Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Raise Your Glass

Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Raise Your Glass

In Jerusalem, Israel, it seems everyone is

is getting into the holiday mood,

as Rosh Hashanah,

the Jewish New Year, approaches.

Finally on Sunday, it felt cooler, as

Beit Hanasi symbol

  I was at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence

and noticed this new arrangement in the front garden.

Major renovations have been underway for months,

Beit Hanasi renovations

both outside and inside the building.

But the mess of construction has not interrupted

Beit Hanasi getting cleaned by power-wash

holiday preparations or official receptions.

Flowers with pomegrante

The flower arrangements included a fake pomegranate,

as the First Lady and the wife of Chief of Staff of the IDF

hosted 30 lone soldiers.

It was a rather modest event,

Walter Bingham ai Beit Hasnasi

with the highlights of the day being Walter’s outfit

Box for phones

and this box for soldiers’ cell phones to be deposited during the program.

New Year reception at Beit Hanasi for lone soldiers

The program was held in the formal meeting room,

Fist Lady Nechama Rivlin with lone solders at Beit Hanasi

with a group photo at its conclusion.

Then on Monday, it was back to Beit Hanasi again

Beit Hanasi new emblem

 where glass pieces had completed this design.

Ambassadors at Beit Hanasi

At the President’s reception for foreign Ambassadors

business cards were exchanged and

newly arrived diplomats from around the world met.

Beit Hanasi food

There was no comparison to the simple food served the day before.

It was disappointing that the US Ambassador was back in the US,

Ambassadors at Beit Hanasi

but Egyptian Ambassador Hazem Khairat

and Jordanian Ambassador Walid Obeidat

were seated in the front row

and greeted me later with “Shanah tovah.”

Rosh Hashana table at Beit Hanasi

The holiday treats were impressive

Tzipi Hotovely taking a photo of the food at Beit Hanasi

enough for Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely

to take a photo of them on her cell phone.

Rosh Hashana at Beit Hanasi reception for Ambassadors

Israelis do take “raising a glass’ seriously,

from lone soldiers to diplomats,

businesses and organizations,

reception after reception,

l’Chaim,

to celebrate Jewish New Year.

I finally got used to year 5777,

5778 Shana tova on Jerusalem Israel bus

and now it’s changing to 5778

Shanah tovah

Good New Year to all.

Presidential Visit Trumps Jerusalem Day

Presidential Visit Trumps Jerusalem Day

  Jerusalem, Israel,

prepared for Yom Yerushalayim,

Jerusalem Day,

Flag for Yom Yerushalayim on hospital Jerusalem Israel

with large Israeli flags draped on old buildings,

Yom Yerhushalayim, Jerusalem Day flags painted on side of light rail train

and painted across the modern light rail trains.

The footbridge over Derech Hevron, Hebron Road,

Jerusalem Israel large flags for Yom Yerushalayim

was covered by a long Israeli flag on one side

Yom Yerushalayim flags

and the Jerusalem city flag on the other.

Yom Yerushalayimi school outing to Old City Yemin Moshe

School trips this time of year are a common sight.

But this year,

US President Donald Trump was visiting.

Israel and US flags on King David Hotel

US and Israeli flags flew over the King David Hotel

where the Presidential entourage secured the entire building.

Trump visit to Israel

Big red signs lined King David Street, warning of closings.

By Tuesday,

Stairs in Yemin Moshe leading to Montefiore Windmill

only a bird could move freely around the area.

Now a beautiful, prosperous and popular neighborhood,

Mishkanot Shaananim Yemin Moshe Jerusalem Israel

from 1948-1967

Yemin Moshe – Mishkanot Sha’ananim, and the King David Hotel,

were on the border of No Man’s Land

and in the sights of Jordanian snipers.

Security from old days in Jerusalem, Israel

This bollard was left as an example of the old security measures.

Trump street closing.

For this presidential visit, metal barriers lined

the route of the motorcade.

Jerusalem Israel for Trump visit

It was a good week for the people who rent metal barriers

Trump visit to Jerusalem, Israel

and these fancier barriers too,

but many local businesses suffered from the street closures.

The first stop in Israel for the US Presidential visit

was at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.

Red carpet at Beit Hanasi for Trump

The red carpet was rolled out and covered to stay clean.

