From Jerusalem, Education Uniting and Empowering

From Jerusalem, Education Uniting and Empowering

Another incredible week in Jerusalem, Israel, as tens of thousands filled hotels and their buses made their way through the Jerusalem streets.

Unity Prize Awards at Beit Hanasi in Jerusalem Israel

The Unity Prizes were awarded at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence. With the Gesher Foundation and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, the Fraenkel, Ifrach and Shaar families initiated these awards four years ago.

The families of the three murdered teens Eyal, Yifrach, and Naftali z”l wanted to find a meaningful way to express their appreciation for the unity and support they felt during those difficult days.

Unity Prize founders three families Fraenkel, Ifrach and Shaar at Beit Hanasi for Unity Awards Ceremony

The program was held in the main hall and included music and entertainment, with the families and prize winners filling the room.

Boca Florida winner of Unity Prize in Jerusalem Israel at Israeli President House

Boca Florida won a prize for Jewish Engagement, unity in Jewish education. Representatives from Florida came to Jerusalem to receive their award.

Unity Prize winners.

Other winners were Runners without Borders, TEC Center, Koolulam, and a special Global life achievement went to Birthright.

Three video clips were included in last week’s Shabbat Shalom greeting. They can be seen HERE.  

Soon after I left Beit Hanasi, there was another event in the gardens of OneFamily.

One Family hosts Rudy Giuliani in Jerusalem Israel

Photo ops with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani were popular that night.

OneFamily guest Rudy Giuliani poses for photo on way out of One Family dinner event

Giuliani was mayor at the time of September 11 terror attack. He spoke of dealing with victims of terror in the aftermath and emphasized the good and important work of OneFamily helping victims of terror in Israel.

Not all of his remarks would be considered politically correct, but here is one short clip on Arafat and the PLO.

Jerusalem Israel, President's house garden with busts of former presidents and Theodore Herzl

Beit Hanasi, as usual, was a busy place all week. The presidential gardens were ready for numerous international guests.

AJC Board of Governors line up to enter Beit Hanasi in Jerusalem Israel

The leadership of American Jewish Committee (AJC) lined up so politely to enter. Should I confess that I smiled and went in the other door to bypass the line?

Bedouin Ahlam Alsana speaking at ICC for AJC in Jerusalem Israel

At AJC closing plenary, one of the many faces of Israel, Ahlam Alsana, stressed the importance of education in her remarks.

Shavuah HaSefer at First Station Jerusalem Israel

For locals, it was the annual Shavuah Hasefer, Hebrew Book Week, again held in First Station. As every year, thousands of volumes were for sale, attracting young and old.

Jerusalem Israel actors at First Station

A volunteer student theater group performed as families gathered before the entry gate opened.

Jerusalem Israel First Station

After their performance, confetti covered the ground and the actor/painter was back at his easel at work.

Another “you never know what you will find” scene for sure.

School end of year performance in Jerusalem Israel

You never know what you will find at those end of school year performances filling schedules in June. Mega events, with professional staging and lights, lasting well into the night – for elementary school. Interesting, as college graduations in Israel are so low key compared to US.

Jerusalem Israel Orient Isrotel

The new Orient Hotel was the scene of a gala dinner celebrating the 80th year of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz and Steinsaltz Center contribution to education.

Books of Adin Steinsaltz

What other dinner gala featured a wall of impressive books, under the authorship of one person?

Rav Adin Steinsaltz with son and grandson enter gala tribute for his 80th birthday in Jerusalem Israel

Rabbi Steinsaltz was escorted into the full banquet hall by his son and grandson.

Singer Avraham Fried in Jerusalem, Israel for Steinsaltz Gala in honor of Rav Adin 80th birthday

Popular singer Avraham Fried gave a powerful performance.

Eightieth birthday Rav Adin Steinsaltz in Jerusalem Israel

The key note speaker was Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who spoke about power and knowledge.

To end with some inspiration, take two minutes and listen to a brief clip from his insightful remarks.

So much is happening in Jerusalem.

Israel Festival has ended. Jerusalem Design Week has begun.

Then on June 27, begins another week of the annual Light Festival in the Old City.

But for this week if there was one overshadowing theme, it was that education is the key.

Education should be everyone’s birthright, not only the privileged.

Am Yisrael Chai.

18 Favorites of Sukkot in Jerusalem

18 Favorites of Sukkot in Jerusalem

What a busy holiday season!

It was impossible to do everything I wanted,

however, here are some of my favorites

from the week of Sukkot.

Jerusalem Theater Sukkah

I love that there is a sukkah outside the Jerusalem Theater.

Since getting painted a few years ago,

Sukka spray painted in bright designs

 this sukkah has become a local landmark.

Small sukkah at Beit Hanasi before Sukkot

This one was at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s Residence, but

the official Sukkah Open House featured

Map of world made of fruits and vegetables Israel produce

 this one with a population map of the world.

Made of Israeli flowers, fruits and vegetables,

it was so colorful and a perfect set for this TV reporter,

 before the public arrived to pass through.

Sukkot in Israel is an agricultural festival.

