10 Alternatives to Politics and Elections in  Jerusalem

10 Alternatives to Politics and Elections in Jerusalem

If you followed the headlines about Jerusalem, Israel, this week you saw elections, politics and more politics.

Party volunteers outside a Jerusalem voting place for Knesset 22

Our voting place was very quiet midday, though there were more party booths than last time. I went at that time hoping to interview voters in line, but there were none.

Jerusalem streets seemed strangely deserted on election day and the day after.

Israel election voting booth for Knesset 22

There were fewer paper ballots for political parties than the previous election so you might mistakenly think it would be simpler. President Rivlin has been busy working for a unity coalition government.

However, still, could we possibly go to election #3?

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I have cut an exhausting list down to 10 of many more happenings:

Mossad the movie at Jerusalem Cinema City

  1. GPO sponsored “Mossad the movie” a humorous diversion for invited media.

Palmach building site in Jerusalem Israel

2. But back on the streets, “A new beginning” was posted on this construction site near where we voted. I could write new construction and building posts every week!

President Rivlin hosts beekeepers before Rosh Hashana

3. In honor of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, President Reuven Rivlin had his annual meeting with beekeepers. Three generations attended. The President was presented with new honey, branded with a photo of his late wife Nechama on the label dedicated to her memory.

End of summer at Jerusalem Theatre Israel

4. You know it’s the end of summer, not only by the cooler evenings but also by the Jerusalem Theater festival.

Jerusalem Israel end of summer festival at Jerusalem Theater

On the nights from September 16-19, the plaza was filled with music and celebrants.

Music at First Station after Shabbat by Feter Hendel

5. More music at First Station, with live music before Shabbat at Kabalat Shabbat and after Shabbat, at the Melava Malka celebrations. These are regular free events featuring various musical entertainers.   The group Feter Hendel played for their first time at the open stage venue.

Beit Avi Chai is one of many other locations which has a special music event this week.

Yemin Moshe Jerusalem Israel at night

The streets of Yemin Moshe are usually dark and quiet at night.

6. However, the sounds of the Solomon Brothers’ musical selihot filled the alleyways after Shabbat for the first set of the Ashkenazi selihot, the annual prayers prior to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

sellichos in Yerushalayim at night in Yemin Moshe

As in the past, the women’s section was filled to overflowing and young women either stood outside to listen or left to find other services.

Jerusalem Great Synagogue on night selichos choir and chazan

At the Jerusalem Great Synagogue, the choir and Chazan led selihot. 

7. Same prayers, but a very different sound than the music of the Solomon Brothers.

Thousands attended selihot services at a long list of locations around Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, cafes lining the streets were filled with diners, and wine glasses emptied.

One couple was sharing a sushi platter, away from the cool night breezes.

Skateboarders were flying through the air in the Liberty Bell Park skatepark.

I passed dozens of tourists walking to late-night activities.

This time of year, before the holidays, weddings and engagement parties are planned.

Jerusalem Israel near Mamilla Mall an engagement site with flowers and lights and music.

But for the first time, I happened upon an elaborate set up for a wedding proposal! It looked like she said yes.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion with Bonei Zion Prize winners

8. The Tower of David hosted the Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize Award Ceremony.

Mazel tov balloon

Mazel tov to all!

Colorful Israeli sunset

Headlines were filled with political positioning. But of those sunsets this time of year!

We also hear people are reading fewer books.

9. But in Jerusalem book launches seem more frequent. I shared here about Rabbi Meir Soloveichik’s new book. Recently Freddy Freundlich’s Born on the Right Side of the Tracks was a compelling story. Last week Cheri Tenenbaum launched her personal story in “Woman of Few Words.”

“Palestine Posts” compiled by Daniel Chertoff with a first-hand account of Jerusalem in 1947- 1949 was launched.  Chertoff read from the powerful and beautifully written letters of his father Mordecai Chertoff z”l who worked at the Zionist ‘Palestine Post’ which became the ‘Jerusalem Post’ during the critical years of the founding of the State of Israel.

10. Big excitement in sports – the Israeli Baseball team qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020!

Jerusalem contemporary art festival sign

And what’s next? For Heaven’s Sake!

The Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, with 200 artists, 30 exhibitions in 14 venues. The full listings can be found HERE

Table with honey and cakes and Shana tova, New Year Rosh Hashana

From the land of milk and honey, it is time for apples and honey for the new year 5780.

Jerusalem public bus with Rosh Hashana greeting of Shana Tova in Hebrew

Shana Tova!

Happy New Year from Jerusalem!

Jerusalem after Shavuot – Festival Season

Jerusalem after Shavuot – Festival Season

Oh, time seems to fly in Jerusalem, Israel.

One holiday and major event goes into another on the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Day sign in Hebrew

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, with its multiple events, is over.

Only a few leftover signs and flying flags remain.

Rainbow colors for Pride Parade at Jerusalem Israel e First Station with Italian travel bloggers

Italians were here for an international travel bloggers summit and posed in First Station.

They did not realize the colorful shades were for the Jerusalem Pride Parade.

Pride Parade in Jerusalem Israel and religious men say mincha before start

Before the parade began, near the Liberty Bell Park starting point, I saw this group of security personnel gather for afternoon prayers.

Jerusalem American Center lit at night with colorful lights, Gay Pride month

The American Center is still lit with rainbow-colored lights at night.

Learning for Shavuot night in Jerusalem

There were tens of thousands of visitors in Jerusalem for Shavuot. Synagogues and streets were filled day and night. In this photo, you can see a few of the hundreds of lectures and classes offered.

Israel Festival

Though it’s called the Israel Festival, the decades-old festival is held in Jerusalem, in various venues. This year it runs from May 30 to June 15, with enough programs to fill a newspaper supplement.

I want to share one production by the Elad Theatre held at the Museum of Natural History.

Jerusalem Museum of Natural History entracne

This was the main entrance, back in days of the protests to save the Nature Museum. 

Museum of Natural History in Jerusalem in evening

Coming up the stairs from the parking lot near Emek Refaim as the sun was setting, lights were on at the Jerusalem Museum of Natural History.

Jerusalem Museum of Natural History grounds and pond

Was there always a pond on the grounds? For sure there wasn’t special catering.

The Nature Museum was best known for its large live snakes and tortoises.

Israel Festival Elad Theater setting for Romeo and Juliet

But on the grounds this night there was a table set for a banquet dinner. Dining, dancing with live music, and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was on the menu for this Israel Festival event.

Israel Festival production of Romeo and Juliet

Here was Juliet on the balcony of the Nature Museum for the Masquerade Ball.

Romeo and Juliet outdoor in garden of Jerusalem Natural History Museum

At the opening scene, the audience donned masks and mingled with the actors. After drinks, the party was getting going with enthused production extras.

Stage for Romeo and Juliet in the garden of Natural History Museum

Romeo and Juliet met at the ball, but the main scenes were held as the audience dined on the catered food and more wine.

Romeo and Juliet in Jerusalem Israel Hebrew adaptation

The actors used the entire area, including on the tables. There were no bad or back row seats. There was interaction with the audience throughout this Hebrew language adaptation of the Bard.

Romeo and Juliet stage in grounds of Jerusalem Natural History Museum

Shakespeare is not routinely taught in Israeli schools. So in case, you do not know the conclusion of this famous story, I will end with one photo of the fight scene.

The location and weather were fabulous.  It was a great production, even if I did not try the food or drink. I hope this is not the last production of this type.

Sign for Tzamid Festival in Jerusalem Israel

But as soon as the Israel Festival is over, Tzamid Festival, Arts without Boundaries, begins.

Design Week at Hansen House at night

Design Week at Hansen House looks to be bigger than ever.

And the annual Shavuah Hasefer, Hebrew Book Week starts tonight at First Station.

Hebrew Book Week at First Station Shavuah Hasefer

I tried to get a photo of the new signs on the other side near the entrance from the parking lot. But an overly conscientious security guard would not let me get close enough after I walked all the way around.

Graduations and end of year performances, an International Freedom of Press Conference at the Jerusalem Press Club and a Camera event on antisemitism in the mainstream media were all happening last night, along with a concert at the Tower of David for the Israel Festival.

"picture Damascus Gate", "pinball photo", "image of Damascus Gate"

And the annual Jerusalem Light Festival is coming soon.

Amazing and diverse things happening on these Jerusalem streets!

More Romeo & Juliet – The Last Supper – photos HERE