Trump visit to Jerusalem Israel

The media came early, and watched Air Force One

land in Ben Gurion Airport and waited.

Trump visit to Jerusalem Israel

I lost count of how many times the red carpet was cleaned.

Trump visit at Beit Hanasi

Here is the signing of the official guest book,

 the US delegation had not yet arrived.

But for the official speeches

Trump visit to Israel Ivanka and Jared Kushner

everyone was in their assigned seats.

Tree planted in garden of Beit Hanasi in honor of Trump visit to Jerusalem Israel

The Presidents and First Ladies went to the garden,

to see a tree planted in honor of the visit.

The ceremony was over,

and the Presidential motorcade sped off to the Kotel,

the Western Wall, for the next stop on a packed itinerary.

Security for Trump visit

Pedestrians were permitted to start walking.

But not even this official Israeli limo could leave until

 the buses blocking the roads were given permission to move.

Most of the US Presidential visit was live-streamed,

 so you can find it all on line.

For the grande finale,

after what seemed like dozens of Israeli police helicopters flying over,

Trump visit to Jerusalem, Israel

a military helicopter flight parade started,

Trump visit to Jerusalem, Israel

accompanying Marine One

Trump visit to Israel

and ending with more helicopters and flares.

I have not seen the official number of helicopters,

but they were noisy and flew in a long convoy over

Jerusalem, Israel, as they escorted the

US Presidential visitors away.

Jerusalem and Israel large flags on buildings

Now, back to flags

and Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, and major celebrations

 marking 50 years after the Six-Day War victory

and the liberation of the Old City from Jordanian rule.

What a week to be on the Jerusalem streets!

Oh Jerusalem, Lag B’Omer to Yom Yerushalyim

Oh Jerusalem, Lag B’Omer to Yom Yerushalyim

In Jerusalem, Israel, some bonfires started after Shabbat,

while others began Sunday night and Monday.

Lag B’Omer seemed less intense this year.

Some hide inside from the smoke and close their windows,

and I was one of the insiders.

On Monday morning many children had no school,

which was great timing for a free Museum Day.

Though Monday was warm and windy,

Lag B'Omer school out

 this father went biking with his children.

I saw fewer fires at night burning near us,

Along road after Lag B'Omer

but these ashes looked like a party the night before.

No reports of serious damage is always good,

and the sirens this week were not all bad.

PM of Ukraine in Jerusalem Israel motorcade

The Prime Minister of Ukraine went by in this noisy motorcade.

Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

was busy as usual with foreign and local guests.

On Monday, history was made,

5 new Qadis sworn in by Israel i Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked at Beit Hanasi

when the first female Qadi, Sharia Judge,

was sworn in by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Then on Tuesday, new ambassadors to Israel

Beit Hanasi Ambassador from Thailand

presented their credentials, the first one of the day was Thailand.

The Israel Police Band played anthems, however,

New Spanish Ambassador to Israel sworn in

even the new Spanish Ambassador received only minimal attention.

Daniel Friedman at Beit Hanasi

Most cameras were focused on new US Ambassador David Friedman

Official ceremony for Daniel Friedman new US Ambassador to Israel

as he presented his credentials to President Rivlin.

Daniel Friedman stands at entrance to Beit Hanasi for Hatikvah

As Hatikvah played, Friedman started to sing,

but after a few words, his lips stopped moving.

Street closing signs

These red warning signs are up lining the street,

in Hebrew, and English ones too.

US President Donald Trump is to come next week.

Then we will see roads closed and traffic stopped.

Jerusalem flag down side of building

This week Jerusalem is preparing to celebrate 50 years united,

with special Jerusalem flags,

Yom Yerushalayim

in multiple ways and locations,

with music going late into the night.

Knesset in view of sign for Jubilee year Jerusalem

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day,

Jerusalem Israel 50 years and Israel flag

is on May 24, 2017, the 28 of Iyar.

Walls of Old City lit for yom Yerushalayim

The main event is set for May 21, 2017, at 8:30 pm,

here by the walls of the Old City,

but we are to have a US Presidential visit.

International food festival Jerusalem Israel

So many festivals, visitors and events,

it is hard to keep track,

stay tuned for what happens next on the Jerusalem streets.