Emotional tributes to Lia van Leer in memorial ceremony

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Authors: TheIndianSubcontinent News Agency

Lia van Leer was a woman who appreciated a good turnout, and she would have been gratified to see that hundreds attended her memorial service, which was held at the garden of the Jerusalem Cinematheque on Monday afternoon.

Van Leer, who died on Friday at the age of 90, founded the Jerusalem Cinematheque, where her body lay in state in a coffin draped with lavender, her favorite color. She also founded the Haifa and Tel Aviv Cinematheques, the Israel Film Archive, and the Jerusalem Film Festival.

In addition to van Leer’s family, friends and colleagues, the service was attended by politicians, directors, actors, musicians and artists of all kinds, as well as movie buffs who loved attending films at the cinematheque.

Among the politicians who paid their respects were President Reuven Rivlin, Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Barkat, in his emotional tribute, remembered van Leer’s warmth and said, “Only a person who realizes her dreams every day could be happy the way she was happy.” He also said, “I promise as mayor to continue her vision and her life’s work.”

Avi Nesher, director of such beloved Israelis classics as The Troupe and Turn Left at the End of the World, praised her work in creating a serious movie archive, and talked about how she had inspired him.

Dr. Noa Regev, the current CEO of the Jerusalem Cinematheque, fought back tears as she said, “We will never give up,” on the cause of bringing diverse and high-quality films to Jerusalem.

At the end of the service, van Leer’s friend, musician David Broza, sang his most popular song, “It Will Be Good,” which he dedicated to van Leer, and recalled that she used to urge him to sing it to her.

Van Leer was laid to rest in the “Yekirei Yerushalayim” section of the Givat Shaul Cemetery in Jerusalem after the service.