3 Creative Jerusalem Initiatives: Ultimate Urban Recycling

3 Creative Jerusalem Initiatives: Ultimate Urban Recycling

The Jewish Agency Board of Governors met in Jerusalem

with the unification of Jerusalem as its theme, but

their annual meetings and agendas were overshadowed by

the controversies over the Kotel, Western Wall, and the conversion bill.

However, tours were organized

 by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

for interested international delegates to see ‘Jerusalem Up-Close’.

Hi-Tech, Haredim, and East Jerusalem were offered,

but ‘Jerusalem Civic Society’ captured my attention,

with not one, but three locations I wanted to see.

First stop HaMiffal.

Sign for new Jerusalem Israel art hub

Walk across King David Street,

from the David Citadel Hotel,

and make a quick left past the Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria,

the there in the courtyard,

Urban development Jerusalem

is this simple sculpture and building.

Jerusalem had many old abandoned buildings.

Artists work area in HaMiffal

So members of the Jerusalem artistic community,

started taking over these sites,

and instead of drug havens, they became workshops.

HaMiffal has flourished.

Culture space for New Spirit Jerusalem Israel

Now working with the municipality,

Room in HaMiffal Jerusalem Israel abandoned building became artists hub

 multiple rooms inside,

Jerusalem art and culture space Ha Miffal

and hallways, display various expressions of art.

The old, new and creative coming together,

Fire, security system at HaMIffal

and now, insured and protected by modern security systems.

Next stop was the Clal Building,

located near Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

 MUSLALA

Roof top agriculture in Binyun Clal

the Terrace, is a rooftop for new urbanism,

The Clal Building was envisioned to be an urban mall.

However,

Elevator in Binyun Clal Jerusalem Israel white elephant

it felt like a giant sauna as we climbed the spiral stair case.

But up on the roof,

Roof top agriculture and space urbanization

we found Gag-Eden, a center for urban agriculture and sustainable living,

Mirpeset top of Binyun clal roof garden

has added vegetation and community meeting areas,

Mirspeset roof garden Binyun Clal

promoting green technology for urban dwellers.

While inside,

Workspace for artists top of Binyun Clal at Mirpeset

there is workshop space for handicrafts of earth materials.

Thanks to our guide Lior Schillat,

the director general of the Jerusalem Institute,

this was first time I did not get lost in the building.

There are over 300 shops in the building,

each privately owned, not rented,

and most are empty these days.

Best eye glass repair shop in Jerusalem Israel

 My favorite eyeglass repair shop was still in business.

Where else in world do you get a warranty that is good

“Until Moshiach comes.”

Still waiting for the arrival of the Messiah,

and the glasses did not break after his repair.

For the third stop on the tour,

we crossed Ki”akh Street,

the street everyone knows, but not by name,

 to Beit Alliance.

The first time I tried to find the building was at night.

I walked back and forth, finally someone had to come out

and show me how to enter.

Beit Alliance Building in Jerusalem Israel near Machane Yehuda Market

This old building is in the midst of a construction area.

All around, and in the shuk, you will see re-gentrification.

The first floor of Beit Alliance hosts new hi-tech start-ups,

while upstairs there is also a center for civic issues,

Kitchen in Beit Alliance Building in Jerusalem Israel

with a kitchen as a communal meeting spot,

Beit Alliance new office in old building

 and offices and meeting rooms.

Newest of all is the space developing downstairs.

Jerusalem, Israel, has been known for many things,

but not for fashion design.

Design center in lower floor BEit Alliance Building Jerusalem

With new opportunities, this jewelry designer,

Beit Alliance new fashion center Jerusalem Israel

is one of four designers sharing this space,

Beit Alliance will be a new must see, stop and shop spot.

There you have it,

three old and abandoned locations

are now active cultural and creative spaces.

It’s time for you to come and see

what is really happening in Jerusalem.

More photos of the tour are published on Facebook

can be seen HERE

10 Photos of this Week in Jerusalem

10 Photos of this Week in Jerusalem

I love a day when the weather is the top news.

Last night, as the sun set, cool winds came across the city.

 I thought my camera lens was dirty,

old City walls at sunset

but those were clouds over the Old City.

As it got darker, more clouds blew in over

Jerusalem Israel summer clouds. over King David Hotel and Montefiore Windmill

the Montefiore Windmill and the King David Hotel.

By morning, the sky looked winter grey,

and certainly not like the first day of summer.

But by afternoon, most of the clouds were gone,

and it was back to sunny warm streets and a normal June day.

A great time to get out and appreciate the Judean  hillside.

Hills around Jerusalem, Israel near zoo

This view is just minutes from Malha Mall,

Yehudah Hotel garden Jerusalem Israel

and was taken from these lovely gardens.

This week’s exciting event (for some people) was a visit by

18 US football “Hall of Famers.”

US Football star Willie Lanier in Jerusalem Israel

Willie Lanier of the Kansas City Chiefs

was wearing Jerusalem on his hat at the end of his visit.

It goes well with his Canton, OH, Hall of Fame shirt.

Thousands tried to meet and

photograph their favorite sports stars.

 I was told that I missed Joe Montana by seconds.

Oh well.

It was better than standing in the heat outside

the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs waiting for security.

Simon Wiesenthal center at Israel Foreign Ministry

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and

the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Israel held a conference there

on digital terrorism and hate speech on the internet.

I am afraid you will be hearing lots more

on this EchoChamber in the future,

as cyber terrorists look for new ways to attack.

The next day was

Conference on Israeli economy in Jerusalem Israel IDI

the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society,

of the Israel Democracy Institute,

where we heard that Israel, the ‘Start-Up Nation’,

is #52 in the world in the ease of opening a business.

Changes must be made in taxation, regulation and bureaucracy

in order to get Israel to the next level

to be known as the ‘Nation of Innovation’.

After two days inside, it was good to get out.

Pillbox in Rechavia painted Jerusalem Israel history

Our local pillbox got a much needed painting.

White Night Beit Avi Chai in July 2017

This new sign was posted for Beit Avi Chai.

Lists of children’s summer programs are planned,

but this informs us that July 6 will be Leila Lavan.

an all-night loud summer music party.

Mekudeshet, a festival working hard on integrating cultures,

is also planning a long list of events for this summer.

If you remember the photo I posted of the Mamilla Hotel,

Mamilla Hotel flag for Macabbiah in Jerusalem Israel 2017

there is now a fourth banner flag on the building.

The 2017 Macabbiah will be bringing tens of thousands

of international Jewish athletes to Jerusalem, Israel.

All of this is amazing.

Especially if you stop and reflect

that all of the above locations,

from the Pillbox to those hills,

were mostly empty and barren, except for rocks,

not so very many years ago.

And Mamilla Mall and Mishkanot-Shaananim,

were dangerous zones inhabited by the poorest of poor.