My first visit to Jerusalem was in May 1979 when I was fortunate enough to be a delegate to the first WIZO Aviv Conference. I had been involved in WIZO for 7 years and it was with a great deal of anticipation that I set foot on Israeli soil at that time. Most of the conference was in Tel Aviv but we did have one day for a visit to Jerusalem. To say I was excited is an understatement and that feeling has never left me, every time I visit our beautiful Jerusalem. Alighting from the bus and heading towards the Wall for the first time, I felt 5,000 years of history coursing through me and the emotion stirred in me. I felt very close to tears, that I had finally come to this place that is so uniquely special to the Jewish people – it is our heart, our home. Every time I go back to Jerusalem, and my last time was in January this year as a delegate to the World WIZO Meeting of Representatives as the President of WIZO Australia, 19years after my initial visit, and as I have journeyed along this WIZO path, so has Jerusalem journeyed along a path of growth, inclusiveness and being the heart and soul of the Jewish people. Every time I am at a WIZO conference, we visit Jerusalem as a group and we mourn those of our sisters who never had the chance to visit this holy of holiest place. We are fortunate that we can dance and sing in Jerusalem at the wall and in the tunnels, a sisterhood of WIZO women from all over the world who have Zion in our hearts.
In this Jerusalem’s 50th year since reunification, one of the most powerful photos I believe that sums up our Jerusalem, is that of Moshe Dayan, together with Uzi Narkiss and Yitzak Rabin, marching into Jerusalem in 1967, victorious at finally returning Jerusalem to the Jewish people.
I had an opportunity to view Jerusalem from the Armon Ha’Natziv Promenade and discussed Jerusalem’s history on my visit earlier this year, and the unique glow from this city emanates from every point – it truly is Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.
If I should forget thee Oh Jerusalem!!