Jerusalem’s Israel Museum plus 4 more you should know

Jerusalem’s Israel Museum plus 4 more you should know

In Jerusalem, the barricades and barriers to keep the public away from world leaders are gone from the streets and sidewalks. People are out again on the streets when the sun appears.

When walking in Jerusalem and someone asks: “where is the museum?”

It is a safe bet to assume they mean The Israel Museum.

Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Israel

So I point to the path up the hill to Jerusalem’s largest and best known Israel Museum.

However, there are dozens of museums in Jerusalem, Israel.

In the past week, four museums opened their doors for special events.

Winter day at the Tower of David in Jerusalem Israel

It was a rainy, grey day at the Tower of David Museum.

Over the years, this ancient military fortress has become a popular cultural spot, hosting a wide variety of events, exhibitions, and nighttime shows.

In October 2017, within the ancient stone walls, looking to the future, ToD launched its Innovation Lab.

The ToD is constantly looking for new ways and technology to engage young visitors with Artificial Reality – AR and Virtual Reality – VR, and Apps. Wearing special VR googles was not to be the final answer to get everyone involved with their surroundings.

MARS launch of interactive tour option at Tower of David

The newest storytelling-videos taking AR to a new level, launched last week, come from MARS.

Co-founder and CEO Ori Noam explained how his David and Goliath video, developed at ToD Innovation Lab, make the experience unique to the user.

MARS at Jerusalem Tower of David Museum launch

At the entrance desk, for a small additional extra fee, visitors  receive a tablet and earphones. Because it was raining outside, demonstrations had to be inside.

Tower of David Museum demonstration of MARS new tourist option using AR and MR

MARS lets visitors interact with Goliath as seen on this tablet screen.

Mars at Jerusalem Tower of David using tablet for tour option

Using sub-conscience triggers, MARS creates an experience unique to each family or visitor. And these days, of course, the mandatory selfie at the end.

Did you realize last week was Israeli Space Week?

The Bloomfield Science Museum was open two evenings free of charge in honor of Space Week.

Signs at entrance to Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem

Besides the currently running exhibitions on Leonardo Da Vinci and Journey to Space, Israeli Space Week attracted families with young children to the Science Museum. 

Balloon Astronaut at Jerusalem science museum entrance

A giant astronaut balloon hovered overhead at the entrance.

Leonardo Questions at Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem Israel

‘Leonardo’s Questions’ were displayed and answered in the main entrance area with Leonardo’s wings hanging above.

Space week at Jerusalem science museum

Upstairs on the third floor, I was able to get one image before the room filled with excited children. Oh, to channel all that energy.

Planetarium in Jerusalem Science Museum

The planetarium required registration to enter, but for photography, I think outside was better to see the black starlit dome.

Leonardo exhibit at Jerusalem Science Museum

‘Optics and Observation’ was one of the various rooms on the current Leonardo theme.

Meteor rock from Arizona desert in Jerusalem science museum

What would be a good space exhibit without a piece of rock from outer space?

Marc, a former employee of Griffith Observatory in California, held a piece of a meteor found in an Arizona crater. Visitors were encouraged to feel a piece of material that fell from space halfway around the world, right here in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has multiple private museums on a wide variety of topics.

Front view of Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem on cloudy day

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, BLMJ, is near the Science Museum and across the street from the Israel Museum.

Entrance to YEMEN exhibition at Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem

Its new exhibit is simply called YEMEN. The historical development of South Arabia over the centuries is shown in detail to cover all the senses. I was so impressed with a tour before it opened, I had to go back on opening night to see the finished exhibit.

A woman looks at ancient artifacts from South Arabia now Yemen at Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem

First, the visitor encounters ancient statues and artifacts used for burning incense.

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem display of three popular fragrances of ancient times.

The Jews of ancient southern Arabia traveled over long distances by camel with myrrh, frankincense, and balsam. Here one can smell the aromas so important and valuable in ancient times and compare them.

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem traditional food from Yemen at opening of new exhibit

I said all the senses. At the opening evening was this traditional Yemenite savory biscuit. I must admit it was not to my taste.

Yemenite man reading Hebrew book upside down in Naftali Hilger photo in Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem

This is one of several powerful photographs by Naftali Hilger on display. Note the Jewish man from Sa’dah is reading a prayerbook upside down. Since books were scarce, children learned to read from multiple directions. Hilger’s photographs taken in the late 1980s add greatly to the exhibit.

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem Yemen exhibition

Rich colors, old ritual artifacts, and scrolls,

A woman looks at wall display at Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem Yemen exhibit.

and more recent content, such as this Jerusalem Street sign, add to the scope of Yemenite history.

The father of Batya Borowski, wife of BLMJ founder Eli Borowski z”l, came from Yemen to Israel in 1907. Zacharia Jamil was a talented silversmith and jewelry-maker like his father.

