Overcoming Challenges in Jerusalem

Overcoming Challenges in Jerusalem

Challenges.

Every day, we are faced with challenges.

In Jerusalem, Israel, the weather has just changed and challenges us. Challenges range from something so simple as what to wear to the major challenge of how to provide housing to those who need it.

With limitations, both east and west and in green spots, up & up seems the only way to go.

Southern Israelis again were challenged, as hundreds of missiles were fired at civilians from terrorists based in Gaza.

Officially called ‘Operation Black Belt,’ it was more like deja vu – here we go again

I did not go south as I did one year ago, the images were too much the same.

It’s challenging to try to remember which ‘Operation’ my photographs are from since there have been so many similar trips south to visit families in bomb shelters.

colorful balloons in Israeli school

On one recent trip to see the destruction caused by the Gazan fire balloons, these balloons were hanging in a new southern school.  Educators who were challenged to help children not be afraid of red alerts and sirens had another fear to add to the list – balloons.

On a personal level, we all have challenges.

Parents turn to ALYN Hospital, a pediatric orthopedic and rehabilitation center in Jerusalem, to give their children the best treatments.

Baby in ALYN being treated by parents in hospital

ALYN treats a wide range of patients, from babies with illnesses needing constant special attention, to older persons challenged and needing special therapies due to accidents or illnesses.

ALYN Innovation Space in Jerusalem hospital

In the new Innovation Space, unique devices are crafted, such as Yusuf’s feeding device enabling him to eat on his own in spite of a difficulty in movement.

Wheels of Love at ALYN chidlren's hospital

Your daily challenges might look different when put in perspective of ALYN patients and their challenges.

Wheels of Love cyclists arrive at hospital

For the 20th year, ALYN held the ‘Wheels of Love’ charity bike ride.

Wheels of Love Tandem riders in Jerusalem Israel

International participants from 12 countries joined with local riders and patients past and present to raise money for life-enhancing treatments and therapies, not covered by the basic Israeli healthcare.

Please notice the tandem bikes among the 500 cyclists, as they ended their 5-day ride from northern Israel.

Wheels of Love Charity Bike riders arrive at ALYN to end race

Riders are challenged by the last climb up the Judean hills to Jerusalem but excited to pass the finish line.

Wheels of Love special cyclists arrive at ALYN hospital at end of charity ride

This was not your usual challenging bike race. Seventeen members of the Swift and Bold team were patients either riding tandem or hand-powered bikes.

Wheels of Love riders arrive in Jerusalem Israel

Supporters and family crowded around to greet the arriving riders.

Wheels of Love medals given by children from ALYN

Medals were presented to riders by ALYN patients.

Wheels of Love medal given by a child to a cyclist at ALYN

Dozens of patients and parents were ready with medals to present to cyclists.

Wheels of Love ALYNpatient who rode to Jerusalem

Smiles after overcoming challenges to reach a goal.

ALYN charily riders parents and daughter

Father, mother, and daughter teamed up to ride in 2019 Wheels of Love Charity Bike Ride that raised over $2.5 million. While there were first-time riders, many had participated over a dozen times over the years.  Of the original nine cyclists who rode twenty years ago, six participated in this ride.

There could be a long list of challenges, from political to financial, in Israel or around the world. However, I will end with one faced weekly for Real Jerusalem Streets.

Remember 15 Real Photos of Arab Girls?

The RJS photos of Israeli Apartheid?

Two of the most popular, shared and viral posts over the years.

Muslim women and female IDF soldier in First Station Jerusalem

A lone female Israel soldier was standing in First Station.

Arab women walking in First Station in Jerusalem Israel

This group of Muslim women walked by. You can see them in the far top left of the previous photo.

The challenge?

How to share the truth of what is happening in Jerusalem?

Muslim woman at ALYN hospital sign saying Go in Peace in Jerusalem Israel

The sign at ALYN says “GO IN PEACE” in Hebrew, Arabic, and English.

Patients and staff, as in Israeli hospitals, universities, and public spaces are available for all.

