historical Zionism. Greer Fay Cashman made the interesting point that “Next Year in Jerusalem” must still be said by those living in Jerusalem because we have lost Jerusalem before and we mustn’t take her for granted. Dvora Waysman read her work, Ethical Will, an emotional, personal tribute to our eternal capital.

Melbourne Olim – Lior Solomon and Natalie Weiner – together with representatives from each of Melbourne’s Youth Movements on Shnat then gave heartfelt personal descriptions of their own experiences in Yerushalayim, from visiting the Kotel for the first time, to everyday encounters living there, like a new poetry trail at Egged bus stops all over the city.

The common bond the Jerusalemites expressed is that they are living out their dreams in Yerushalayim and everything they have ever learnt up till now in their Jewish dayschool education or at their youth movement, is a meaningful reality.

The function ended with the singing of the Hatikvah in both cities, certainly the first time that the anthem has ever being sung in Melbourne and Jerusalem simultaneously.