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May 12, 1978 - Image 47

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-05-12

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Friday, May 12, 1918 47

Spiritual Tie to Jerusalem Keeps
Jewish Tourism to Israel Going

salem is the spiritual center
of Jewry the world over.

Jerusalem was the goal of—
sometimes — millions of
pilgrims. Joseph Flavius
mentions that at Passover
in the year 65 CE "not less
than three million" pil-
grims were present in the
Holy City. This is an as-
tounding number even in
these days of charter flights
and group travel and would
certainly horrify hoteliers!
After the destruction of
the Temple in 70 CE pil-
grimage continued, though
the joy that had always
characterized the event now
made way for sorrow at the
destruction and desolation
of Judaism's holiest site. In-
stead of the Temple there
was now the Western (Wail-
ing) Wall.
Pilgrimage continued
through the Middle Ages,
even when the rulers of
the land were hostile and
the pilgrims subjected to
taxes, discrimination and
lack of facilities. Only in
modern times, between
1949 and 1967, when
Jerusalem was a divided
city, were Jews pre-
vented from reaching the
Temple Mount and the
Western Wall. In fact, the
ancient Jewish Quarter
of the Old City was ran-
sacked and destroyed by
the invading Jordanians.
With Jerusalem once
again the unified capital of
the Jewish state, and with
stable and normal condi-

History Related
of 'Jewish Flag'

The Jewish flag was pre-
sented for the first time at
the First Zionist Congress
in Basle, Switzerland, in
David Wolfson was asked
by Dr. Theodor Herzl to de-
sign a flag to be raised in the
Casino Hall in Basle.
Wolfson concluded that
the Jews actually have a
flag in the form of the blue
and white of the talit
(prayer shawl). A white flag
was prepared and on it blue
stripes and the Star of
David in the middle. This
flag flew above the building
in which the first Zionist
Congress convened and
since then it became the of-
ficial flag of the Jewish
In October 1948, the pro-
visional government of the
state of Israel decided to
adopt the Zionist flag as the
official symbol of the Jewish
state. On May 11, 1949,
when the state of Israel was
accepted as the 59th
member of the UN the
Jewish UN delegate hoisted
in Lake Success, N.Y., the
flag of the state of Israel.
For the Lord hath ran-
somed Jacob, and He re-
deemeth him from the hand
of him that is-stronger than
— (Jeremiah 31:10)

munities who have been
to Israel: only 15 percent
of American Jews (up to
1970); 38 percent of
English Jewry (up to
April 1972).

The smaller the Jewish
community, the higher the
ratio of its members who
have been to Israel. Based
on 1974 figures, per
thousands of persons in the
Jewish community of each
country, there were 360
from Holland, 310 from
Switzerland, 200 from Italy,
An old man prays at
93 from the United King-
the Western Wall in
dom, 75 from France and
Jerusalem, focus of
only 24 from the U.S.A. Of
Jewish prayer and pil-
the nine million Jews in the
grimmage for 2,000
free world outside Israel,
less than two million have
• • •
ever been to Israel.
The master plan for Is-
tions throughout the land,
much of the cause for wail- rael's tourist industry for-
ing has disappeared, and sees 880,000 Jewish visits
the sanctuary is now known per year around 1985, out of
as the Western Wall. A a total of 1.7 million. As ex-
parallel development of re- perience shows that many of
cent times is that the traffic these will be repeaters, a
of Jewish visitors to Israel is concerted effort will have to
no more confined to pil- be made to attract a sizeable
proportion of first-timers.
Strong elements in at- The more liberal policy of
tracting Jewish visitors the present Israel govern-
since 1948 have been visits ment towards charter
to relatives and the desire to flights will have a positive
witness the unique phe- bearing on Jewish as well as
nomenon of the resurgence general traffic.
The year 1978, in which
of Jewish independence
after 2,000 years of exile. To Israel celebrates its 30th
the long list of traditional anniversary, is expected to
festivals Independence Day beat all records in both
has been added. Many Jews types of traffic. The range of
come to study Hebrew or events scheduled for the
other Jewish subjects, to year, designed to bring
attend conferences of home the meaning of the
Jewish international organ- country in past and present,
izations, to participate in or is attracting top bookings.
watch Jewish sport events
such as the Maccabia and
Hapoel games, to celebrate
Bnai Mitzva, weddings and
other family events.
Youngsters attend summer
JERUSALEM — Israel's
camps in Israel. Donors
come to see the projects they population has grown from
more than one mil-
help to finance.
Tourists of other faiths, , lion in 1948 to more than 3.6
30 years later.
mostly Christians but Mos-
lems too, have for some There were 901,000 Jews
non-Jews in Is-
years outnumbered the
Jewish visitors. Whereas in rael in 1948, compared to
1948 the percentage of 2,988,000 Jews and 544,000
Jewish visitors in relation non-Jews in 1976.
Jerusalem's 1946 popula-
to the total number was 75
percent, this has gradually tion included 99,320 Jews,
31,330 Christians and
slid downwards to 45 per-
cent in 1977. The absolute 33,680 Moslems. In 1976,
population had
number of Jewish visitors
has been increasing all doubled and included
11,704 Chris-
along, but the rise in non-
Jewish traffic has been big- tians and 71,770 Moslems.
In the 30 years since
ger still. Of the one million
statehood, life expectancy
visitors in 1977, the Jewish
share was less than half a for males in Israel increased
from 65.2 to 71.6 years, and
From 1948 to 1977, the for females from 67.9 to 75.4
total number of Jewish years.
In 1948, there were
visitors is estimated at 4.8
million. Jewish tourism is 141,000 students in Israel.
1974, there were 919,000.
characterized by a high
In 1948, there were
proportion of repeat vis-
34,000 motor vehicles in Is-
its, (51 percent in 1974, by
rael. In 1976, there were
air), with many Jews vis-
432,000. In 1948, there were
iting 10 or more times.
Since 1948 the statisti- 21,000 telephones. In 1976,
cally average Jewish vis- there were 888,000.
itor has come to Israel 2.5
times, which means that The Anr ∎ant Land
Will renew its youth with
in the past 30 years there
the power of diligent hands
have been about two mil-
lion different visitors.
It will yet bear flowers —
This explains the rela-
It will yet bear fruit and
tively low ratio of Jews
grain. — Theodor Herzl
from individual com-

Thirty Years

on the
30th Anniversary
of the
State of Israel.
We wish you
and peace.

= 1 =



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