Jerusalem Inside Look at Open Houses

Time to get back to the Jerusalem streets! The past few weeks RJS posts shared the Samaritan life in Har Gerizim and Circassians in Kfar Kama.

Construction in Jerusalem, Israel, seems to be everywhere. The building up and down could be every week. Construction mess and dust are a constant. Tunnels are appearing now and going underground for new highways.

Plus mountains. Literally, mountains of the earth are being moved for new roads and the new light rail train extensions.

This week it’s time for – בתים מבפנים – Houses from Within or Open Houses.

Still, an impressive sight is Jaffa Gate when the lights go on as the sun sets.

What’s happening in the Tower of David is the #1 of 126 open house locations.

Work at the new entrance outside the Tower of David Museum is ongoing, but inside, new excavations have been exposed.

The new Nefesh BeNefesh Aliyah Campus had a grand opening on November 15 with food and drink and music and speeches, including one from Israeli President Isaac Herzog and too many dignitaries to list here.

Not on the official Open House list, but here is a peek inside one of the NBN office spaces.

Here is a look inside the gift box everyone was to take home – all products of companies of Olim.

Hansen House was my very first Open House – House from Within in 2010.

On the list as #55, Hansen has changed so much over the years and is now a site with tech and cultural events, no longer abandoned and neglected.

The current ‘Equalizing Matter’ exhibition attempts to bring outside inside.

I love the way new technologies are used in the Hansen old stone spaces.

Not on the tour, but how about the interest in this outside book shop?

This house had no sign. The garden gate was open, so we shrugged shoulders and followed each other into this open door.

A woman was showing off the house to the people who had ventured in.

How many times have I passed this closed gate?

And now I was able to see it from inside, from the other side.

At the next nearby open garden gate, I heard a voice. Oops, the house was not on any tour, but a man preparing a YouTube video of his weekly Torah portion.

And then there was this Open House off of Emek Refaim Street.

This was the kind most of us are familiar with, a real estate company open house. This is as far as I went, assuming it was not within my budget, and it was Friday, and I needed time to get home before it started raining and to cook for Shabbat.

Really wanted to get to see this one, but later when I checked the written program at home, I saw it was only open on Shabbat afternoon.

I would have liked to share more now, but this would get too long.

Winter is finally here. The Train Theater is opening before Hanukkah.

Plus, those new Hanukkah street lights are up, it’s disappointing that I have yet to get a good night shot.

And the long-awaited playground in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, is to open on Tuesday afternoon with great fanfare, the Mayor, and balloons.

Jerusalem Israel playground in Jerusalem Park

Remember what it looked like before the area was leveled and redone?

A quick look inside Beit Hanasi where four new military judges were sworn in–they include a woman and a Haredi man, both significant appointments.

Israeli military judges have their ceremony in the main hall of the President’s Residence, similar to the judges of the Supreme Court, Dayanim, and the Muslim Qadis.

Lots more happened this week, inside and outside, on the Jerusalem streets.

Next time more on the Tower of David, the old Shaare Zedek building, and other interesting new and historical happenings from the Open Houses and the 5th Jewish Contemporary Art Jerusalem Biennale.

Jerusalem Looking Up and Down

There are days Jerusalem feels like one big construction site. Taking advantage of the pleasant weather, I walked around to see what’s new on the Jerusalem streets and to share with you.

The lights are on again at the Israel Museum as night events are returning.

The corner where King George Street becomes Keren Hayesod Street near Paris Fountain is so dangerous for pedestrians, we now have a crossing guard. The sidewalk is so ripped up, sometimes two men are on duty.

The street adjacent to the new National Library is finally without any visible construction equipment.

Walk past the library you see the new government offices rising to the sky.

Walk around them and look across the Begin Highway to the new hi-rise apartments of Kiryat Moshe. A row of these is planned to replace the old smaller dwellings. The row of three hotels near the city entrance which used to be considered tall is dwarfed in comparison.

And then there is the Jerusalem Gateway project!

When the gate was open, I entered hoping to find a shortcut. I had a meeting near the main bus station, an area of Jerusalem that has continually changed over the past three years.

As always, my shortcuts end up taking longer. However what a sight this was, digging down and down.

This was a photo taken in 2012 of the Jerusalem Gateway project.

