Following the Signs of the Times on Jerusalem Streets

It was another one of those roller-coaster weeks.

With all the protests and bad news, good things were happening on and off the Jerusalem streets.

I found the lion! I heard it was moved to the Train Theater. Found it – on TOP of the main building.

To begin the week, I also found myself at the Yitzhak Navon Train Station.

And went inside to go to Tel Aviv University on Sunday evening.

The Nano Science Building was a construction site last visit, it is now an impressive structure.

It’s located near ANU – the Museum of the Jewish People on the Tel Aviv University Campus.

At ANU there is always something new and impressive to see.

However, I went for a special event on June 23 for International Widows Day.

At ANU, like most anywhere in Israel, October 7 is very much on people’s minds and hearts.

The entertainer arrived in his reserve duty uniform.

It was not part of his multi-costume changing performance.

New ads for summer are up on the Jerusalem streets , with ice skating returning to First Station .

Over 111 days later, the pain is no less.

But it is the end of June, and the graduation season is in full swing.

This was one of two engagements set up near the Montefiore Windmill on Thursday night,

while the music of the Jerusalem Street Orchestra performed at the On the Roof Festival nearby.

There was no water dripping from the large lion in the Lion Fountain.

First Station is going under serious changes. Looks like the early stage of the cable car is under way.

Went to check out the scene of the serious fire near the Israel Museum.

The damage was evident in the area closest to the museum.

I was going to the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem for an event honoring teaching innovation.

Tzemach David Foundation founder David Magerman and Rav Rimon were pleased to be at the inaugural event, presenting cash awards to Israeli teachers helping children of Olim adapt more easily to the Israeli school system.

A sign of the times: the daughter of an honoree was allowed leave from the IDF to attend, and her father was taking her back to her army base.

A child with a parent with a weapon slung over their shoulder is a common sight on the Jerusalem streets.

A sign of the times.

A time filled with trepidation to open the news each morning, but balanced with the births, graduations, weddings, and sounds of music on the Jerusalem streets.

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.

In Jerusalem, Life After All

Some weeks are easier than others to find good news to share from the Jerusalem streets.

Within 1000 steps from where I live in Jerusalem, Israel, four families have lost their sons in battle since October 7. This week another 15 young men lost their lives fighting for Israel.

The reclaimed President’s Hotel has regular dance classes. The music can be heard in the evening.

Inside there were few people, but the art exhibit, “Life, After All,” lined the walls.

At Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, the Jerusalem Unity Prize awards were presented

The Jerusalem Prize for the Unity of Israel was initiated by the Yifrach, Shaer, and Fraenkel families with former Jerusalem Mayor MK Nir Barkat, stemming from the deep sense of unity felt throughout Israeli society and the Jewish Diaspora following the kidnapping and murder of their sons Eyal, Gil-Ad, and Naftali in the summer of 2014.

Ten years have passed, and the families have pursued life after their tragedy.

Knesset members were in attendance, even though they were not called to speak.

On most occasions in Jerusalem, a yellow chair stands empty ready for hostages to return.

In time for Shavuot, the Chabad House of Rechavia led by Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg celebrated their new location, with Rabbi Meir Goldwicht as guest speaker.

On Shavuot night, the list of locations and speakers all night long was way too long to list.

Then at dawn, tens of thousands of people walked to the Kotel, Western Wall, to pray.

The Jewish Agency Building was lit with a special Happy Holiday Shavuot message.

Signs are up for the annual June Shavuah Hasafer, Hebrew Book Week.

The Eid al-Adha the Muslim holiday, “Feast of Sacrifice” is on Sunday through Thursday, June 19, 2024.

The government announced an extension for residents who have been evacuated from their homes, in the hotels and temporary housing solutions, financed by the state, until 15 August 2024.

As life goes on, even as the war in Gaza goes on, the northern front continues to escalate and businesses have suffered greatly. The OU Israel hosted a successful fair for businesses before Shavuot.

Israeli Lebanese border wall section painted

With the attacks by Hezbollah from Lebanon increasing, it seemed like a good time to go back and look at a trip to the northern border 4 years ago, Israel’s Northern Exposure. The only thing that has changed is that those tens of thousands of residents have been out of their homes for over 8 months.

Man on Lebanese border with Israel

Oh, and missiles, rockets, and deadly drones are being shot at Israelis rather than photographs.

The funeral of Eliyahu Moshe Shlomo Zimbalist לוויה של אליהו משה שלמה was on one of the hottest days of the year. Har Herzl has seen too many fallen soldiers whose families will have the task of going on after the loss of the finest these past months.

May their memories be a blessing

May we see joy, music, and life return to the Jerusalem streets.