The challenge is how to share the many positive things happening on the Jerusalem streets.

How to share the truth of what is happening in Jerusalem?

What do you think? What would you like to see and share?

Jerusalem Biennale 2019 – For Heaven’s Sake!

Jerusalem Biennale 2019 – For Heaven’s Sake!

What a week in Jerusalem the weather was warm and wonderful.

Many things happened over the Sukkot holiday and even more after the holidays.

But the Jerusalem Biennale 2019,  לשם שמים – For Heaven’s Sake! with 500 pieces of art, by 200 artists in 13 locations began before Sukkot and is still going for another two weeks. The Jerusalem Biennale began in 2013,

grew in 2015,

and was bigger and better in 2017.

After posting a few Biennale photos, I received the following message from Hillel Smith, curator of the Jewish Street Art Festival at First Station:

Jerusalem First Station graffiti for Biennale

“As part of the Jewish Street Art Festival (more info at jewishstreetart.com) street artists from around the world painted 17 murals in three locations around Jerusalem. Besides First Station, we also painted at the Artists’ Colony and the Schechter Institute. All of our artists already work with Jewish themes in their art, and I wanted to highlight this effort by bringing them all together to paint at the Biennale. Unlike the other exhibitions, the art in ours was created on-site and will be permanently displayed, leaving a lasting mark on the city.”

Graffiti in Jerusalem First Station for Biennale

These murals are by artists Yitzchok Moully (reflective sukkah) and Solomon Sousa, of Machane Yehuda Market mural fame.

An 18th mural was being painted this week at First Station, by artist Bareket Kezwer. I didn’t get there to see her paint, but something to check out soon.

YMCA Jerusalem Israel

The Jerusalem YMCA is a new and prominent Biennale location.

Rafi Ozeri at YMCA for Jerusalem Biennale

The initial press tour began at the Y with founder and director Ram Ozeri explaining his vision.

Jerusalem YMCA art Biennale

Inside on one side of the old YMCA pool is an installation Waterfall’ by Marina Abramovic.

Jerusalem Israel 2019 Biennale art fish going against stream

Across from it are hundreds of hand-painted fish by Andi Lavine Arnovitz.

Art at YMCA Jerusalem Biennale

One fish flows in the opposite direction, in her installation titled ‘I’m Not’.

YMCA for Ziara Moroccan art Biennale

The main room in the YMCA hosts Ziara: Moroccan Common Wisdom.

Curator of Ziara at YMCA Jerusalem Biennale

Curator Amit Hai Cohen along with seventeen other artists of Moroccan descent display a wide range of contemporary pieces.

YMCA for Jerusalem Biennale

The Moroccan heritage of ziara, feeling of home, contrasts greatly with other Arab countries where Jews were persecuted and expelled.

Ziara Moroccan exhibition preparations

The day before the opening night, artists were busy at work.

YMCA Jerusalem Biennale exhibit

For the gala opening, it was colorful and ready.

Jerusalem YMCA Ziara Moroccan exhibit

Those glasses on the table filled with arak are not for drinking, but a piece by Marcelle Biton.

The smaller line of frames to the left are fascinating portraits. Check out the feature photo at top of this page for closer look.

There is still much more to share besides Ziara at the YMCA.

Heichal Shlomo for Jerusalem Biennale

The main lobby of Heichal Shlomo, by curator Dr. Shimon Lev, Evolve,

Heichal Shlomo Jerusalem Biennale

is a display of 100 works created over the past 3 years by Jean-Pierre Weill.

Jerusalem Biennale Israel artist Dahan

Upstairs in Heichal Shlomo is an exhibition on the life of Israel Dahan. His fifty years of work in creating Judaica and teaching Bezalel students are recognized.

Israelis are not the only ones featured in the Jerusalem Biennale.

Jerusalem Biennale Argentinian artists

Mirta Kupferminc curated Confrontation-Conversation with fellow Argentinian artists. Here she shows off the work of Jewish and not Jewish artists from Argentina with Dr. Ido Noy, deputy director of Biennale and editor of the impressive catalog for “For Heaven’s Sake.”

