What’s New and Different on the Jerusalem Streets?

With the end of May 2024, summer is returning to the Jerusalem streets.

A sure sign is finding that ants have returned to the kitchen.

On a quiet day when news is bleak, a quick walk to the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens to witness the new season is an effective antidote. The pond is filling with the green leaves of the lilies, and this year it is lined with Israeli flags.

More and more new flags are hanging over the Jerusalem streets, some never noticed before.

The Jerusalem Writers Festival is returning on May 27- 30 in Mishkenot Sha’ananim as in the past.

Jerusalem Education Week is back again with various activities for teachers, students, and parents.

The programs are to be held all week. However, this year it ends with a special Kabbalat Shabbat at the Nature Center in memory of Yossi Hershkovitz הי”ד on Friday afternoon.

Orient Isrotel Hotel was again the scene of the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society.

The good food and conversations in the main lobby and

the main room set to accommodate the dozens of speakers and media were similar to past years.

The Israeli President Isaac Herzog opened the first day of the two-day conference.

The large screens projecting the speakers were the same, as here with the former commander of the elite IDF unit 8200 Nadav Zafir, founder of Team 8.

US Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew was listed on the program in “Conversation with Yohanan Plesner.”

The former US Secretary of the Treasury Lew declined to get involved with the current political situation saying his area of expertise was more in “capital markets” in response to one of IDI President Plesner’s questions.

Israeli entrepreneur and innovator Yossi Vardi was back as usual and Jack Lew stopped to speak with him.

What was different from last year?

The Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion wasn’t on the program, nor was the head of the Bank of Israel Amir Yaron. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Economy Minister Nir Barkat were also absent this year.

The reception Smotrich received last year, with signs and shouting and boos, made it impossible to hear his prepared remarks.

This year at the conference, I only heard one man shouting at a speaker. He was quickly silenced by people sitting near him. With many economic concerns because of the war, the atmosphere was much calmer this year.

Hansen House announced a new exhibition this week “In-attention” showcasing new tech and design.

This Jerusalem Design Week focused on supporting initiatives and actions that turn our gaze inward.

The value of culture has been put to the test. With these works, “the creators hope to heal and redesign the future, and consider the day after the current crisis.”

This one was simple fun. Tossing a small ball into the net of the left, the ball was propelled across and then shot back and forth – over and over, as I watched. As always, something unusual at Hansen House!

New signs were up this week, the one on the top left confused me initially. In the Clal Building, the Jerusalem Street Orchestra is holding a concert on Wednesday night, May 29. The concert was already sold out when I figured out what was happening.

The Moon Grove was the site of major Lag B’Omer bonfires in the past.

But this year the big fires were very different.

The main one in Meron was banned because of Hezbollah rockets and fears of a large crowd gathering.

Photo credit: Western Wall Heritage

One of the multiple sites this year was near the Kotel, Western Wall late at night.

Lag B’Omer fires were never my favorite, but I would have watched this one. However, none of the Kotel webcams showed the fire, music, and crowds dancing.

New flags and old were seen this week on the Jerusalem streets.

“We are stronger together.”

As protests grow, time moves slowly, one constant endures: there is always something new to see on the old Jerusalem streets and we never know what will happen next.

5 thoughts on “What’s New and Different on the Jerusalem Streets?

  • May 26, 2024 at 11:20 am

    “…food goes in and lies come out.” That says it all. Thank you, Sharon. And happy Lag Ba’Omer to all.

    • May 26, 2024 at 12:18 pm

      Stay well!

  • May 26, 2024 at 11:28 am

    Leave it to you, @Sharon, to point out the obvious, not so obvious, vaguely familiar with, and the entirely unknown. You’re the ultimate teacher, because you note the significance of every Jerusalem site. I am constantly learning from you!

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