Shabbat Shalom – Unity

Shabbat Shalom – Unity

The fourth Jerusalem Unity Prizes were awarded in Jerusalem, Israel.

Initiated in memory of three the kidnapped and murdered teenagers,

Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel z”l

the prizes celebrate the unity the families felt in those difficult days.

Instead of one photo for Shabbat shalom greeting, three short video clips from Beit Hanasi,          the Israeli President’s residence, where the ceremony took place in the main hall.

“The Spark of Love” Hebrew lyrics Ehud Banal was sung by Shuli Rand and Guri Alfi.

Birthright participants entered to sing “One Day.”

Hatikvah, the Hope.

שבת שלום

Shabbat shalom

See New Old Streets – London in Jerusalem:

See New Old Streets – London in Jerusalem:

Time.

Time sometimes seems to pass so quickly and other times so slowly. This week in a heat wave every minute outside seemed longer.

The history of Jerusalem goes back millennia, and 30 years is a mere blink of an eye.

The British began their governance of Jerusalem after centuries of Ottoman rule in December of 1917, and left in 1948. However, in those 30 years, Jerusalem changed drastically.

Social and cultural exhibit at Tower of David Museum London in Jerusalem

The British brought with them a new life of culture to the Middle East, and a new exhibit at the Tower of David Museum shares it with us.

Have you ever thought about how much changed over the 30 years of the British Mandate?

Replica of Fink's Bar in Tower of David Museum exhibit on British rule

British soldiers needed their entertainment and liquor. Cafes such as Fink’s Bar and Restaurant offered oysters and other delicacies  previously unknown.

Tower of David London in Jerusalem menu from British days

The London in Jerusalem exhibit offers insights into life on the real Jerusalem streets.

Cigarettes and liquor brought to Levant by British in first part of 20th century

Infrastructure was important, but so were cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.

Old sign in Tower of David Fink's Bar Jerusalem

Some items in this exhibit would not be considered politically correct these days.

Jerusalem map for British Mandate soldiers

This is a map of Jerusalem given to British soldiers. The photo is one of dozens of old photos in a slide presentation.

Palestine Radio at Tower of David Museum for London in Jerusalem exhibit

One of the five sections of the exhibit highlights the British Palestine Broadcasting Service (PBS) which opened in March 1936. “This is Jerusalem Calling!” was followed by broadcasts in Hebrew and Arabic.

Old posters from British era in Jerusalem

Posters announced the various shows, plays and events new to Jerusalem, including flower shows with trophies presented to the winners.

Tower of David set for performance

The Tower of David today hosts numerous events on this stage and can seat over 300 people.

Tower of David London in Jerusalem, photos from early British years

In this old photo we can see how the space looked before it was excavated in the 1980’s.

Over the centuries the Tower of David was used for military purposes. It was the first British Governor Sir Ronald Storrs who envisioned it as a cultural venue.

Sports day in Jerusalem with men on camels old photo

The British also brought sports.  A military sports day was held on Mount Scopus in 1934.  I am not sure what the sport was on these camels. Perhaps polo?

Jerusalem YMCA photo in Tower of David Museum

There is a  photo of the sports field behind the YMCA.

Notice those barren hills in the distance.

Tower of David photo men dancing in kilts London in Jerusalem

With the culture and music, the British brought new dances too.

Early scene of Jerusalem 1918 at Tower of David London in Jerusalem

On each side of the exhibition room, there are three panels over the thick stone walls, which change to show the passage of time.

If you could look out, in 1918, you would have seen the scene above

Tower of David Museum photo of blimp in Jerusalem

and in 1933, in the distance was the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus.

London in Jerusalem at Tower of David Museum

Ah, 1934 was a good year, Happy Birthday King George.

Tower of David 1946 Jerusalem streets blocked in Tower of David show

But by 1946, streets were blocked, and barbed wire was up, Jerusalem streets were dangerous.

Parlour from British influence in London in Jerusalem exhibit at Tower of David Museum

This salon is reconstructed as it would have been in Rechavia, and has original artifacts on display.

Ad for Lipton Tea in Tower of David London in Jerusalem exhibit

Oh, and the British brought tea and grand tea parties, too.

Tower of David London in Jerusalem bat

And Pimm’s for summer afternoon cocktails at parties on the lawn.

London in Jerusalem bar sign Tower of David

Besides bars and cafes, ten cinemas were opened in Jerusalem.

London in Jerusalem offers visitors also, a small theater recreated with wooden benches, to watch vintage footage from the 1930’s and 1940’s.