Heichal Shlomo Jerusalem Biennale artist used old encyclopedias

Also in Heichal Shlomo, everything from old Hebraica encyclopedias to

Rubber bands in "The Fall" art in Jerusalem Biennale

thousands of rubber bands are used to create unique pieces.

Art in Heichal Shlomo for Jerusalem Biennale

Female Waters curated by Rachel Verliebter is another exhibit in more traditional style.

Much more to see, in the other exhibitions in Heichal Shlomo, but we have to move along.

Jerusalem 2019 Biennale at Val Leer in Polonsky

As in the past, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute – Polonsky Hall is an impressive site of Jerusalem Biennale, with Not in Heaven and Transcendence.

Jerusalem Biennale in Van Leer

Rachel Rotenberg has sculptures outside, plus this one inside Van Leer, as seen at the opening event.

Van Leer garden night of Jerusalem Biennale opening

Two boys caught my attention in the gardens filled with people, dancers, and art installations. I was wondering if an electronic game had captured their attention.

Oh my, all that and more we did in one afternoon!

Jerusalem Begin Center art for Biennale

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center has Hebrew Suffragists:100 Years.

Menachem Begin Heritage Center art for Jerusalem Biennale

Experiments with Truth curated by Gargi Seth is downstairs featuring Indian artists.

Jerusalem 2019 Biennale

Not far away at Mishkenot Sha’ananim are the pieces In the East, where Ram Ozeri curated with Vera Pilpoul.

Jerusalem North African Heritage Center

One of the new and most dramatic locations for Biennale 2019 is the Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center.

Of Wonder exhibition at North African Jewish Heritage Center in Jerusalem for Biennale

Attending the opening of Of Wonder, was special as the curator artist Mindy Weisel is a friend.

Jerusalem Biennale art

One of the more difficult venues to access, the works here are by Israeli and American artists.

Curator and artists in Jerusalem Biennale

For American Jewish artists to have their works recognized and displayed in Jerusalem, Israel, is a dream come true.

American artist in Jerusalem for Biennale

The Jerusalem 2019 Biennale For Heaven’s Sake! from the colorful pieces,

Artist with paintings in Jerusalem Biennale

to the darker Holocaust shadowed pieces of art at North Africa Heritage Center,

Moully reflective sukka at Heichal Shlomo for Jerusalem Biennale

to the reflective sukkah outside Heichal Shlomo –

only a fraction of the art and artists on display until November 28, check out the website for more information: www.jerusalembiennale.org

Browse art all day. There is an entry fee of NIS 45 to the Biennale, with the one ticket allowing access to each of the exhibitions.

Then too tired to cook?

Not to worry.

OPENRESTAURANTS™ JERUSALEM – THE URBAN CULINARY FESTIVAL  runs from November 19 – 23, 2019. Many of Jerusalem’s finest restaurants have special offers.

What could be next in art and culture?

Zero One, a digital art festival will cover the Tower of David in lights from November 27-28, from 7:00 pm to midnight.

As always so much happening on the Jerusalem streets!

Jerusalem as August Ends and September Begins

Jerusalem as August Ends and September Begins

What a week!

That’s it for the summer.

Most visitors to Jerusalem, Israel have gone home.

At the end of August, a 9% increase in tourism was announced.

In the US and Israel, everyone was on holiday, at the beach one last time, or at a big-time BBQ.

Meanwhile, here in Jerusalem, two first-time events were held.

Jerusalem’s Kraft Family Sports Complex hosted the ninth European Flag Football Championship.

Israel finished in fourth place, but was full of pride, for Israeli Dani Eastman was named men’s tournament MVP. The tournament was to be held in Israel previously but was canceled in 2014 due to the security threats of the July-August Operation Protective Edge.

Also, there was JeruStock at First Station, a mud-free, drug and alcohol-free, family-friendly, musical, tie-dyed celebration of 50 years since Woodstock.

Har Herzl Museum with actor dressed as Herzl

At the end of August in 1897, 208 delegates and 26 press correspondents attended the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland.

