5 Positive Things from Jerusalem You Should Know

High temperatures, weariness from war in the south and north, and too many funerals made last week difficult. However, as always positive things were happening on the Jerusalem streets.

Five years ago, Urban Place opened with a grand event on the fourth floor of the Jerusalem Central Bus Station with the Jerusalem Mayor and crowds of interested people.

The saying, “Adventure begins at the end of the road you know” is still at the end of the hall.

I was back again this week and pleased to see it filled with offices and people.

Looking out a window from Urban Place, I wondered what was that across the way. At home, I realized it was the Jerusalem International Conference Center windows reflecting the bus station. The Israeli flags were blowing in the breeze and other flags lined the booths in front of the main entrance.

The Israeli athletes of the Israeli Olympic and Paralympic delegations for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, were hosted by President Isaac Herzog on the grounds of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence.

There were sports dignitaries including the Israeli Minister of Sports, but it was very hot by midday.

I left before the posed photos, with a yellow chair that was added to the usual formal photographs.

Back in the evening at Beit Hanasi on Wednesday, for the President’s Award for Volunteerism. It is an annual initiative that began 50 years ago, founded by Israel’s fourth president, the late Ephraim Katzir, in cooperation with the President’s Residence and the Israeli Volunteering Council.

One of my favorite events honoring volunteers, and finding people I know as a pleasant surprise.

Seeing people again with connections years ago though we have lost contact, doing good things.

The Shvuah HaSefer HaIvri – Hebrew Book Week – is back at First Station from June 18 – 29, 2024.

On the night I went it was filled with people as usual, with many families with young children.

Diverse populations arrive and stroll, pushing babies and older folks in wheelchairs.

Different this year there was a booth to purchase yellow ribbons and more, and not only young soldiers walked around with their weapons, but also more mature men out of uniform.

Security was evident, but so were the Arab women who strolled on the Train Track Path as usual.

This and similar signs have brightened Jerusalem streets announcing the Week for Disablities, honoring other Israeli soldiers, and those with disabilities who volunteer their service to the IDF.

A special project was initiated for women aged 25 or over, certified in professions useful to the army, who did national service, but not military service, and who can enlist in shortened boot camps and thus join the reserve army.

Hundreds of new young soldiers affirming service in the IDF were at the Kotel Plaza, Western Wall as their families stood for hours to get a glimpse of them at the ceremony.

May all the soldiers be safe, the hostages return, and the Jerusalem streets again be lined with colorful flowers instead of yellow ribbons.

5 thoughts on “5 Positive Things from Jerusalem You Should Know

  • June 23, 2024 at 11:49 am
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    Oh such great recollections of the Book Weeks of the past! I am so glad to see it continues. And so happy that you have more and more people in your photos – to me it makes a big difference. And finally a big complaint that maybe you can help out with. There is not a single space to park a car to wait to pick someone (i.e. my soldier granddaughter) up from the Central Bus Station. Lucky I have NYC chutzpah and was audacious enough to double park at the taxi stand.

    Reply
    • June 23, 2024 at 7:14 pm
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      From the Navon Train Station you are correct, only taxis and buses. However, there is a place around the back of the Central Bus Station, by using the new tunnel, where the the buses enter, that cars can go. There’s even a bench there if someone has to wait. I went in that way on Wednesday for the first time, and pleasant surprise passed a nephew on his way to work. Sadly, some of those photo did not come out good enough to publish.

      Reply
  • June 24, 2024 at 3:49 pm
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    “May all the soldiers be safe, the hostages return, and the Jerusalem streets again be lined with colorful flowers instead of yellow ribbons.” AMEN!

    Reply
    • June 25, 2024 at 5:43 am
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      besorot tovot!

      Reply
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