While Allenby at the Gates of Jeruslaem featured the military history of the time, London in Jerusalem is a walk down memory lane of the real streets.

Both exhibits are to run until December 2018.

I think older visitors will appreciate this exhibit more than younger ones, even with the modern technology included. Therefore, I was especially pleased to see that this exhibit is disabled and wheel chair accessible.

At night, you can come back to Tower of David for the new King David Night Spectacular 

So much happens on the Jerusalem streets these days, however, it was interesting to see what was happening at the beginning of the century also.

 

New Signs of Spring in Israel

New Signs of Spring in Israel

Pesach, Passover,  the holiday of Freedom and the holiday of Spring,

begins two weeks into the Hebrew month of Nisan.

Spring flowers in Jerusalem, Israel in Beit Hanasi garden

In Israel, spring is a time of green and of spring blooms of all colors popping up in the warm sun after the winter rain.

Clouds in sky, power lines and green along road in southern Israel

On a recent trip south toward the Negev, clouds billowed over the power lines.

Negev green after winter rain as seen from highway

All along the highway, green was the predominate color.

Fields of green vegetables are ready to pick for the holiday tables.

Hasslat Gush Katif vegetable packing plant in southern Israel

Our trip was to see a new vegetable packing plant in the Negev called חסלט Hasalat.

The facility was impressive on many levels.

Trucks unloading vegetables at packing plant in southern Israel

The size and capacity are impressive. Those openings are for two large trucks filled with produce to be delivered.

Vegetables marked with red stickers were rejected by packing plant for kosher customers

Not all produce is accepted, and these crates with red stickers contained rejected produce.

Gush Katif packing plant water being checked for insects

Samples of deliveries are washed and rinsed and checked in the lab, through a series of fine filters.

Man inspects for tiny bugs in vegetables in southern Israel packing plant

The specially trained inspectors are looking for insects less than a millimeter in size.

Man uses magnifying glass to examine small bug found in vegetable rinse water in packing plant in southern Israel

They know how to tell tiny insects that are not easily washed away from those that are.

Packing Gush Katif vegetables in southern Israel

Once the produce has been checked and declared clean, it then to goes to the packers, who have to dress warmly, as the rooms are kept cool.

People inspecting cabbage in packing plant Israel Gush Katif

The cabbage checkers check and recheck for insects, before the cabbages are sent along to be put in plastic bags.

Work room in Hasslat packing plant for Gush Katif vegetables

This is a large plant, with multiple rooms that process a variety of vegetables.

With Passover approaching, the demand for romaine lettuce will surge.

Ready-cut carrots, parsley and cabbage for salads will also be in great demand.

Israel green from winter rain people working in fields

Along the road agricultural workers were working in the green fields.

Bomb shelter on farmers for safety from Gaza missiles in southern Israel

These bomb shelters for farmers were built for protection as the rockets rained in from Gaza.

Now they are being used for storage, but if an alarm sounds, in the Negev there is no time to head home. Some workers have less than fifteen seconds to run to shelter.

After 12 years, Gush Katif produce, though no longer from Gush Katif, stands for quality and bug-free vegetables with low pesticide use, and some are grown organically.

Cabbage growing in hot house in southern Israel

Farmers are growing in special green houses in the Negev, sending their produce to be packed at Hasalat and then sent to stores in Israel and around the world.

Not all the farmers who left Gush Katif have permanent homes yet, so many years after they were expelled.

Kfar Darom building sites ready, but still no homes built

These are the housing plots for the new Shavei Darom community.

Gush Katif Kfar Darom playground built though no homes yet

The JNF playground is built and ready, but there are no children yet to play there.

Kfar Darom mikvah built before any homes Gush Katif

The community mikvah is state-of the-art with access for those with disabilities.

Land for homes Kfar Darom Gush Katif to rebuild

The Shavei Darom infrastructure is ready, but there are no homes built yet.

12 years after the destruction of Gush Katif, those expelled are still living in temporary residences.

Southern Israel bomb shelter next to bus stop

Bomb shelters next to bus stops are real and ready.

Cabbage in hothouse in Southern Israel for Gush Katif vegetable

But it was good to see that greener days are ahead for some of the former residents of Gush Katif.

It’s also good to see the new signs over the Jerusalem streets for Passover.

Street sign Happy spring holiday

 Chag Aviv Sameach Be Yerushaliyim

Happy Holiday of Spring in Jerusalem.