Theodor Herzl is not only remembered on the anniversary of the movement he started or on the day when he was re-interred in Israel in 1949. He is remembered on Har Herzl which was named for him, the man who died so young and before his vision became a reality.

This year special ceremonies were held near his tomb on Har Herzl.

Beit Hanasi garden Herzl with Sara Zoabi

A sculpture of Theodor Herzl stands in the front garden of Beit Hanasi.  Here Sara Zoabi posed next to the statue in the presidential garden after a recent event held in the main hall.

Sign on ground for summer camp at Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem Israel

Memories and this sign were all that remained of the big summer vacation and water activities in Jerusalem’s Liberty Bell Park.

It was time this week to go back to school.

Sign on Jerusalem Israel bus for good school year.

Signs lined some Jerusalem streets, similar to this one on a bus, wishing all a successful school year תש”פ 5780.

Time to get ready for school, but also to get ready for changes in the streets of Jerusalem, Israel.

Sderot Shazar Jerusalem Israel closed until 2022 for new road

The new traffic pattern at the entrance to Jerusalem was well advertised. Until now no fines have been imposed on cars going in the public transit-only lanes, but that is to change now. Police will be watching and will issue tickets and fines to those drivers of private vehicles who are not following instructions.

Azza Street to be upgraded with new sidewalks and more

But there is more–multiple signs are up for other road works to begin soon.

Jerusalem Israel park with horse stature and Windows

Remember the Gan HaSoos, Horse Park and ‘Windows’?

Windows as seen from behind Gan Hasoos Jerusalem Horse Park

‘Windows’ was constructed for the Mekudeshet Festival which is to run September 4- 21.

Repairing Windows in Gan HaSoos in Jerusalem Israel

This week ‘Windows’ was being repaired and readied for the musical opening of the creative festival, whose music will be filling Jerusalem streets and parks.

First plan for Knesset expansion

The design for new construction for the Knesset expansion was published.

First plan for Israeli Knesset expansion

After the municipality sent out these images of the accepted plans, objections arose that the “iconic” building is not prominent enough.

However, what the sketches do not show is all the construction surrounding the Knesset which obscures many views.

Construction and moving are two themes found throughout Jerusalem streets this week.

I especially love to see the piles of books left out for passersby to take and give a new home.

Paper from boxes lining elevator in Jerusalem Israel building

Long gone are the days when Jerusalem had few elevators and only low buildings.

This is one of the new elevators that have a number pad ONLY on the outside wall.   You must push the number of the floor you want before entering the elevator.  Then you have to check and see which elevator to use and then enter.

I had to take a photo of this “C” elevator. I entered after pressing the button for the 16th floor.  While still in the lobby, one man came in, looked around, and exited quickly.  This was a sure sign he was not a regular visitor to the building as he panicked on encountering the new technology.

FoZ sign to welcome Honduran President Hernández to Jerusalem Israel

A very special visitor, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, and his wife arrived in Jerusalem for a ceremony inaugurating a Honduran “trade office” in Jerusalem. Their first public appearance was at the Kotel, Western Wall. This visit was to be the first step to moving the Honduran Embassy to Jerusalem.

Music in Jerusalem Israel end of September 2019

With the new month of Elul, the countdown to Rosh Hashana, the New Year, has begun. Signs are up for pre-holiday evenings of song and prayer.

Fall events include the ‘Jaffa to Agrippas Festival’ in the Machane Yehuda Market.

I am looking forward to The Jerusalem Biennale 2019 – For Heaven’s Sake! in October.

Pomegranate tree in Jerusalem Israel

The pomegranates are ripe as they hang on trees along Jerusalem streets.

Limes of tree in Jerusalem ready to pick in fall

Another sure sign the summer has passed – limes on the tree.

Finally, it is cooling off enough to be comfortable walking outside again.

View of Old City walls in Jerusalem Israel at sunset

One sees the reflection of the sun as it sets against the walls of the Old City.

I love this time of year, and the time of day when Jerusalem turns to Jerusalem of Gold.