It’s raining. It’s pouring.
But big day tomorrow to prepare, better get going.
Hanukkah, Shabbat, and new month, a lot for one short day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The renovation in Kikar Tzion, Zion Square, after being a construction site all summer, seems to have gone well.
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.
Jerusalem supermarkets have displays with hanukkiot, Hanukkah menorahs.
Shop windows are ready with Hanukkah gift suggestions.
The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem readied their large hanukkia last week,
and a gold and silver hanukkia was on display in this window.
Electric hanuikkot are lining some busy Jerusalem intersections.
The hanukkia is up and ready for another year at the Kotel, Western Wall.
Hanukkah celebrations are planned for the week in various Jerusalem neighborhoods.
The Chabad hanukkiot have been placed on corners all around Jerusalem.
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.
The holidays are over.
It is time to get “back to normal.”
The Knesset winter season has opened, and universities are back in session.
A rocket from Gaza destroyed a home in Beer Sheva overnight.
Thankfully the mother was able to run with her 3 sleeping children to a safe room.
In Beer Sheva schools are closed, as students are home for a “rocket day.”
On one Jerusalem, Israel, street, the Happy New Year signs were still up.
And building cranes were also up, way up, and back to the business of building.
The Montefiore Windmill is now open as a winery and tourist spot.
The missing Monefiore coat of arms seems to be back over the door.
After the holidays, weddings galore filled the days and nights.
Conferences and Israel 70-year missions are too many to list, enough to surprise Ben Gurion.
Two hundred international Christian media professionals came for a media summit.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and US Ambassador Friedman were featured at the opening event.
I met a woman from Canada, a radio team from Estonia, and sat next to a working couple from The Hague, all supporters of Israel.
These visitors were all excited and happy to be here.
Check out the security, still partially visible as I left the event at First Station.
After the holidays tourist buses were still lining the road on Har Hazeitim, the Mount of Olives.
Record numbers of tourists arrived this past year in Israel.
Ido Aharoni told the International Tourism Security Summit (ITSS) that Israel’s Main Value is its creativity. He used as an example actors in a theater group who bake bread on stage as part of the show. All the actors are blind and deaf, and use 1500 physical cues to perform perfectly every night in the theater.
Summit seems to be the new term for conference. Some of the slides at the ITSS were great.
This one I really appreciated. Who knew how many people are killed by falling coconuts a year?
The Inbal has been renovating, and the patio was lovely at night,
as was the view over the Liberty Bell Park with the Dan Boutique Hotel lit up in the distance.
As soon as the holidays were over, Angela Merkel arrived in Israel.
The German Chancellor, her delegation, and Israeli guests were served lunch at Beit Hanasi.
I wondered what Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Aumann said to Merkel as she entered the room with the Israeli President.
Other Nobel Prize winners were invited, and the only female Israeli winner sat next to Merkel.
Most people only paid attention to the German delegation in Jerusalem when streets were closed.
After the holidays, and traffic was back to normal, filling the streets.
Twenty-four new rabbinical court judges were sworn in this week at Beit Hanasi.
This photo of the President, Chief Rabbis and the head of selection committee has received attention for being all male.
But have you seen this photo? I am looking for good caption, open to suggestions.
This is only a fraction of what has been happening, and so much more is scheduled for after the holidays.
A Jerusalem favorite starts tomorrow.
Over 120 varied locations are open for free in the annual 100 Houses from Within
Municipal elections are at the end of October.
Signs were popping up everywhere.
This pop-up store front became a campaign location.
Holidays may be over, but much is still happening on the Jerusalem streets.