Passover in Jerusalem: Old and New

There are the old familiar images for Passover in Jerusalem, Israel,

image garbage bin, photo rubbish, picture holiday mess

garbage bins are overflowing, even though there are extra pick-ups;

image Passover, photo Passover,

shopping carts are overflowing;

image kosher for passover, photo getting ready for Passover, picture Peashc preparations

and lots of large pots of water are boiling with steam rising.

But always there is something new.

image red flower, photo yellow flowers, picture wild flowers

Spring wildflowers have grown in the weeds,

a site where last year a brush fire left only scorched earth.

photo warning signs, picture street crossing, image new crossing signs

New warning signs at some major street crossings were painted on side walks.

But as most everything in Jerusalem, Israel, there was a bit of contention,

a corner near the Old City had the words only in Arabic,

but was painted over yesterday in Hebrew before I got there.

Then there are those construction cranes popping up like weeds

photo new building in Jerusalem, photo Jerusalem, picture new housing.

and many new luxury buildings.

But with any new construction

photo Old Jerusalem, picture old columns

are the findings from ancient times that were hidden under the streets.

This Passover one very hot spot to visit is

photo Cinema City, picture inside Cinema City, image Cinema

the new Cinema City complex.

More than just movie theaters,

you can find all kinds of food,

and I assume plenty of it will be kosher for Passover.

image Moses, photo Moshe Rabenu, picture of Bible story

For Passover and all year round, there is Moses,

not crossing the Red Sea, but with 10 commandments.

And posted all over are the new holiday signs,

image Passover, picture Pesach, photo sign Passover

happy holiday of spring in Jerusalem, Israel.

חג שמח!

Happy Holiday!

Have a great Passover all,

I really must get back to my cleaning.

Sounds of Music on Jerusalem’s Old City Streets

There seems to be a constant stream of festivals in Jerusalem, Israel,

 and this week is the annual music festival, Sounds of the Old City.

Nighttime music festivals are not the best ops for photos,

but some of these backdrops and stages are indeed spectacular.

Starting outside of Jaffa Gate,

image music, photo Old City music, picture music at night

the Na’am Ensemble was the opening act,

image girl singing, photo Jerusalem music, picture music

followed by a performance by Gole Anar.

Most of the names of the folk singers are not familiar to Anglo audiences.

music jerusalem image, photo music Old City

On the stage next to The Tower of David, the Alaev Family

photo girl singing, image music, picture family band

included family members dressed in colorful Bukharan clothing.

image music, photo band at night, picture Sounds of Old City

 There were over 11 mapped out performance locations,

the Dilijan Ensemble was #4 along the route.

A few locations were standouts,

image moat, photo photo during sounds of Old city festival

 like #3, down in the Tower of David moat!

image Tavrerna, photo Shimon Parnas

The show with the music of Taverna band, hosted by Shimon Parnas,

image moat, photo Sounds of Old City, Jerusalem music

was almost secondary to the site.

image moat, photo tower of David moat, picture Sounds of Old City music

Built for protection so many years ago, who could imagine this musical scene?

image Ketem Paz, photo Ketem Paz, music in Cardo picture

Ketem Paz, a group of religious and secular artists,

who sing Yemenite melodies from traditional texts,

image Cardo at night, photo Jerusalem music, picture interesting stage for music

performed in the Open Cardo as the opening act.

  What a stage!

image musicians, photo Old City night, picture violin

Also, students from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance

were playing along the route.

image Arab market, photo Musiim Jerusalem

Signs showed the way through the Muslim Quarter

image Muslim Quarter, photo music Jerusalem, picture music festival

and the shuk, market,

but as usual I got lost.

They need more and better signs.

image Arab musicians

By a photo in the free information booklet (available in English, Hebrew and Arabic)

it seems that I saw Lelot HaMizrach and not the Sahara trio.

Finally, I ended up in Muristan Square where

image Hebrews of Dimona, photo music festival. picture music Old City

the Hebrews of Dimona were belting out

image Hebrews of Dimona, photo children watching musics, Palestinian children in Jerusalemn

 some old US favorites from the Four Seasons that even got the attention of even the very young.

image cute child, picture night at Mamilla Mall

Not everyone out at night was interested in live music,

image Palestinian woman, photo Arab girl, picture Arab girl

and some were shopping in Mamilla Mall.

Thousands and thousands of people,

from around the world were on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

But if there is no violence, just sounds of music, then it is not news.