The exhibit with its warm hues radiates the warmth and love Batya Borowski and her daughter,  BLMJ Director Amanda Weiss, have invested in sharing a history unfamiliar to many.

Three rings made by father of Batya Borowski iZacharia Jamil on display in the Bible Lands Museum exhibition Yemen

Three rings made by Jamil are included in the Yemen exhibition.

Fourth and last is the L A. Mayer Museum of Islamic Art, which also has a new temporary exhibition.

Trespassing exhibit at LA Mayer Museum of Islamic Art in Jerusalem Israel

Titled “Trespassing” in English, meaning stretching boundaries, here are 3 examples of works by fifteen Israeli women, coming from religious communities:

Trespassing exhibition at LA Mayer Museum of Islamic Art in Jerusalem Israel

Muslim – Fatima Abu Roomi self-portraits,

Female Druze artist with special shawel on floor LA Mayer Museum of Islamic Art in Jerusalem Israel

Druze – special shawl over a traditional home rug,

Shira Zelwer wax flowers and diorama

and Jewish -wax flowers and diorama.

The Museum of Islamic Art has historical pieces and a magnificent antique watch collection. 

Shira Zelwer wax figures from grandmother's photograph Islamic Museum

What stood out for me in the new pieces was this item. Shira Zelwer’s wax figures in the diorama are three-dimensional images reproducing a 1960’s photograph. They show her grandmother surrounded by the waiters of her catering business in Australia.

I fondly remember her grandmother in her later retirement years, still an active personality.

You never know what you will find on the Jerusalem streets or what memories in its museums.

Scene from YEMEN at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem Israel

From ancient artifacts to futuristic technology, from Yemen to Australia, worlds coming together on the Jerusalem streets and explored and shared in its unique museum displays.

Jerusalem Covered in White

Jerusalem Covered in White

Jerusalem, Israel, covered in white.

Why is it? What is it?

The world loves to see photos of snow in Jerusalem!

This past week Jerusalem awaited the arrival of nearly fifty world leaders.

Knesset covered in snow in February 2015 storm

Five years ago the snow made for impressive images.

Valley of Cross in Jerusalem Israel covered in snow

The Valley of the Cross looked like a scene from Europe rather than the Middle East.

This week temperatures dropped as the rain pounded down for days, seemingly without end.

However, though forecast, no snow fell to cover the Jerusalem streets.

Interval of sun during rainy days in Jerusalem Israel

A few white clouds occasionally let the sun peak through on Tuesday at Beit Hanasi while awaiting the first of the international world leaders to meet with President Rivlin.

Australia Governor General David Hurley meets Israel President Reuven Rivlin

Governor-General David Hurley was the second of twenty-seven world leaders the President hosted in private meetings at his official residence, over the few days before and after the Fifth World Holocaust Forum (WHF). Close to fifty world leaders converged on the Jerusalem streets for the WHF, which met for the first time in Jerusalem, Israel.

Preparations for tent outside of Beit Hanasi for world leaders to pose for photograph

High-level delegations could not use the main entrance on Tuesday. A white tent covered the entire outside area. The ground was wet from a day of heavy rain. On Wednesday night at the dinner hosted by the President, the official photo was taken here.

Jerusalem Israel Nasi Street ready to host world leader dinner

Outside on Wednesday evening, white security tents and screens covered the length of Rechov HaNasi.  There was no snow in Jerusalem, but a white security screen covered many streets.

What a difference two years made!

Two years ago for the UN initiated Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Prime Minister spoke to Ambassadors in the synagogue at Yad Vashem.

This year, marking the 75th year since the liberation of Auschwitz and the 5th WHF, royals and presidents and world leaders converged on the Jerusalem streets.

Sun set in Jerusalem Israel

At least as the sun set there was a bit of color in the grey sky.

Lights along path into Zedekiah Cave for press event

Zedekiah’s Cave was lit up with a thousand candles for a Wednesday night event for the  media.

From the cave on a large screen, the main event dinner at Beit Hanasi was projected.

View of dinner hosted by President Rivlin for 40 international world leaders

White linen and beautiful white flower arrangements were on the tables as the President spoke.

Jerusalem Israel Old City walls with a projection

Walking home I went past the Old City walls near Jaffa Gate. Special lights and special colorful projections lit up the night.

Jerusalem streets closed for world leaders staying at Jerusalem hotels near old City

Great idea to walk home, as major streets near hotels were closed to the public.

Jerusalem street without traffic near Har Herzl

The next morning on Har Herzl this street was open, but the public was scared away.

Jerusalem Israel security preparing

Security units were deployed on Jerusalem streets early on routes to the main Thursday events.

White security tents in Yad Vashem parking lot

The closed parking lot at Yad Vashem also had white security areas.

Inside Yad Vashem buildings white security barriers were erected.

