Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day celebrates the city’s liberation by the Israel Defense Forces during the 6 Day War 56 years ago. Our Millennial City, the capital of Jewish Civilization since its founding by King David, capital of the First Jewish Commonwealth destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 b.c.e., and of the Second, destroyed by the Romans in 70 c.e., was reunified and restored to the sovereignty of the Jewish State.
Maccabi World Union worldwide leadership will celebrate Yom Yerushalaim during our next MWU Congress, participating of Israel’s official ceremony at Givat Hatachmoshet, (Ammunition Hill), the place that marked a critical moment in the Six-Day War of 1967.
On the night of June 5th, 1967, Israeli paratroopers were tasked with taking the hill as part of the larger operation to free East Jerusalem from Jordan occupation. Despite encountering heavy resistance from Jordanian soldiers who had dug in and fortified the hill, the IDF soldiers were able to reach the summit by the early hours of June 6th. The Jordanians launched multiple counterattacks, using artillery and mortars to inflict heavy casualties on the IDF soldiers. However, the Israeli soldiers held their ground and fought back with equal ferocity, using grenades and small arms to repel the enemy assaults. The battle continued throughout the day, with the Israelis successfully defending their position despite being outnumbered and outgunned. The soldiers of the IDF displayed incredible bravery and determination, fighting with all their might to defend their country and their fellow soldiers.
Finally, in the early hours of June 7th, the IDF succeeded in capturing the hill, dealing a significant blow to the Jordanian forces in the area. The battle was a critical turning point in the larger Six-Day War, as it allowed Israeli forces to push deeper into East Jerusalem and ultimately reunite the City of David – East and West.
MWU leadership decided to celebrate its Congress during Yom Yerushalaim attending the official Celebration Ceremony at Givat Hatachmoshet because of multiple reasons:
1. Its historical significance: by participating in the official ceremony, Maccabi World Union shows its respect and appreciation for this important historical event.
Its symbolic value: celebrating Yom Yerushalayim at the official ceremony is a powerful symbol of solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people worldwide.
Its commemorative character: Yom Yerushalayim is a day of Commemoration. MWU leadership will honor the sacrifices made by those who fought to reunify Jerusalem.
Its educational messages: Maccabi World Union leadership will learn about the history and significance of Jerusalem and the Jewish people’s connection to the city.
Finally, its global impact: Maccabi World Union sends a powerful message of support and solidarity to Israel and the Jewish people worldwide, reaffirming its commitment to its ideals of Jewish continuity and Zionism from Jerusalem.
The battle at Givat Hatachmoshet was a testament to the courage and resilience of the Israeli soldiers, who faced seemingly insurmountable odds but refused to back down. It remains a defining moment in Israeli history, symbolizing the indomitable spirit of the Israeli people in the face of adversity.
On this Yom Yerusahalayim, we celebrate the joy of being able to reconnect with ourselves as Jews, walking its narrow alleys to rejoice in the majesty of the Old City, discovering the excitement of being part of a chain that links us with all our past and future generations of Jews who, through us, have returned to Jerusalem, the city we never forsook and left behind, the City that was and is the center of our prayers.
With deep gratitude to our soldiers, the liberators of Jerusalem,
for giving us the opportunity to be one
with the City of Light, of Peace, of Unity,
Yom Yerushalayim Sameach!
Deputy CEO & Director of Education