Israeli Independence Day to Jerusalem Day

Israeli Independence Day to Jerusalem Day

Israel’s 69 years’ celebrations took many forms.

The flyovers on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day,

are an annual favorite.

This year I was in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, ready to record

as 4 planes zoomed across the sky, turned and dipped.

A blog called Outrageous, was posted

  on May 11, 2011, concerning the poor

the situation of access for disabled individuals

in Jerusalem, Israel.

What triggered that post was the deplorable

restroom conditions at Gan Sacher on Yom Ha’atzmaut.

Tens of thousands of people and no proper toilets,

long lines, and no handicapped facilities.

By the spring of 2014, construction was underway

Spring 2014 construction of public toilets in Sacher Park

for a new public restroom, toilets, loo or “OO.”

Since I have gone by multiple times to check it,

 I am very happy to report

 that this year on Yom Ha’atzmaut afternoon

the women’s restroom was not only available,

Improved restroom in Gan Sacher

but it was clean and stocked with paper and soap.

The speed can be seen in the air,

but on the ground things often go much slower.

This year Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day,

with all the build up to the jubilee year,

is being eclipsed by the first official visit

of US President Donald Trump.

The King David Hotel is to be cleared

of all other guests for the presidential entourage,

as was done for previous US presidential visits.

It’s not fun for locals

when major streets in the area are closed.

However,

tower of David on Jerusalem Day

 the Tower of David is offering some fun,

 on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, with free entrance,

from noon – 6:00 pm.

Besides the opening of new exhibit,”50 Years 50 Faces,”

children’s activities are planned, plus guided tours.

Theatrical performances and live music will entertain,

Tower of David entertainers Jerusalem

look for more than jugglers on the wall,

 Kings David, Solomon and Herod are to make an appearance.

Mayor Nir Barkat is to greet the public from 3:30 – 5:00 pm.

Always so much happening on the Jerusalem streets.

Inspiration for 2014 in Jerusalem

Inspiration for 2014 in Jerusalem

I was having trouble finding something positive to share,

as the clock ticked to the end of 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.

Everyone has heard enough kvetching about the snow

and the massive clean up which is still going on.

image protest Jerusalem, Photo Israel protest, picture protest signs.

The protest against prisoner releases was sad enough,

picture protest at night, image Israel protets, photo protest banners.

but the “March with Umbrellasin the cold, wet dark night,

found many depressed by this “gesture of good will.”

The next morning the sun was shining,

image Bell Park , Jerusalem park photo, picture Jerusalem Bell Park

 and the fresh blue paint in the Liberty Bell Park looked good. 

It was interesting to see how 100 years after

 Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Halevi Herzog z”l  wrote on his dissertation 

about Tekhelet, that maybe a “student of chemistry may be interested”

that a conference filled the auditorium at The Begin Heritage Center.

But it was still not what I wanted for an inspiring blog to end the year.

However, I was back at The Begin Center the next day,

for another conference with another long list of impressive speakers.

And then,

photo inspirtational speaker, picture Noam Gershony, image Olympic gold medal winner

 Noam Gershony stood at the podium and started to tell his story.

How he was so close to death the doctors held little hope for him.

How he lost his leg and almost his life in Second Lebanon War.

How his friend Dov next to him was killed.

How he slowly came back to life, 

to play tennis, 

image skiing one leg, photo Noam Grshony, picture disabled skier

 to ski on Mount Hermon,

image disables biker, Noam Gershony riding a bike, photo bike rider with one leg

and to ride a bike.

By the time he finished his story of winning a gold medal

at the 2012 Olympics in London with the music of Hatikvah  playing,

there was hardly a dry eye in the room.

image Noam Gershony, picture Noam Gershony, photo standing ovatiion

After he finished and received a standing ovation,

image Noam Gerhsony, photo man walking with one leg, photo Noam Gershony

Noam walked to the elevator surrounded by admirers.

That was it,

what I want to share,

what the world must see.

Certainly not everyone can win a gold medal in the Olympics,

but Noam Gershony exemplifies the Israeli spirit.

After what happened to him, 

he did not become a suicide bomber,

but he does blow people away.

He inspires them to get up and get going,

no more excuses, too tired, too busy.

Now let’s make 2014 a good and positive year for all.


Four Ways to Celebrate Passover

Millions of people visit nature sites in Israel over Passover. 

Tens of thousands attend Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing

"Al-Quds image", "picture Wailing Wall", "photo The Wailing Wall"

prayer service at the Kotel, the Western Wall, each year.

In Jerusalem’s Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,

"picture of picnic', "image of park", "photo of picnic in Jerusalem"

  thousands of people gather for picnic outings.

 I want to share with you a special event

"photo children with balloons", "picture Aleh school", "image Aleh Jerusalem"

in Jerusalem at Aleh, a very special home and school

"picture wheel chair", "photo Jerusalem"

for children with special educational needs.

The weather was perfect 

"photo Aleh March", 'image wheel chair", "picture Aleh parade"

for the annual Aleh Jerusalem March as it left the school grounds.

"picture parade" ,  "Jerusalem streets photo", "image Jerusalem "

Participating were many of the dedicated staff members and their families,

(full disclosure, my daughter-in-law is a teacher at Aleh

and we are very proud of her work)

"picture Aleh March'

dozens of young volunteers,

"Arab woman in Jerusalem picture", "photo Muslim woman", "image nurse"

along with lots of balloons and a nurse on duty.

"picture Aleh March", "photo traffic stopped"

Streets were closed to traffic as the Aleh Jerusalem March moved

"picture bridge Jerusalem", "photo Jerusalem bridge"

toward the new Gesher HaMeitarim, the Chord or String Bridge.

"photo Jerusalem bridge", "picture releasing balloons"

After waiting for everyone to arrive on the bridge,

'"String Bridge photo","picture of Jerusalem bridge"

hundreds of balloons were released over the city of Jerusalem.

"picture Jerusalem bridge", "Jerusalem bridge photo'

Then everyone crossed the bridge

"picture dancing","photo Jerusalem traffic"

and the celebration continued with live music and dancing.

In a country where on chol hamoed traffic is heavy and people creep along,

this crowd was really moving.

"picture wheel chair'

I can share a few scenes of the tremendous care,

affection, 

"picture dancing'

and attention given to the students who participated,

but for reasons of privacy I cannot share their radiant smiles.

"picutre De Aryeh Eldar"

This was an event short on publicity and politicians,

only MK Aryeh Eldar said a few words.

But it was big on love and full of holiday spirit.

"picture bus sign for holiday" "photo of bus holiday sign"

A very happy Passover!

 If you found an Aleh balloon…I would love to hear how far they flew.

Many more photos on The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page .