More than 50,000 people crowded Jerusalem's Sacher Park on Sunday to celebrate the Maimona, a North African Jewish festival which has grown in popularity over the last few years.
GV Pan people walking about Festival grounds
SV Welcome sign at entrance
SV People arriving by coach (2 shots)
SV Soldiers on guard
SCU Arab sheikhs
SV Pan food brought by Arabs and Cserkesses
SV President Shazar arrives, Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek greets him
SV Police with walkie-talkie
TV President among photographers
GV Pan President waves to crowd
SV Soldiers by roadside
SV President greets minority representatives (2 shots)
SV People singing under awning
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Background: More than 50,000 people crowded Jerusalem's Sacher Park on Sunday to celebrate the Maimona, a North African Jewish festival which has grown in popularity over the last few years.
The bulk of those taking part were immigrants from Morocco, but the Festival also attracted large numbers of tourists, drawn by its gaiety. President Zalman Shazar and Jerusalem's Mayor Teddy Kollek attended, and met the representatives of a number of minority groups in Israel.
Festivities began on Friday night with prayers at a Moroccan Synagogue at Ashdod.
Other events associated with the Festival and organised by the Moroccan Immigrants Association were the presentations of a number of academic scholarships, tours of development areas, and visits to immigrant absorption centres throughout the country.
On Saturday night, small Maimonas were held in 17 towns throughout the country.
SYNOPSIS: Despite bad weather more than 50,000 people crowded the Sacher park in Jerusalem on Sunday for the Maimona Festival, North African Jewish institution which has grown in popularity in recent years.
People came by buses and in private cars from all parts of the country to a festival which is mainly intended for Moroccan immigrants, but in fact increasingly attracts large numbers of tourists.
Among those taking part in what is a most relaxed and friendly open-air occasion were Arab sheikhs, and ordinary Arab citizens of Israel.
President Shazar attended, and was welcomed by the Mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek. The distinguished visitors indicate the importance of the occasion nowadays. Only five years ago it drew only five hundred people, but it is now a mass attraction, and a meeting point for the members of Israel's minorities. In a formal ceremony, President Shazar met minority leaders and presented them with food gifts. Highlights of the Festival are its feasting and community signing, which had to take place this year under cover.