Be warned though, that not only is the Old City closed to vehicles,

but some streets in Old City were even blocked for pedestrians,

image Waldorf Jerusalem, photo WAldorf not open, picture Waldorf at night

like the street by the new still not quite open Waldorf-Astoria.

 Sounds of the Old City runs from March 31 – April 3, 7-11:00 pm.

Palestine Symphony in Jerusalem

The Palestine Symphony was founded in 1936,

and its first performances were in Tel Aviv.

These days there are plenty of cultural events in Jerusalem, Israel,

sometimes too many: I could be busy day and night.

Two Jerusalem women’s groups

joined together to sponsor a movie night as a fund raiser

for the educational institutions of AMIT and Emunah.

This year the movie was Orchestra of Exiles,

and it was so popular that there was an encore showing.

The Jews of Palestine in 1936 were thirsty for culture.

The Palestine Symphony was a huge success.

image Palestine, photo Palestine symphony, picture culture Palestine.

 The PA money machines are churning out cutsie videos

to rebrand Palestine and make up a cultural narrative.

The goal of The Real Jerusalem Streets is

 to be family friendly and apolitical.

But it is important to know history.

The Palestine Symphony musicians were all Jewish,

and was founded while the local Arabs were rioting from 1936-1939.

The Truth about Palestine needs to be shared,

not a narrative from a cleverly crafted script.

In 1948 the Palestine Symphony became known as

the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.

If you want the full story, see the film–

it was so fascinating that I watched it a second time.

And next week, another music festival is opening in the Old City.

Jerusalem Marathon 2014

The sun was shining for the 4th International Jerusalem Marathon,

image runner, photo marathon runners Jerusalem, picture men running

as 26,000 runners raced through the Jerusalem, Israel streets,

image winner, photo race winner, picture winner at finish line

and the winner came in with a record-breaking time.

Streets were closed,

image Jerusalem marathon, photo people walking, picture walking to marathon

so everyone had to walk to get to check in and the starting line.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo park of marahton, Jerusalem marathon photo

Once a year the graffiti is white-washed away and

a new banner is hung near the full marathon finish line.

image sign marathon, photo Jerusalem marathon

Besides the full and half marathons there are other popular races.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo starting line, picture crowd at starting line

Thousands lined up at the starting line for the 10 kilometer run.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo marathon start, picture 10 k race

The young and not so young, most dressed in colorful shirts,

iamge Jerusalem marathon, photo marathon start, picture start of marathon

and their enthusiasm off the start was contagious.

iamge people on stilts, photo men in flag colored costumes, Jerusalem marathon picture

Entertainers on stilts were dressed in flag-colored costumes,

near a special course for shorter races for the young and disabled.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo children watching for runner, picture Jeruslaem marathon

Supporters lined the streets watching and waiting.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo sing for marathon, photo Jerusalem marathon

Along the routes were

image Jerusalem marathon, photo marathon, picture water stop marathon

  water stations.

image crowd going to starting line, photo Jerusalem marathon

It was hard to get through the crowd in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park

at the start of the 10 K race.

image female marathon winner, photo runner Jerusalem marathon, winner picture woman runner

With so many events running at once, it was hard to find family members,

but we did see the winner of the women’s full marathon.

image runners, photo Hungarian runners

Over 50 countries were represented, and many religions,

image runner kissing finish line, photo marathon runnere

but we only saw one runner from Brazil kiss the finish line.

image Israeli winners at Jerusalem marathon, photo winners, picture marathon winners

Separate awards for Israeli winners were presented for best times.

Loud music pumped through the park, which could be heard kilometers away.

image crowd at Jerusalem marathon, picture crowded park , photo crowd

The runners at the end of their races and arriving for medals,

were separated by fences from the crowds of spectators.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo smiling race finshers, picture grandmother hugging girl at end of race

But some proud grandmothers knew how to get around barriers for a special hug.

iamge Jerusalem marathon, photo RavBeni Lau, picture Jerusalem maraton

And then there was the walk home.

The sun was hot.

Some runners were still approaching the finish line,

image runner late in day jerusalem marthon, photo Jerusalem marathon runner,  photo last runner

even as the streets were opened to traffic at one o’clock.

Thousands of shekels were raised for charity.

Everyone who participated was a winner.

Many have been inspired to try next year,

to enter or to train for a longer race.

image ahava emunah , picture Jerusalem marathon


 The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook

 Jerusalem Marathon album has many more photos HERE.

I wonder how many faces you will recognize?

Remember last year?  If not see:

Jerusalem Marathon 2013

Did you Hear About Jerusalem Marathon 2013?