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Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) in Israel

Yom Yerushalayim, also known as Jerusalem Day, commemorates Jerusalem's reunification in 1967. This day begins on 28th day of the month of Iyyar in the Hebrew calendar.

Yom Yerushalayim
Yom Yerushalayim is a public holiday in Israel but is observed by many Jewish people worldwide.
Yom Yerushalayim is a public holiday in Israel but is observed by many Jewish people worldwide.
©iStockphoto.com/Alex Slobodkin

What do people do?

Yom Yerushalayim is marked with a range of events in many Jewish communities. These include: recitations of the Hallel prayer for praise and thanksgiving in synagogues; street parades, parties, singing and dancing; special meals; and lectures on the history and future of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, a public reception by the mayor of Jerusalem, state ceremonies and memorial services for those who died in the Six-Day War are also held. In Israel, some people mark the occasion by traveling or even hiking to Jerusalem.

Public life

Yom Yerushalayim is a public holiday in Israel. It is not a public holiday in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States. However, many Jewish organizations may be closed or offer a limited service so special events can be held.


After Israel declared its independence in 1948, it was attacked by the neighboring Arab countries, resulting in the Arab-Israeli War. At the end of this war, the city of Jerusalem was divided. Israeli forces controlled most of the city and East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was controlled by Jordanian forces. The Old City was important for strategic and religious reasons, as many sites of religious importance are in this part of the city. These include: the Dome of the Rock and al-Asqa Mosque (Muslims); the Temple Mount and the Western Wall or Kotel (Jewish); and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Christian).

On June 7, 1967, one day into the Six-Day War, Israeli forces captured the old city of Jerusalem. This resulted in the reunification of Jerusalem as part of Israel. According to the Hebrew calendar, it was the 28th day of the month of Iyar in the year 5727 and the anniversary of this date is known as Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day.

The 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem was in 2007. The slogan for the celebrations in this year translates as "Something special for everyone", with a play on the Hebrew words for "special" and "united". A special logo representing the number 40 and the city walls was presented and the approach to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv was decorated with blue lighting.

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
WedMay 122010Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew
WedJun 12011Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew
SunMay 202012Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew
WedMay 82013Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew
WedMay 282014Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew
SunMay 172015Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew
SunJun 52016Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew
WedMay 242017Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew
SunMay 132018Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew
SunJun 22019Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew
FriMay 222020Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)Observance, Hebrew

Quick Facts

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) is the anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification.

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) 2016

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Name in other languages

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)English
יום ירושליםHebrew
يوم القدسArabic

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in May 2016 in Israel

United Nation Holiday on May 17, 2016

Fun Holidays on May 17, 2016

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