The Restorers of Jerusalem Project Inaugurated near the Old City Walls

"The future of Jerusalem depends on our ability to open up to the past," said Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem, on Sunday, October 28, at the inauguration ceremony of the Restorers of Jerusalem project. 

The project, which was financed by friends of JNF Canada, involves development of the area around the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem south of Jaffa Gate. It includes lawns, benches, historical information stations, accessible paths and more. The area was already declared a park in the early 1970s, following the Six Day War, but it had fallen into disrepair and needed restoration. Both past and also the present donors are friends of JNF Canada, and they are both inscribed on the commemoratory wall at the site.

The audience included representatives of the organizations partner to the project, representatives of KKL-JNF in Israel and JNF Canada, including Frank Wilson, the president of JNF Canada, and Nathan Diesenhouse, the president of JNF Toronto, along with members of the Canadian National Mission to Israel, many of whom had donated to the project.

The ceremony was emceed by Steven Solomon, head of the Canadian Desk of the Jerusalem Foundation, and Jessica Lawson, head of KKL-JNF's Canadian Desk. Solomon said that this was truly an incredible day: 

Harry Sapir, a member of the Jerusalem Foundation Board of Directors, told the audience that this one of the Foundation's first projects, "which we undertook together with KKL-JNF in the 1970s. The goal was to link the two parts of the city and to blur the scars of war."

After the ceremony, members of the Canadian mission identified their own names or the names of people they know on the commemoratory wall. 

After refreshments, Steve Solomon led the group on a short tour of the park. He explained that the collapsed walls had been rehabilitated and vegetation, benches, panoramic observation porches and lighting were installed, along with a path along the wall that will be accessible for people in wheelchairs.

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