Written by Naomi Shemer in 1967. The original song described the Jewish people`s 2000-year longing to return to Jerusalem; Shemer added a final verse after the Six-Day War to celebrate Jerusalem`s unification under Israeli control.
At that time, the Old City was under Jordanian rule; Jews had been barred from entering, and many holy sites had been desecrated. Only three weeks after the song was published, the Six-Day War broke out. The song was the battle cry and morale booster of the Israeli troops. Shemer even sang it for them before the war and festival, making them among the first in the world to hear it. On 7 June, the Israel Defense Forces captured the eastern part of Jerusalem and the Old City from the Jordanians. When Shemer heard the paratroopers singing “Jerusalem of Gold” at the Western Wall, she wrote a final verse, reversing the phrases of lamentation found in the second verse. The line about shofars sounding from the Temple Mount is a reference to an event that actually took place on 7 June.
THE NY CANTORS
Three amazingly talented young cantors, already rising stars on the world
Jewish music scene, are brought together in Amsterdam`s revered 17th century Portuguese Synagogue for a concert of Jewish sacred and secular music. The New York Cantors, all serving synagogues in New York, are: Brooklyn-born Yaakov (Yanky) Lemmer, Cantor of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York City, Azi Schwartz, a native of Israel and Cantor at New York`s Park Avenue Synagogue. and Netanel Hershtik, also Israeli-born and Cantor at The Hampton Synagogue, Westhampton Beach, New York. Some of the most beautiful songs in the Jewish musical history are prayers sung by cantors during shabbat services. For this concert these ancient songs have been given splendid new arrangements by the accomplished Dutch composer/arranger Bob Zimmerman. The program also includes favorite secular songs evoking memories of Jewish tradition and its rich musical culture, as well as music with a nod to Broadway. Maestro Jules van Hessen and his 34-piece orchestra and 8-voice male choir support the concert recorded under a thousand live candles in one of the most architecturally and historically famous synagogues in the world. The New York Cantors concert reprises an earlier project for PBS in the same synagogue, Cantors, A Faith in Song. That ground-breaking recording became a popular staple of PBS station programming for Jewish holidays and fund-raising drives for years following its premiere in 2003