Waiting for Windmills and Romney

It is summer holiday now,

 the Knesset is out of session until the middle of October. 

In Jerusalem, Israel, when one says after the holidays,

it usually means a wait until after all the Jewish fall holidays,

not just two weeks in the summer.

 We have waited a long time for the Montefiore Windmill 

renovations to be finished

so that it can go into operation as a working flour mill again.

"windmill" "Yemin Moshe photos"

At the beginning of the week it clearly was not finished.

"photo windmill", "image windmill"

After all the waiting the Windmill finally got its blades,

but the main dedication will have to wait until the end of August.

I got to hear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

when she was in Jerusalem, Israel, 10 days ago.

Gee, we were waiting then too.

  US presidential candidate Mitt Romney is coming soon,

but I have not heard of any chance to hear or see Mitt Romney,

 unless you have a spare $50,000 to give him that is.

In the miserable heat this week it was hard to work or think.

"photo signs" , "image signs", "picture signs"

It was even hard to find anything amusing,

but these “walking” signs got me to laugh out loud.

Wonder what they are doing now?

We finally got our windmill.

Maybe they can advertise that we are waiting for an invite to see Mitt.

Oh well, the heat wave just broke and there is a cool breeze.

Now that is what we all have been waiting for.

A Protest for all Seasons

Looking back at last July’s protest season,

I was surprised to see how much of this year’s is similar and yet is so different.

Then I realized that protests are not only held in the hot summer season 

but there were also protests in the winter.

The list of protests on the streets of Jerusalem, Israel is a long one.

"photo Free Pollard" ,"J Street" , "image protest sign"

The ‘Free Jonathan Pollard’ protest banners across from Bet Ha’Nasi,

the President’s Residence, were removed before President Putin’s visit,

so they were long gone when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to town.

"photo protest' , "picture protest sign", "Image protest"

Not long ago, even the social workers were protesting on the sidewalk

outside the National Labor Court for a decent salary.

This year’s social protest demonstration drew a fraction of last year’s crowds

 as it marched to protest the lack of public housing on July 14 in Jerusalem .

"protest sign", "image protest",  "J street'

When protesters blocked a major street and made loud noise late at night,

 some people were so unhappy that they came out to complain.

Sadly, the way to get media attention has become more drastic

and the copy-cat aspect is even harder to comprehend.

The media loved the ultra-Orthodox rally against an army draft proposal,

but did you hear about a protest against racism?

Image Israeli flag", "photo Israeli flag", "Israeli flag"

In February, a lone man with an Israeli flag and a sign reading,

“no separation in nursery schools” for Ethiopian children

took over the same corner near the Prime Minister’s Residence

that  Gilad Shalit’s family occupied for so long.

"photo tent" , "image protest tent", "picture tent"

A tent was set up to protest against racism in Israeli society.

I even saw Gilad Shalit’s brother there once,

as one of the thousands of people who have come by,

"image protest tent", "image deputy mayor", "photo tent"

 including Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalu.

"photo tent" , 'image protest tent" , "picture Jerusalem street"

The tent structure grew to this before it was removed by court order.

"photo sign", 'protest image"

Holidays have been noted and observed.

"image protest:, "photo protest"

Groups are learning ways to be more inclusive and tolerant.

As we observe this week before the Tisha B’Av,

it is a perfect time for everyone to try harder to get along.

There will be more protests, but it is time to end discrimination.

 

10 Favorites at Museum of Science

Many think of Jerusalem, Israel, and see images

 of the Old City and the Kotel and other ancient sites.

But near the Knesset and the Israel Museum is a special public place

founded with the Hebrew University and the Jerusalem Foundation,

which is a dynamic, innovative and attractive tourist destination.

There were so many things that I liked on my recent visit to

 The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem, 

 it has been hard to get down to a short list.

1. Before you even go inside the building, 

"museum photo", "image museum", "photo Museum"

the color and the energy are impressive.

"picture Arab girl", "image Arab girl", "photo Arab girl'

2. Once in the front door, the diversity of the staff is clear.

All signs are in Hebrew, Arabic and English,

 as the museum targets all the diverse populations of Jerusalem

"photo J street", "image J Street", "picture Jerusalem"

with special educational activities.

"picture museum", "photo musuem", "image museun"

3. With so many hands-on exhibits, it was hard to pick one photo,

"museum photo", "image museum","picture museum"

4. No soft padding for little visitors, but real structures to explore.

"picture start up nation","photo start up nation", "image start up nation"

5. Before there was a book about Israel as a start-up nation,

"picture museum", "photo museum", Image museum"

there were popular Hebrew children’s story books.

"picture museum, "photo museum", "image museum"

 I love to see that from simple stories, science and culture can be linked

so that a scientific principle can be learned while having fun.

"image water" "photo museum", "picture museum"

 6. This week it has been especially hot in Jerusalem, perfect timing

   to explore the dynamics of water on the museum grounds.

"museum photo", "image children", children Photo"

7. There is so much energy, you can feel it as you walk the halls.

"photo children in museum", "picture museum", "image chlldren'

8. The museum staff is available in every section to guide and explain.

9. An Innovation display show cases 50 of Israel’s top contributions

"museum photo", "picture museum", "image museum"

to modern technology.   I love that Israelis developed 

the “pill-cam from Israeli army missile technology.

10. I really enjoyed a chance to visit to the off-limits, 

"picture workroom", Image work room", "work room"

special workroom where everything in the museum is made.

 There was much more that I found impressive, 

 like the special science encounters to encourage girls,

  youngsters with special needs, and

  the Arab population to appreciate science and technology.

I studied Chemistry in college and worked in bio-chemical research,

this visit reminded me of how much I enjoyed those lab experiments.

