The tourism industry is seeing a spike in bar and bat mitzvah celebrations in Jerusalem. Since 2009 more families from the United States, Canada and United Kingdom are celebrating bar or bat mitzvahs in Jerusalem.
Tourism experts believe that families are exploring alternative ways to celebrate their special event. Parents are looking to cut costs and bring more meaning to their child's unforgettable day.
A report released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics shows that 76 percent of tourists visit Jerusalem for holy excursions. Holy excursions, including Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, occur nearly every day.
Along with celebrating a bar or bat mitzvah, families from abroad partake in a Jerusalem tour. The tour usually includes a spectacular view from the Mount of Olives, a magnificent medieval display at the Tower of David Museum, prayers at the Western Wall and a visit to the Holocaust museum Yad Vashem.
Plans for developing a new visitor center in Jerusalem are underway at the Western Wall. The center will face the holy wall with a view of the Temple Mount. It will be a quiet space to soak in the spiritual experience at the Kotel. The center will also be a new venue for various events. Given its breathtaking view and holy location it will in high demand for weddings and bar or bat mitzvahs.
The Israeli government approved this week a 2.5 million dollar public relations campaign for the Dead Sea. The money will be used to get votes in an international competition called New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Among 28 finalists, the Dead Sea supposedly needs 300-400 million votes in the n7w.com competition. Other nominees include the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Mount Killamanjaro in Tanzania, the Yushan mountain range in China, Igazu Falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina and Mount Vesuvius in Italy.
In July 2007 Petra, Jordan was voted as one of the New 7 Wonders. The victory more than doubled tourism in the area. Dead Sea tours are extremely popular and this is one of the highlights during a Bar and Bat Mitzvah family tour.
The Dead Seas landscape has drastically changed over the years and it is an amazing travel destination. The Dead Sea is the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface on dry land and one of the world's saltiest bodies of water. The Israeli government is working on preserving the natural resource and the rapid decrease in water levels.
Those interested in voting can learn more at http://www.votedeadsea.com.
Born in Croatia, Lustig has achieved greatness within the film industry and philanthropic community. He won an Oscar for Schindler's List and Gladiator.
Lustig was deported from his Croation home to the Auschwitz death camp at the age of 10. A Jewish Journal article outlines his journey.
Although Branko was only 10, he was quite tall and escaped immediate death by passing himself off as a 16-year-old and therefore fit for labor.
He was sent to a nearby coal mine but was lucky again when he was assigned the job of ladling out water to other prisoners, leading a white horse pulling a cart with the water tank.
In the closing months of the war, the boy was transferred to Bergen-Belsen, where, miraculously, he was reunited with his mother. His father did not survive the war.
Lustig was lying on a camp bunk, emaciated, ravaged by typhus and covered with lice, when he suddenly heard some strange musical notes.
“I thought I had died and was in heaven,” Lustig recalled. Actually, the music came from a Scottish bagpiper, heralding the arrival of a company of British liberators. Read more...
On May 2, accompanied by some 10,000 participants, from 40 countries, Lustig celebrated his momentous occasion. This is perhaps the most significant Jewish event and celebration on Polish soil. In an LA Times article he says, "That at 78 I will finally be a man -- I am very excited, and I will tell this to the 10,000 young people standing around me."
The ceremony was broadcasted by the JLTV network. He concluded with these words: “The message I want to share today is the most important one I learned from my years in the concentration camps. It is the message of tolerance. We must all get along.
“We must strive to respect and love one another, so that the horrific days of the Holocaust will never visit us again. Tolerance is my bar mitzvah wish today, and ‘Never Again’ is my hope and my dream for always.”
In a Ynet article Kineshtlich speaks about his belated bar mitzvah. "Just before the war, my parents brought over a rabbi who began teaching me the sermon," says Kineshtlich, who has two children and seven grandchildren. "And then the war broke out and we were taken to the ghetto. In 1943 the ghetto was destroyed, and I never saw my parents or my sister again." Read more here.
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