Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade

Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade

I love this time of year in Jerusalem, Israel.

The Hanukkah season.

When the ground turns green with new growth, though the days are noticeably shorter and nights so much longer and colder.

Jerusalem street signs for Hanukkah city of light

New signs pop up and line Jerusalem streets, as these for events in the Old City, City of Lights.

Jerusalem street signs for Hanukkah

For eight days, from December 2-10, Jerusalem is the place to be to celebrate Hanukkah.

Jerusalem street lights with hanukiot lit up for chanuka

This year joining those those familiar street decorations, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs sponsored something new.

Originally they said it was going to be “like a Macy’s parade.”

Big balloons, big bands, thousands of people marching through the Jerusalem streets, just like down 5th Avenue every Thanksgiving in NYC?

I went early to check out the first ever Jerusalem Hanukkah ‘Together Parade with the Jewish Diaspora’  in the Liberty Bell Park where the parade was to start.

Parade in Jerusalem on Hanukkah preparation

So happy I came in through the parking lot side, as there the balloons were getting pumped up and ready to fly through the sky.

Liberty Bell parking lot before Hanukkah parade

The parking lot was not accessible for vehicles, but perfect for sitting in the pleasant sunshine to enjoy the pre-show prep.

Dave was person who brought balloons to Israel

Dave came from the US, to oversee the technical aspects of his big balloons.

Small world.

Dave and Matt had arrived from their last parade held on Broad Street, in Richmond, VA.

Balloon at start of parade on Hanukkah

These were not the balloons from the Macy’s Parade, but the big ones were indeed big.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade marchers before walking near First Station

Thousands of students came from around Israel to march in the parade, and were waiting at the start line near First Station.

The problem was that the other people at First Station who were not marching could not get close enough to be spectators.

Ulpan group marching in Jerusalem Hanukkah parade

This parade was for togetherness, Israel and Diaspora, so what better than to have new immigrants who were learning Hebrew in Ulpan participate.

Teveria Ulpan was ready to go and honored to be the first group.

Liberty Bell park scene of Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade

Major roads were closed off to vehicles and pedestrians.

Not a good way to make Jerusalem residents feel love for anyone or anything.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons

Lined up and ready to roll along the Liberty Bell Park, at the 2:00 pm announced starting time.

Grandmaster of Jerusalem Israel first ever Hanukkah parade

US Ambassador David Friedman and Naftali Bennett spoke briefly.

I think Naftali Bennett had the best time, except maybe this young man in the video from Chile and his friends.

A loud popping noise, and blue and white streamers filled the sky.

Bennett and the Friedmans led the way along King David Street as Grand Marshalls.

A video is needed here to share the scene, not exactly 5th Avenue precision.

This together parade was more Israeli style than Macy’s.

Jerusalem basketball players on first float in jerusalem Hanukkah parade

But there was music and a float with Jerusalem basketball stars, including Amar’e Carsares Stoudemire.

Balloon smurf in Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade

I kept saying Snoopy by mistake, but I did like this giant smiling smurf.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade Golden Dragon

The Golden Dragon was  protected and held down by dozens of IDF soldiers.

Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade with Muppet Animal

The Muppets Animal was another big balloon held by uniformed soldiers.

No Sesame Street characters did I see in this parade.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade float

Near the end of the parade was a train engine pulled by a truck with musical performers on top.

Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade marchers dressed as clowns giving out candy

My parade favorites were these young people in colorful dress handing out candy,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons with Israel theme

this tattooed guy, though I have no idea what to call him,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons

these cute little balloons,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloon of IDF soldier in paratrooper boot making a peace sign

and an IDF soldier in a paratrooper boot making a peace sign.

For a first ever attempt, it was fun bit of time spent on Hanukkah.

The weather in Jerusalem, Israel, was way better for a parade than New York City!

However, the parade was held when most children were in school and couldn’t come to watch.

Here is a short piece near the end of the marchers, oops, the music stopped.

Rather than being for the spectators, this event was more for those participating.

After walking the route to the Sultan’s Pool,

participants were treated to a free performance by Matisyahu.

At least I was able to hand over some candy I received from those clowns to a family arriving after it was all over to sweeten their visit to Jerusalem.

We will have to wait and see if this is to become an annual event.

Happy Hanukkah from Real Jerusalem Streets

There are so very many things happening on the Jerusalem streets on Hanukkah, will share favorites next time.

תנוכה שמח

Happy Hanukkah!

 

Jerusalem: Blue, White and Pink

Jerusalem: Blue, White and Pink

After heavy rains, blue skies were seen again over Jerusalem, Israel, by the end of the week.

