Eight months after the tragedy in Meron, in which 45 Jews who came to daven on Lag BaOmer were killed, Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana announced Monday his decision to appoint retired Superintendent Zviki Tessler to head the celebration that will take place this coming Lag BaOmer.
The appointment is an implementation of the interim recommendations of the state commission of inquiry.
As reported several weeks ago, the government decided that the Religious Services minister would take overall responsibility for the Meron event, and would appoint a project manager on his behalf by the end of December 2021.
“The government has entrusted me with the responsibility for the Lag BaOmer celebrations in Meron this year. The upcoming Meron event will be completely different from the events that have taken place so far – the confidence of those celebrating the celebration will be above all this time,” Kahana said, referring to the new appointment.
“Managing [the celebration] in Meron requires rich knowledge and experience in understanding complex events. Zviki Tessler has the skills and knowledge to manage such an event, which requires broad vision, planning and systemic thinking, along with understanding and sensitivity to those who visit the mountain during the festivities.”
Tessler said, “The terrible disaster that occurred last year requires us to act with reverence and out of enormous responsibility. I will spare no effort to uphold ancestral tradition while strictly observing safety rules and public safety.
“I accept the position out of a sense of great responsibility and look forward to quality cooperation with all parties.”
Last month, members of the State Commission of Inquiry into the Mount Meron Disaster formulated the interim recommendations for a safe preparation for the Lag BaOmer celebration.