LETTER TO MUNICIPALITY OF JERUSALEM
|The Honorable Ehud Olmert
Mayor of Jerusalem Municipality of Jerusalem
1 Safra Square
RE: The Restored Custom Of Giving A Holy Half-Shekel to Jerusalem;
Dear Mayor Olmert,
Shalom Aleichem! It is my great honor to inform you of the restoration of the custom of giving a Holy Half-Shekel to Jerusalem commencing with Purim of 5758 to coincide with the 50th year celebrations in 1998.
Production of the first independently motifed ceremonial Half-Shekels in 1927 years began on 14 Adar II, Purim, March 23, 1997. The ceremonial coins, dated the year "50" will go on sale starting Shavuoth and continuing until Rosh Chodesh Adar next year.
For a complete archive of the restoration project please review our website at; israelvisit.co.il/beged-ivri.
In meetings with the heads of major Jewish Organizations abroad the question of "how the money will be spent" has arisen. Although the expenditure of the funds is of secondary importance, the Mitzvah being to give the Half-Shekel, not to spend it, nonetheless everyone wants to know that the funds received by the Municipality of Jerusalem will go only toward those purposes enumerated in the Halachah; i.e., for preparing the city for the Pilgrimage Festivals (tourist services) and to build and maintain the Walls of Jerusalem. (Conceivably, we can use the Half-Shekel funds to build walls around final status Jerusalem, from Gilo to Ramot, from Mevasseret to Ma'ale Adumim, just as our ancestors would have. A project that we would begin and our great-grandchildren's great-grandchildren would complete, giving the Palestinians over a 100 years of livelihood.)
I have therefore been requested to provide a letter from your office confirming that any funds received by the Municipality of Jerusalem from "Shearei Halishkah", the Remainder of the proceeds from the donations of Half-Shekels after the Appropriations are removed, annually, will go solely for the purposes allowed for by Halachah.
As our goal is 100% participation of Klal Yisrael, when the project reaches its goal, we are talking about an income of about 3 million ounces of pure silver annually, in today's market worth some $14,400,000. Most of the funds would revert to the Municipality.
As we are working against the clock, time is of the essence. An immediate positive reply will help us reach our goal.
I am available to answer any and all questions you may have regarding this project, at any time of the day or night.
Mr. Bobby Brown, Prime Minister's Office