Lion parade will be ‘mane’ event of local Jerusalem festivities
The lions are coming! The lions are coming! Starting this March, more than 20 organizations and synagogues throughout the area will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem by purchasing and decorating life-size fiberglass “Lions of Jerusalem.”
Participating institutions each paid $1,800 for a lion, designed by local artist Rachel Klinghoffer. They will arrive, undecorated and unpainted, in March. Children and adults are encouraged to paint, collage, and otherwise decorate the lions.
The Lions of Jerusalem project, inspired in part by the “Cow Parades” held in various cities after first being launched in Switzerland in 1998, was created by the Legow Family Israel Program Center at United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ, the Partnership for Jewish Learning and Life of MetroWest New Jersey, and JCC MetroWest.
In 2002, artists decorated more than 80 lions that went on display in the streets of Jerusalem.
“Whoever helps decorate these lions will know about Jerusalem without having to hold a history class,” said Orli Dudaie, IPC executive shliha, or emissary. “And, it’s fun!” She added, “It’s amazing to think that 40 to 50 kids will be working on each lion.”
On Yom Ha’atzmaut, April 23, the lions will gather at Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus, Whippany, where they will stay until May 16, Yom Yerushalayim. Dudaie is now in discussion with various municipalities to arrange for the lions to be displayed after May 16 in public areas like malls and libraries, accompanied by cultural events to be organized in collaboration with the Israeli consulate in New York. Eventually, the lions will be returned to the organizations that purchased them for permanent display.
Participating institutions to date include Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, Adath Shalom in Morris Plains, Temple Beth Am in Parsippany, Temple Beth Ahm in Springfield, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, Ahawas Achim B’nai Jacob and David in West Orange, Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex in Caldwell, Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston, Mount Freedom Jewish Center, Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael, Congregation Beth El in South Orange, Temple B’nai Or in Morristown, Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange, B’nai Shalom in West Orange, Temple Sholom of West Essex in Cedar Grove, Temple Emanu-El of West Essex in Livingston, Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union lower school in West Orange, Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, Nathan Bohrer-Abraham Kaufman Hebrew Academy of Morris County in Randolph, and JCC MetroWest.
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