The Chief Rabbinate has decided to delay Jerusalem Day events by 24 hours this year, from Saturday night to Sunday, in order to prevent any Sabbath desecration that may occur during preparations.
The decision applies mainly to private events and isn't mandatory for State institutions; no changes are therefore expected for national ceremonies planned for the holiday, which celebrates the reunification of the capital. Jerusalem Day is to take place on May 20.
The Rabbinate has also requested the Education Ministry to cancel the extended holiday given to students after Passover, making Jerusalem Day a no-school day instead starting next year. The measure would pertain to school kids in the capital.
A source in the Rabbinate said that Jerusalem Day has lost its significance to the general public over the years, often being celebrated only within the religious sector. The authority is making efforts to battle the trend.
Moreover, the Rabbinate has ruled that Lag B'Omer events are to be postponed by a day from now on if the holiday falls on a Sunday – as it does next year – in order to prevent the traditional bonfire night from taking place on Saturday. The consequent day-long school recess is to be postponed accordingly.
An Education Ministry official confirmed the changes, noting it made the changes in compliance with the Rabbinate's decisions.