The Tourism Ministry is also set to distribute a DVD and a booklet with photos of the Pope’s visit to Israel in 2000 among priests and churches around the world.
President Moshe Katsav said the late Pontiff “blazed new trails in the name of reconciliation and brotherhood between peoples and religions.
Vice Premier Shimon Peres said the Pope was a “true spiritual leader, whose leadership was not limited to his own followers.”
“John Paul II represented the very best that mankind has to offer,” Peres said. “His abilities and personality allowed him to transcend the Catholic dogma to represent the universal partnership of all mankind. In every step he took and every place he went, he tried to encourage peace and brotherly love.”
The Anti-Defamation League said that the Pontiff always defended the Jews, even before he became Pope.
"In word and deed, John Paul II worked tirelessly to repair the Church's painful 2,000 year history with the Jewish people," the group said in a statement.
Former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau said “With the exception of John XXIII, there has never been as pro-Jewish a Pope as John Paul II. In addition to his contribution to the fall of communism and the crumbling of the iron curtain—something that allowed hundreds of thousands of Jews to return to their heritage and even come to Israel - we must remember that the Pope contributed to combating anti-Semitism in 120 countries he visited.”
Current Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger told Ynetnews: “John Paul II was an innovator with regard to his relations with the Jewish people.”
He said the Pope’s 1986 visit to the Great Synagogue in Rome was “historic”, and said that since then, Italian schoolchildren have been required to visit the Jewish museum and to learn what a synagogue is.
"He was a Pope for the ages," the U.S. Union for Orthodox Jewish Congregations said. "We fervently hope that the good will between the Jewish and Catholic communities that was engendered by the historic steps taken by Pope John Paul II will resonate among us in perpetuity and that his memory will be a constant inspiration for world peace and harmony."