Today we mark 45 years from the first release of the song Jerusalem of Gold (‘Yerushalayim Shel Zahav”) The song, originally performed by Shuli Nathan, was born when the former mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kolleck, requested a song about Jerusalem, to be performed at the Israeli Song Festival in 1967, held on Israel’s Independence Day, to mark 15 years of the state of Israel.
Kolleck requested the song from Gil Aldema, one of the Festival’s producers, and Aldema asked Naomi Shemer to write the song. Shemer was shocked by the significance of the request and said she couldn’t do it under pressure. “I told her, you know what? You don’t have to do it. But if you feel inspired, write it,” Aldema recalls. “That way I knew she would write it.”