Nazareth Illit, Detroit’s partnership city, changes name to avoid confusion with Jesus’ birthplace

(JTA) The northern Israeli city of Nazareth Illit officially changed its name to avoid confusion with the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri signed off on the name change earlier this week after a three-month process.

The new name of the 62-year-old city is Nof HaGalil, or View of the Galilee.

A public committee of 21 people of all ages, both Jews and Arabs, chose from among almost 200 submissions. The new name was first approved by the committee and then the Prime Minister’s Office. The seal of approval from the interior ministry was the final step.

Nazareth, traditionally considered Jesus’ birthplace is the largest Arab city in Israel. Nazareth Illit, now Nof HaGalil, is made up mostly of Jewish residents and, along with the Jezreel Valley and Migdal Haemek are the key cities/region that comprise Detroit’s 25-year Partnership2Gether collaboration.

JN Staff contributed to this report

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