Types of avocado grown in Israel

These varieties of avocados were one of the many

agricultural products that were featured.

Musicians sitting above ground to perform at Israeli President's House

These musicians were floating on giant swinging triangles,

Giant bubbles to entertain children at Israel President Residence

and giant bubbles were also part of the entertainment.

But the real crowd pleaser seemed to be

Reuven Rivlin greets public at open house on Succos

when President Reuven Rivlin did a walkabout.

Cameras and families crowded around

as he made his way through the gardens.

The skies were already grey at the time

and the photos a bit dark,

but I was able to leave

Rain in Jerusalem in October, first of season

before the rain,

really hard rain, the first of the season.

Who would have imagined?

Rain in Jerusalem Israel on Sukkot

The streets filled with water.

People disappeared from the streets and sukkot,

as the water poured down.

Sukkah at Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria after hard rain

The atrium sukkah at the Waldorf-Astoria was dry,

since the windows above the schach were closed in time

to keep the large dining area dry and pristine.

Jerusalem, Israel sukkah

This simple sukkah standing alone

Sukkot on balconies in Jerusalem Israel

and all these on the side of this building,

are a few new ones to add to past favorites.

Israel Museum kite festival on Sukkot

The Kite Festival at the Israel Museum

Children with kites inside the Israel Museum for festival on Sukkos

has become an annual holiday event.

Sculpture at Israel Museum with sukkah in background open for visitors to use

Again a sukkah for visitors’ use was set in the

Billy Rose Sculpture Garden near

the blue ‘Trees” of Menashe Kadishman.

Sukkah in Sacher Park for public to use before Jerusalem March

In Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,

a sukkah was up for use in the park for

the annual Jerusalem March.

The weather was perfect that day,

Decorative umbrellas on rainy day

while umbrellas

Umbrellas above Yoel Salomon Street in Jerusalem Israel

and more umbrellas lined Yoel Salomon Street

as a popular display for visitors.

Independence Park afternoon rainy day one woman at Women Wage Peace

The Women Wage Peace rally to be held

in Independence Park got rained out,

 the park was empty from the morning’s heavy rain.

New at First Station for this holiday season,

#SheSparks Jerusalem sale for tourists

were the SheSparks displays of quality gifts.

Watch out for more from these talented women.

Musical programs in Jerusalem for Sukkot

Song and music and dancing,

filled the Jerusalem streets in too many locations to mention.

Shlomo Katz and Solomon Brothers performed for second hakafos in Jerusalem

One of several Thursday night musical events

featured Shlomo Katz and the Solomon Brothers

at the community center on Emek Refaim Street.

Thousands crowded to sing along,

to dance and watch the dancing.

Just a taste of what was happening in Jerusalem

this past holiday week.

Now back to “normal.”

15 August Activities and Fun in Jerusalem

15 August Activities and Fun in Jerusalem

Tisha B’Av and the days of mourning have ended,

and the month of August is holiday time.

sunset on baeach at Old Jaffa

Jerusalem does not have a beach with a sunset view.

The new water activity in First Station

Kids water soccer game at First station

 for children to play soccer under a water spray,

water park lit at night, Jerusalem photos, Jerusalem new tourist attraction

the Teddy Park Fountain

Children splashing in Lion Fountain to cool off on hot Jerusalem, Israel night

and Lion’s Fountain are poor substitutes for a dip in the water.

Lacking in water, Jerusalem compensates with

summer activities and festivals

during the long summer school holiday,

both for locals and the tourists arriving daily.

new hotel in Jerusalem Israel Orient

After years of construction,

the new Orient Hotel is open near First Station

and boutique hotels have popped up all over town.

 Khuztot Hayozer, the annual international arts & crafts fair,

attracts thousands to the Sultan’s Pool, and opens next week.

The Bloomfield Science Museum has

a special bicycle exhibit and other popular activities.

National Library for children in summer

Summer programs for children are advertised by the National Library.

The 26th International Puppet Festival is this week.

And again this summer,

free August admission for children at the Israel Museum.

The colorful and popular umbrellas over streets downtown

are back up for the summer,

Radio on Ben Yehudah for summer

as is this new giant radio on Ben Yehudah pedestrian mall.

Shakespeare in Motion opens on August 10

in Bloomfield Park near the Montefiore Windmill.

The Wine Festival and Beer Festival are popular,

 night time adult only happenings.

There are also many Tu B’Av night happenings,

White Night on Emek Refaim

like this one on Emek Refaim Street.

Ice skating at Sports Arena in Malha goes until August 13.

Consider taking one of our Photo walks 

 which are so much better as evenings get cooler.

This is getting too long!

For more August happenings see:

Fun in Jerusalem 

or the special Summer Fun Guide

 HERE

As I was slowing down in the August heat,

Kitah Aleph postcard welcome from Mayor Nir Barkat

Mayor Nir Barkat sent a

“Welcome to Kitah Aleph” postcard message

to all incoming Jerusalem first graders.

I love how “Welcome to Kitah Aleph”

is bigger a deal than most Israeli university graduations!

Only in Israel!

I am getting exhausted thinking how to do everything,

still not enough happening for you,

check out this new video: