NEW YORK -- After struggling with the problem of what to do for New
Year's Eve, Israel -- the country that claims to be "the land where
time began" and "the official destination of the millennium" --
announced plans for two of its major locations.
The struggle had to do with the fact that Dec. 31 falls on a
Friday (as does Christmas Eve the previous week), which coincides
with the start of the Jewish Sabbath.
In the Jewish state, there is a limit to what hotels and
restaurants can offer on a Friday night without endangering their
designation as kosher establishments.
On the other hand, clients may well see Israel as the most
appropriate place to mark the turn of the millennium. The Holy Land
is, after all, the location of much of humanity's earliest recorded
history and is where the events occurred on which the calendar is
The two announcements are about events in Jerusalem and in Tel
Aviv.In the capital, the International Convention Center Jerusalem
will provide space for Christian pilgrims gathering to observe
Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and New Year's/Millennium Eve (Dec.
The ICC Jerusalem is usually closed on the Jewish Sabbath, but
it has been authorized by the city's rabbinate to accommodate the
large numbers of Christians expected to visit Israel to mark the
2,000th birthday of Jesus of Nazareth.
To provide dignity, decorum and comfort, the country's main
international convention center will make use of its 27 halls and
meeting rooms. It is located at the western entrance to Jerusalem
and has ample parking facilities.
ICC JerusalemIn Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial and entertainment capital, a
Millennium Eve celebration will be held on Dec. 31 that will be
Phone: (011) 972-2 655-8537
Fax: (011) 972-2 533-8964
E-mail: [email protected].
The event will be held in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, formerly
known as Kings of Israel Square and renamed for the late Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin after his assassination there in 1995.
The square can accommodate up to 250,000 people, and it has
served as a major venue for mass rallies and celebrations.
For New Year's Eve, the plan is to provide futuristic fireworks,
performances by major Israeli entertainers, a large dance party and
spectacular displays, according to Etty Gargir, general director of
the Association for Tourism Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
The event also will mark Tel Aviv's 90th birthday. The city was
established as a Jewish suburb of the 4,000-year-old port city of
Jaffa, whose modern residents were Arabs.
The two communities sprawl along an alluring Mediterranean
swimming beach and now are linked. Restored Jaffa has a quaint
artistic quality and is encompassed by the hustle-and-bustle tempo
of Tel Aviv.
Israel Ministry of Tourism InfoCenter
Phone: (888) 77-ISRAEL or (212) 499-5640
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]