Jerusalem Getting Ready for Hanukkah

Jerusalem Getting Ready for Hanukkah

It’s the week before  חנוכה  and spellcheck has decided Hanukkah is the correct spelling in English.

At least one thing should be easier this year, with that problem decided.

In Jerusalem, Israel, before we began preparing for Hanukkah, international visitors took priority.

The President of Chad Idriss Deby dropped by for a quick visit.

Seems it went well, as our Israeli PM is planning a trip to Chad soon to set up diplomatic relations which were severed in 1972.

Czech flag for President in jerusalem Israel

The President of Czech Republic Milos Zeman and his wife were here on a state visit.

The Czech delegation got the presidential treatment with flags flying and state dinners and lunch. Zeman brought along a large entourage, making for long motorcades on the Jerusalem streets.

reduced GPO photo by Mark Neiman

The third Jewish Media Summit was held in Jerusalem, with over 100 people coming to join us from 30 countries. It included days of intense sessions, listening, talking, travelling and eating.  I found it interesting how new social media has been accepted and promoted along with conventional journalism, so very different from the past Jewish Media Summits. For a change I decided to sit at Beit Hanasi with President Rivlin and our group and use this GPO photo.

Jerusalem is going digital sign

I am not sure how many in Jerusalem noticed those visitors. But as more of these signs have popped up, Jerusalem residents will notice the city is going digital. Quick and easy service, no standing in line for municipal services. Sounds good, we will have to see how that goes.

Jerusalem Kikar Zion in morning after renovation

The renovation in Kikar Tzion, Zion Square, after being a construction site all summer, seems to have gone well.

Cofizz on Ben Yehuda closed

The copycat five shekel coffee and food place on Ben Yehuda Street seems not to be doing well. This one was closed midday, as the original 5 shekel Cofix announced joining with Rami Levy for future projects.

It was time to prepare for Hanukkah in Jerusalem.

Thousands of big people were sitting on little chairs and watching hours of Hanukkah song and dance performances by young children.

Did you get your Hanukkah stamps? The Israel- US joint venture was launched earlier this month.

Chanukah in Israel supermarket

Jerusalem supermarkets have displays with hanukkiot, Hanukkah menorahs.

Ready for Chanukah

Shop windows are ready with Hanukkah gift suggestions.

JErusalem Waldorf Astoria menorah ready for Hanuka

The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem readied their large hanukkia last week,

Window display at Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria menorah

and a gold and silver hanukkia was on display in this window.

Chanukah Lights on poles for Hanuka

Electric hanuikkot are lining some busy Jerusalem intersections.

Jerusalem, Israel on Hanukkah 5778

The hanukkia is up and ready for another year at the Kotel, Western Wall.

Chanuka sign for neighborhood events.

Hanukkah celebrations are planned for the week in various Jerusalem neighborhoods.

The Chabad hanukkiot have been placed on corners all around Jerusalem.

JErusalem for Chanuka donuts

And donuts, almost everywhere suffganiot of all types can be found.

I am looking forward to something new this year for Hanukkah. The Jerusalem Hanukkah Parade is to include 8 giant balloons like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Hard to imagine a Golden Dragon with over 200 people holding it as it proceeds down Jerusalem streets. That is a sight I want to see and share.

And we had two weddings this week.

With all the good, the crazy, the busy, so much happening in Jerusalem.

 

Yitzhak Navon: Israeli President Remembered

Yitzhak Navon: Israeli President Remembered

On November 20, 1977, Anwar Sadat came to Jerusalem to speak in the Israeli Knesset.

Remembering that historic moment spurs another November remembrance.

Yitzhak Navon

Yitzhak Navon lived from April 9, 1921 – November 6, 2015, and came from a long line of renowned Sephardic rabbis.

Yitzhak Navon in Beit Hanasi

An Israeli politician, diplomat, and author, he served as the fifth President of Israel between 1978 and 1983.

Yitzhak Navon’s image is in the garden at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s House, along with the rest of Israel’s past Presidents.

Yitzhak Navon is Beit Hanasi with flower on day of funeral

On the day of the Funeral of Yitzhak Navon  a single red flower was placed on the marble stand.

In 1978, at the age of 57, Yitzhak Navon was elected President of the State of Israel.

The first thing to come up in an internet search for Yitzhak Navon, is the Yitzhak Navon train station.

Sign for Yitzhak Navon Train Station in Jerusalem - fast train to Tel Aviv.

Navon was the first Israeli president of Sephardic heritage. Born in Jerusalem into a family who had lived in Jerusalem for over 300 years, they traced their ancestry back to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

He was noticeably younger than his predecessors, bringing to the President’s residence his wife and two relatively young children, which changed the atmosphere of the Presidential home.

Day of Yitzhak Navon funeral his children in garden look at stature

Navon was the father of a daughter, Na’ama, and a son, Erez. His wife, Ofira, died of cancer in 1993, and was a clinical psychologist. He later was remarried to Miri Shafir.

President Reuven Rivlin and Navon children day of funeral at Beit Hanasi

During his Presidency, Navon strove to act as a bridge between all of Israel’s ethnic groups, working to help those on the periphery enter into the mainstream of Israeli life.

At his funeral, this woman had to share a memory with his family and President Rivlin.

Military escort for Yitzhak Navon arrival at Beit Hanasi

In the critical years 1946-1948, Navon served as head of the Arab section of the Haganah in Jerusalem.

In 1951, he began a decade-long career in senior administrative posts in the offices of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, and of its first Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moshe Sharett.

Navon served as deputy speaker of the Knesset, and chairman of the Knesset Committee on Foreign and Defense Affairs.

In 1983, Navon turned down the opportunity to run for a second term of office. Instead he returned to politics, the only Israeli ex-president to do so, and served as Minister of Education and Culture, remaining in the Knesset until 1992.

Israeli President Yitzhak Navon funeral at Beit Hanasi

When the polls showed that Navon was more popular than Labor chairman Shimon Peres, Peres was pressured to step aside and allow Navon to take over the party leadership.

Navon’s fluency in Arabic made him especially popular among Arab and Mizrahi voters. However, at his funeral, which was open to the public at Beit Hanasi, few came early to pay respects, though more were reported attending later.

Navon was fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, Ladino, French and English. In October 1980, he visited Egypt, the first official visit by an Israeli president to an Arab state at the invitation of President Anwar Sadat. Navon impressed his hosts with his eloquent Arabic, breaking the ice and demolishing stereotypes of Israelis and Jews as a “foreign element” to the region.

He also paid a state visit to the United States at the invitation of President Reagan.

Former home of Israeli President Yitahak Navon gets blue tourist sign

November 6, came and went with little notice, three years since he died, but new signs are seen on Jerusalem streets.

Yitzhak Navon 5th president of Israel home becomes historical location

A blue historical information sign shows where Yitzhak Navon lived in his last years.

Yitzhak Navon train station in Jerusalem Israel

The new Jerusalem Train Station has opened.

New Jerusalem fast train station

As more people ride the new fast train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv,

Fast train station Jerusalem Israel

more will see the name Yitzhak Navon, a former President of Israel who lived a long life, and excelled in more areas of arts and language than listed here.

From chasing Nazi war criminals in South America, to attending events close to the end of his long and full life, Yitzhak Navon is truly a name to remember.

We can only wonder if Navon had led the negotiations with Egypt on Sinai, would the fate of Yamit and Gaza have been the same?