Jerusalem’s Montefiore Windmill Returns

Today, after more than 150 years, the afternoon wind was again

Montefiore Windmill

 turning the blades of the Montefiore Windmill in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Windmill

The Windmill, initiated by Sir Moses Montefiore to aid

 the “Suffering Jews in the Holy Land” was completed in 1857

and operated for around twenty years.

Montefiore’s goal was to help the poor of the Jewish community

grind their grain for bread and support themselves.

It was the first project built outside the Walls of the Old City

in the Mishkenot Sha’ananim-Yemin Moshe Jewish neighborhood.

Plaza Jerusalem

The Old City Walls in the distance are easy to see from the plaza,

where a few name cards from the reserved seats were the only sign today of

Windmill photo

the Montefiore Windmill rededication and ribbon cutting ceremony

that took place in the evening of August 28, 2012.

Montefiore Windmill

A restored Montefiore carriage is now on display behind protective glass

after it was vandalized and burned in 1986.

Montefiore carriage

During the reception the door was open and I was able to go inside.

After months of construction and delays 

Mark Sofer

  Jerusalem Foundation president Mark Sofer had plenty to smile about.

The Windmill is not exactly the same as the original though,

as it has an electric motor and security systems.

Windmill Jerusalem

Maybe it was the crepes, 

Pepe Allaou

the ice cream, 

Jerusalem Windmill

or the wine and fruit at the reception,

Naomi Tzur

but everyone seemed to be smiling on Tuesday.

Netanyahu

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks,

Montefiore Windmill

there is extra security all around 

 and extra cameras.

A short video showed the barren area in the 19th century.

Montefiore Windmill

What a contrast to the Jerusalem of today.

  Christians for Israel from the Netherlands worked hard on this project.

Jerusalem Windmill

There were Christian representatives from Holland, 

Jerusalem Windmill, Chief Rabbi

as well as the Dutch Chief Rabbi, Rabbi  Binyomin Jacobs present.

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat

Jerusalem, Israel Mayor Nir Barkat, like the Prime Minister,

spoke about his childhood experiences playing in the area.

Jerusalem windmill

The blades of the windmill started to turn again,

but they are not just there to look at

Jerusalem windmill

as an important National Heritage Site, 

 the plan is to grind grain and sell the bread made from it to the public.

Of course, there were speeches,

  it would really be too long to list all the officials present,

however, for a short video click here.

The Prime Minister spoke of the symbol of ruach,

which can be translated as wind or spirit: 

 there was wind and a beautiful spirit as the Windmill returned.

 For more photos see The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Page.

Jerusalem as August Ends

Did you hear a loud noise on Monday morning?

It was the collective sighs of relief filling the streets -

 the long summer holiday was over

and over 2 million Israeli children went back to school.

water play

Trips to museums for water play were replaced with starting Kita alef,

 which in Israel is a more exciting event than many university graduations.

The school children living in the southern Israel town of Sderot

Kassam rocket

had another rocket fired at them from Gaza as they started to go to class.

More than 440 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza

since the year began, averaging around two a day!

Last week Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, 

Shakespeare in park

was performed in English in Jerusalem, Israel’s Bloomfield Park.

The shows were free and open to the public.

Shakespeare, widely agreed to be perhaps the most clever writer ever,

 could he have imagined what is happening now?

Arab families were seated on the grass to watch.

Arab girls

A few meters away on the plaza, Muslim women sat on a bench 

Jerusalem

and then followed to see the photos of a beautiful bride in white,

Jerusalem scene

as a Jewish couple were preparing to get married.

While hundreds are killed each day in Syria,

Jerusalem park

this was the scene in the Jerusalem park.

School has started, however university does not begin until October.

Jerusalem park

Arab girls in Israel will be attending classes,

not banned from an education like in Iran. 

Arab woman driving

And of course, they can drive themselves to the park or to school,

not like the women living in Saudi Arabia.

arab girls

 Kikar Zion, Zion Square, is still a safe place to walk during the day.

It was a long hot summer,

but the evenings are now cool for the late night summer music programs.

Jerusalem theater

Last week the music and lights were at the Jerusalem Theater,

J street sign,

and this week Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, will showcase Reggae Music 

and Safra Square will host the last August free public concert. 

First there was the Wine Festival, then Beer Festival,

ice cream

and now this week for the first time an Ice Cream Festival.

Always something happening on the Jerusalem streets.