These photos are of the same part of Jaffa Road as it is now.

And a closer look at the construction rising well above ground level.

Nearby is the old Shaare Zedek Hospital on Jaffa Road that has had several tenants since the last patient left its stone walls. The 5th Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art is set to open here on November 11th.

The area behind it and the blue fence is to be a major building project.

Construction cranes and wires obstruct the view of the Chord Bridge.

Looking down its seems that it will be a long time before this is finished.

But all around Jerusalem, the development projects start by digging down.

Then look up and there’s more being lifted in and out of building sites.

Our local builder buddies ask for their photos often when I walk by.

Who remembers when this hotel was the only tall building in Jerusalem?

The Hilton Hotel, which became the Crowne Plaza, is now the Vert Hotel.

But, soon it will have competition for the tallest hotel and King George Street will have a new look.

Seeing the second group of foreign tourists greeted in the Vert lobby was exciting. Hopefully, international tourism will begin again. Individual visitors, not just groups, have a possibility to come into Israel as of November 1, 2021. But, there is a long list of legal requirements to enter.

This is the view of Cinema City and the Supreme Court from the Vert.

Another view over the new residential buildings and hotel.

And my favorite, the view of Nachalot, on a clear evening, with the mountains in Jordan visible on the other side of the Dead Sea.

Attending an event in the Vert Presidential Suite, I took a little tour for you

and checked out the loo in the impressive Presidential Suite.

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Oh, what a view at night!

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No matter which direction, day or night, the Jerusalem streets are impressive to walk or stroll or to run.

Here’s hoping the 11th Jerusalem Marathon is again an international one.

And next? Check out the options from 131 Open Houses later this month.

Jerusalem Getting Back to Normal

People are slowly coming back onto the Jerusalem streets, like bears emerging slowly from hibernation, lumbering up from deep in their caves.

Recognizing friends you have not seen in over a year (or was it two?) whose faces are hidden behind a mask is not so easy. But what a pleasure it is to reunite and speak to people in real life, rather than via a computer screen.

Weddings with bubbles and brides! What could be better this week? Albeit with caution and held outside, but celebrations are back, better than last year and with anticipation and enthusiasm.

Organized tour groups have returned to the Jerusalem streets.

The Kotel (Western Wall) train is back in business.

Not your usual train tunnel

or usual train track,

but the Kotel train, love it or hate it, is back on the Jerusalem streets.

Inside and even outside the walls of the Old City, photoshoots for bar mitzvahs and other celebrations are common again.

Shopping at Mamilla Mall? Masks are needed inside stores, but not outside.

The cats are not back, they never left the Jerusalem streets. Need at least one cat photo, here in the new parking lot in the Armenian Quarter.

Parking in Jerusalem has never been easy, but these workers found a convenient spot on the sidewalk near the construction area at the Paris Fountain.

Remember the parking lot at Shaare Zedek hospital that opened up and swallowed cars? Repair work has progressed, but the area is still not back to normal.

Construction outside the hospital parking area is only part of the story.

The work on the new Route 16 nearby is extensive.

Mountains of dirt are being moved, and

tunnels are emerging from underground.

On the other side of Shmuel Bait Street, there is more huge equipment.

Part of the mountain is gone to make room for new lanes of traffic.

A whole new scene awaits when you return to these Jerusalem streets.

As mentioned last week the Jerusalem Marathon is back!

The Sports Expo returns for two days, October 26-28, at a new venue in the Jerusalem Cinema City, before the Friday marathon races.

Will the new children’s playground at Sacher Park be ready in time?

Participants will see new buildings in the city center as they run by.

The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference is to be held at the new The Museum of Tolerance building. Last year it was held online.

Israeli President House lunch for German delegation in Jerusalem Israel

Andrea Merkel is back again. Three years ago this was the table set for the German Chancellor at a special lunch at Beit Hanasi, with then-President Reuven Rivlin and Israeli Nobel Prize winners. This time no media, private lunch for two, but I did see her motorcade leave.

The First Station parking lot has been full at night. People are back in large numbers. But, the winter igloos have popped up for those who still need more time in a cave and are not ready to party in crowds.

Here’s to celebrating, coming back, and enjoying life.

Hope to see you soon on the Jerusalem streets!