  Next week there are special events planned

for the 20th anniversary of

 The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem. 

Since this is only a small bit of what there is to see and do,

better to come and check it out for yourself

and be sure to see the new exhibition “Footprints of Light.”

An idea of Prof. Peter Hillman which started out in a small room

on the Hebrew University Givat Ram campus has grown to 

  a Museum has already attracted over 3,500,000 visitors.

However, one warning:

Adults beware of possible exhaustion.

Watch Out Katy Perry and Justin Bieber

 I am often asked how I decide what to write about.

Some weeks it is easy.

 Last week was the funeral of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

The public is seldom invited into the Knesset Building,

so if you missed the last post check it out.

The problem is there is too much to do in the summer.

It is the Season of Culture in Jerusalem.

 The Israel Museum’s popular new exhibit, 

"sign picture", "museum sign photo", "image black and white"

Chasidim, not all black and white’, has attracted thousands of visitors.

"sign Jerusalem film festival", "photo film festival" , "Jerusalem film festival image"

The Jerusalem Film Festival opened with a big event at the Sultan’s Pool.

Plus there were several professional music events held

in outdoor locations around Jerusalem that attracted thousands of fans.

But if you look around the Jerusalem streets as the summer starts,

you will find colorful hand-made signs.

They welcome crowds to end-of-school year events organized by                                                             

various Youth movements.

One group in the Talpiot neighborhood, after opening speeches,

featured a girls’ act with colorful hats and ties.

Of course, there were plenty of cameras on hand to record the show.

This Snif Ezra (chapter of the Ezra movement) was celebrating its 30th year,

 and there were even more cameras poised for the boys’ turn to perform.

Boys on bicycles showed some of their dare-devil moves.

Mandatory at such an extravaganza are loud music,

a burning sign,

 a power-point presentation,

and Israeli flags.

Countless hours of preparation went into this and other such evenings.

The choreography, costumes and music were suitable

for this far, far, far off-Broadway production.

One has to be impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication

of the youth group leaders and their young members.

Ok,  Katy Perry and Justin Bieber do not have to worry

about any competition from here yet,

but from the energy and ideas of these young people and others

like Tzofim, Israeli scouts, will come future leaders.

Yitzhak Shamir, 1915-2012

On Monday, July 2, 2012,

"picture Knesset", "photo Knesset", Image Knesset"

the large flag over the Knesset flew at half mast,

while this warning sign was posted in front of the building.

Yitzhak Shamir, the 7th Prime Minister of Israel, had died at age 96,

"image Shamir funeral", "photo Shamir funeral", "picture Shamir funeral"

  and his casket was lying in state in the main hall.

Getting into the Knesset Building is usually not easy.

"picture honor guard", "photo honor guard", "image honor guard"

But today the public was invited to pay their respects to the Shamir family,

as army rabbis stood and read Psalms.

"picture Meridor", "photo Dan Miridor", "image Dan Meridor"

Vice Premier Dan Meridor was one of the government officials present.

"photo memorial wreaths", "image flower wreath", Picture flower wreath"

At 4:00 pm, the floral wreaths surrounding the casket 

were removed

 and an honor guard lifted the casket.

"photo Shai Abramson", "image Shamir funeral", "picture singers"

IDF Chief Chazan Shai Abramson led the procession out of the hall

while chanting  Psalm 91.

The public was then ushered out of the Knesset Building.

In 1991, Prime Minister Shamir approved Operation Solomon

which brought over 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

On the day of his funeral, Ethiopian community leaders

were in the last group to leave the Knesset grounds.

The funeral procession went to Mount Herzl Cemetery for burial.

There was just enough time for some visitors to pose 

for a quick photo.

On the way in I had a “buggy” ride,

but on the way out everyone walked.

Most people walked away slowly.

Yitzhak Shamir  z’l  

     1915-2012 

Warning: Traffic Ahead

Traffic filled the Jerusalem streets last week.

First, there were major international conferences 

"photo limousine", "image limo", "picture limousine"

with motorcades and official limousines and sirens.

 Vladimir Putin was in Jerusalem for only one day,

but he caused a traffic mess of presidential proportions.

"photo Russian flag", "image welcome sign", "picture Russia flag'

The Russian flags welcoming him to Jerusalem were still flying after he left.

 Schools held countless end-of-year performances for families,

making driving unpredictable and parking sometimes impossible.

The usual was bad enough, but wait–it got worse.

"picture Jerusalem", 'Photo Jerusalem", Image Jerusalem"

The Promenades of the Tayelet are perfect for views  

"picture Jerusalem", "image Jerusalem", "photo Al Quds

of the Old City Walls.

In May,

"photo fire" "image fire Jerusalem", "picture smoke"

 smoke could be seen from several fires below the Tayelet,

"picture smoke". "photo Jerusalem", "image Silwan"

 but they did not spread.

Recently, however, there have been multiple fires in the area.

 Last week the main Route #1 into Jerusalem was shut down 

while firefighters worked to put out fires and

thousands of people were stuck in traffic for hours.

"picture wild fire", "photo smoke", Image fire"

There have also been less serious fires that do not make the news.

Traffic came to a stop for one such fire near Kiryat Gat, 

"plane photo", "image plane", "picture plane"

while planes circled above. 

We were able to turn around and take another route back to Jerusalem,

so I do not know how long it took to re-open the road.

The funeral for former Prime Minister Shamir is later today,

 and it could be a traffic disaster of Prime Ministerial proportions.

Major construction on Route #1 is scheduled to start soon,

so we are in for years of serious traffic nightmares.

Bad traffic situations ahead seem to be a certainty,

Photo cigerette","

but surely we can put an end to some of the dangerous fires.