View of Montefiore Windmill and King David Hotel Jerusalem Israel

Friday morning, in spite of rain in the forecast, the Montefiore Windmill, with King David Hotel in the distance, stood against the blue sky over Mishkanot Sha’ananim.

Blue and white flags over Jerusalem Israel streets

After Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day 70 years, flags did not come down. Even more blue and white flags have been hung in anticipation of Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day.

Israel, Jerusalem and Beit Hanasi flags

The new flags that were hung near Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, withstood the heavy rains.

Flag and flowers in Yemin Moshe Jerusalem Israel

This blue and white Israeli flag was hung on a gate in Yemin Moshe neighborhood.

After heavy rain water collected in site near Begin Center

But also on Friday morning there was evidence of the rain storms. You may have seen a video of water rushing through Yoel Salomon Street, carrying tables and shopping carts in the flooded road.

Stone fence down in Valley of Cross In Jerusalem Israel

Here in the Valley of the Cross, part of a stone fence fell down. I could not believe it the first time I saw the damage. It looks like heavy trucks hit it.

Stone fence down after days of heavy rain in Jerusalem

However, it appears two days of water flooding down the hill from the Rechavia neighborhood pushed over the old stones, and flattened the tall grass.

Memorial candles for 10 drowned students in flash flood in Negev

A flash flood in the south took the lives of 10 young Israelis. Memorial candles remain this week in Zion Square after a late night memorial gathering.

Two men washing traffic lights in Jerusalem

So after so much water, crews were out power washing traffic lights?

Flowers at Jerusalem intersection in butterfly frame

These flowers seemed to appreciate the soaking. Nearby in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, a large tree that fell was removed quickly.

NFNY cyclists on road in Jerusalem

In spite of the weather, professional cyclists were out on Friday morning for the Grand Fondo, GFNY.  Streets were closed for the cycling event.

But, their colors were green.

Pink?

Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria lobby flowers are pink orchids

Pink orchids in the lobby of the Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria are not unusual.

Waldorf Astoria entrance with Israel Cycling Academy bus outside

But the Giro d’Italia is based at the hotel, and the bus of the Israel Cycling Academy was waiting outside.

Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria pink for Giro d'Italia

Not only has the hotel gone pink for the Giro d’Italia, check out those shoe laces – pink.

The Giro d’Itaia is the 3rd largest sporting event in world, after the World Cup and Tour de France.

The first start ever outside of Europe is taking place in — Jerusalem, Israel!

Kikar Safra for Giro d'Italia and Yom Yerushahaliym

Kikar Safra has large blue and white flags on display, plus pink signs near the giant stage set for Thursday evening’s preview opening.

Press conference for Israel Cycling Academy at Waldorf Astoria for Giro d'Iatalia

The Israel Cycling Academy includes professional cyclists from 16 locations around the world. Eight professional riders met with the media.

Their success in a only a few years is impressive. More here and next week on Giro d’Italia.

Jerusalem Education Week

Also in Jerusalem, new signs are up for education week.

lag B'Omer bonfire in Jerusalem, Israel

Finally, one of my favorite scenes from this week. A group of parents were out in the evening supervising an early Lag B’Omer medurah in an area set aside for large bonfires.

Lag B’Omer with its huge fires should fill the air with smoke starting Wednesday night at sunset.

However, this year, though there was so much rain last week, it is hot and dry today. A ban on bonfires has been declared.

Rain is again in the forecast. The only thing for sure here, is that there is no sure thing.

Projects for sustainability for Jerusalem

New signs announcing events for “Creating Sustainability in Jerusalem” were posted.  Cycling and fewer bonfires are a start.

Jerusalem street signs for cycling events

Many residents are not happy with street closings for the cycling events. But I hope people will get out and appreciate the positive world attention focused on Israel as billions watch the Giro d’Italia Start in Jerusalem, going north and then down to Eilat.

There was so much more happening this week in Jerusalem, but enough for now.

Hard to believe that next week will there will be much more happening.

Happy Passover and Shabbat Shalom

Happy Passover and Shabbat Shalom

Another year of Passover preparation in nearly over.

There is an end in sight from the shopping and cleaning and shleping.

matza baking before Pesach

The matza is baked and ready to serve at the seder.

Pesach seder plate for Happy Passover greeting

The seder plate is taken out of storage, cleaned and put on the clean table cloth, ready for guests.

Hebrew sign Happy Passover, bus sign in Hewbrew

The Jerusalem buses will again have the Happy and Kosher Pesach greeting.

Pesach sign Happy Passover

Happy Passover.

And this year with Passover starting on Friday night,

Flowers shabbat shalom erev pesach

שבת שלום

 Shabbat Shalom