Gathering planned to celebrate 50 years of religious freedom
By Sean Shapiro
Special to the TJP
A Rally for Jerusalem will be held next week in Dallas to celebrate 50 years of religious freedom in the holy city.
The rally will go from 4-5 p.m. June 6 at Dallas City Hall (500 Marilla St.). The event was organized as a joint effort by the American Alliance of Jews and Christians (AAJC) and Christians United for Israel.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin representing the AAJC will speak at the event. So will Pastor Lyndon Allen from Christians United.
It’s been 50 years since the Reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. The city had been officially divided since 1949 and Jews weren’t permitted to live in the Jordanian occupied West Bank.
But the Israeli victory in the Six-Day War from June 5 through 10 in 1967 reunited the city and was a victory for religious freedom for all faiths.
“It is a chance to celebrate something that took place 50 years ago and was quite miraculous and quite unheard of,” Lapin said. “How does a small little country, which had a much smaller population than today, stand up to multiple countries like Israel did?
“You have to remember it had only been around 20 years, so no one knew what to expect.”
“We would like to celebrate that publicly,” Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt, the director of the AAJC, said. “It’s an important thing to celebrate and thank God for it publicly. And we should celebrate the religious freedom for everybody, and it’s a good thing that the city of Jerusalem is unified and liberated.”
Rosenblatt said planning for the rally started a couple of months ago and it’s come together nicely since the original idea was put into place. Lapin said other locations were considered before Dallas was selected.
“We were originally thinking of Washington D.C., but we realized that Dallas is a very important cultural center in the United States,” Lapin said. “And at any given time there are so many things going on in places like Washington or New York. In Dallas there are a huge numbers of friends of Israel so we felt like it was the place to go and that made it the place to be.”
Organizers are expecting a large crowd and sponsors for the event include Bnai Zion Foundation, Dallas Jewish Conservatives, Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI), Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) in addition to American Alliance of Jews and Christians (AAJC) and Christians United for Israel.