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An open door to a holy city

Israel Center of Albany holds celebration of Jerusalem

The Israel Center of Albany will present a celebration of unity during Yom Yerushalayim, or Jerusalem Day, on Wednesday, May 12, at Temple Israel in Albany.

The Israel Center, a program of the Jewish Educational Resources of New York, is partnering with more than 25 local organizations for the 43rd anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem after the Six-Day War in June of 1967, which is a national holiday in Israel.

The commemoration of Yom Yerushalayim will incorporate both the Jewish and Christian Zionist communities with exhibits that re-create famous sights in Jerusalem. Those exhibits will be operated by local groups including Congregation Beth Israel, the Clifton Park Chabad, the Chabad House of Delmar, Light of the World Christian Church, Congregation Agudat Achim and Temple Israel.

Rabbi Yaakov Kellman, executive director of JERNY, said the event is a first for the Capital District.

This is a first for our region. It brings together many divergent groups within the community, said Kellman. "It's a major undertaking that will have special results."

The event starts at 4:30 p.m. with a reception and dinner honoring four Israel Heroes " local people from a range of backgrounds known for their support of Israel. The four recognized at this year's event are the Rev. Bill Adams of Bridges for Peace, Stephen Berk of Union College's History Department, Arthur Brenner of the University at Albany's Judaic Studies Department, and former Congressman Michael McNulty.

At 6 p.m., the Rally for the Peace of Jerusalem will host local speakers and the Israel Heroes as they discuss their connections to the city and the Holy Land. According to a release for the event, it will bring together political leaders, educators and leaders from the Christian Zionist community to talk about the issues surrounding Jerusalem and the state of Israel. At 6:45 p.m., the Unity Celebration of Jerusalem will show off the famous sites of Jerusalem, as well as performers and interactive exhibits.

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