Jerusalem Israel view from Yad Vashem

International television crews had panoramic views of the Judean Hills from Yad Vashem.

Fog covering the view of Jerusalem as TV reporter speaks from Yad Vashem

But reporting in the afternoon, the fog on the hilltop made for a white background.

Interview of Rena Quint a Holocaust child survivor

Holocaust survivors were at Yad Vashem to speak to international media.

Walter Bingham at Yad Vashem telling his story of survival and success

German-born Walter Bingham attended as both a child survivor and a working member of the media. Bingham, 96-years young, is proud of his status as world’s oldest working journalist.

Main ceremony of Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem Israel at Yad Vashem

The main live-streamed event was held in a tent constructed on Yad Vashem’s Warsaw Plaza.

View of Yad Vashem at sun set day of World Holocaust Forum

White security tents and barriers could still be seen at the entrance to Yad Vashem as the sun was setting.

Jerusalem Israel Yad Vashem

With so many world leaders attending, the official Israeli black diplomatic vehicles were called in to use, as were dozens of white cars, lined up to take participants away at the conclusion of the ceremony.

But that was not all!

There was much more of the white security tenting.

Gan Sacher for Leningrad Memorial dedication

At Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, covering what had been the dog park, were white tents.

Already on Monday night Gan Sacher was preparing for Thursday afternoon’s dedication of the Leningrad Memorial with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending along with Jerusalem and Israeli leaders.

Roller blade park in Gan Sacher painted white before Leningrad Memorial dedication

The Roller Park looked like a swimming pool from rain, but the graffiti had been painted over, all nice and white.

Inside of white security tent in Gan Sacher for Leningrad Memorial dedication with Putin attending

Inside the main tent at Gan Sacher was the dedication ceremony held before the WHF.

What a week it was! Then the rain stopped.

First flowers in Gan Sacher park in Jerusalem

The white flowers popped out of rocks in the midday sun.

Construction worker in Jerusalem Israel Gan Sacher Park

Construction workers were back in the park and smiling.

Gan Sacher Park in Jerusalem preservation of trees

Trees near the Leningrad Memorial site were still in their protected white coverings.

Jerusalem Israel park white security tent for Leningrad Memorial dedication

The main white tent was still covering the area of the dedication.

Metal security barriers taken down

Metal security barriers were being removed from the park.

Jerusalem Israel roller blade park open

The Roller Park was open, but empty with fences still white.

Jerusalem Israel dog park moved for Leningrad Memorial dedication

This is the Gan Sacher temporary Dog Park.

White security tent for Leningrad dedication in Jerusalem Sacher Park

The levels and layers of white security tents for Leningrad Memorial were still being removed.

I tried to get inside and failed.

publicity image for Leningrad Memorial in Jerusalem park

So for now here is the publicity photo posted, but it shows only part of the tall monument.

Jerusalem Israel walking and biking path near Gan Sacher

Walking home it was good to see a wisp of white cloud and blue sky.

Israeli flags on Jerusalem Israel street

Blue and white flags being displayed to line some major streets, was one of many things that held up traffic this past week.

Now back to normal!?

Gan Sacher will have barriers up again.

The Jerusalem streets will soon be closed again.

Jerusalem Marathon training man and young children

Runners of all ages are out training – and getting ready.

March 20, 2020, as 40,000 runners will fill the Jerusalem streets.

The Jerusalem Marathon launch was also last week.

Official tee shirt for the 2020 Jerusalem Marathon

Tens of thousands of these white shirts will be seen as runners race through the Jerusalem streets for the 10th Jerusalem Winner Marathon.

Of course, there was much more happening this past week, but that will have to wait for next time.

Old City Walls Alive with Sounds of Jerusalem

Old City Walls Alive with Sounds of Jerusalem

It’s raining in Jerusalem, Israel, a cold and grey Friday winter day.

But when the weather cleared on Wednesday evening, before all the world leaders arrived for the World Holocaust Forum on Thursday, I decided to walk home from Jaffa Gate.

Here for you to enjoy, two video projections on the Old City Wall opposite Mamilla Mall.

These scenes of Jerusalem were enhanced by the inclusion of music.

This flags video with welcome greetings is longer. See how many languages you know!

Good thing I decided to walk home that night.

Jerusalem Israel street closed at night

The main streets were already closed near popular hotels.

What a week it was in Jerusalem with royalty and presidents and international heads of governments gathering to commemorate the Allies victory over the Nazis and 75th year of liberation of Auschwitz.

We remember. Never again.

A Hebrew blessing from the President of Germany to begin and end his speech!

Who could have imagined such scenes in Jerusalem 80 years ago when the British turned European Jews seeking refuge away from the shores of Mandate Palestine?

More next time, so much happened this week on the Jerusalem streets,

but now its time to start the challah and chicken soup for Shabbat.

    שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom