Jerusalem 7 New Signs and Colors for Elul

Jerusalem 7 New Signs and Colors for Elul

Jerusalem is working its way back.

It almost feels like a “normal” end of summer on the Jerusalem streets.

Parents are worried about school supplies, but even more about school openings.

Rosh Hodesh Elul was last week and religious schools have started.

Sacher Park in Jerusalem summer day

In Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, children played by day, and families filled the park in the evening.

Sacher Park clean up in morning after big night for Rosh Hodesh Elul

But by the morning of Rosh Chodesh, it was cleaned up and ready for the families to return.

Jerusalem street next to Sacher Park

The street along Gan Sacher which was filled with cars the night before was back to normal.

End of Summer events sign posted near Wolfson center across from Sacher Park

It’s lined with new Jerusalem signs for the end of summer events,

Hebrew sign Jerusalem stands with all of Israel during coronavirus pandemic

and this new one stating: Jerusalem stands with all of Israel.

Trying hard to get back to “normal” after COVID-19 closures.

Menachem Begin Center and Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem signs displayed on Jerusalem street corner

New end-of-summer signs for the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem were posted among other museums cautiously reopening with new entrance policies.

Giro stage in Safra Square for opening of cycling event

It was announced that Jerusalem’s Safra Square  is now a new  coronavirus-safe venue for cultural events, allowing concerts and performances to return after months of such events being prohibited.

One of many previous events, the Giro d’Italia opening was held in the large plaza area of the Jerusalem Municipal Building. Numerous concerts have been held there as well.

Cyclists from United Arab Emirates in Jerusalem for Giro d'Italia

The announcement of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to sign a normalization agreement made headlines. However, for the Giro, UAE riders–and Bahrain–were on the Jerusalem streets two years ago.

Jerusalem Israel view from top of Kikar Safra municipal building

One of the great views from the 6th floor of the Municipal Building is the Mount Of Olives

Jerusalem Har Hazetim grave stone of HaRav Avraham Kook

Gimel Elul was the memorial of the 85th anniversary of the passing of Abraham Isaac Kook z”l, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine in the Land of Israel.  Today’s commemoration was unlike other years and was a socially distanced and very limited event.

Rav Kook’s house has been kept as a museum, offices, and synagogue, while the area around HaRav Kook Street in Jerusalem has been built up.

Lion Fountain in Jerusalem Park near First Station with water

The Lion Fountain near First Station was a fun place during past summers.

bird in Jerusalem photo

Some of my favorite photos were taken there. This past week though,  the fountain was dry.

This has been a summer when most everyone has had to deal with changes.

Near Jerusalem Israel Museum sculpture The Struggle

I often pass “The Struggle” by Samuel Bar Even on my way to the Israel Museum.

Jerusalem path near the Israel Museum above Valley of the Cross

Israeli officials trying to keep the virus under control without lockdown is more of a struggle than my deciding which path to take each day.

Jerusalem Israel Museum open again after closing for months of coronavirus

A new welcome sign was posted at the Israel Museum. After being closed for months, it is open part-time, with restrictions and prior ticketing.

But no entrance fee for children in August as usual.

Jerusalem Israel Old City Western Wall Tunnel

Also, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation announced that the Western Wall Tunnel site was reopening after having been closed for five months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kotel in August 2019

Preparations are underway for Selichot, penitential prayers, at the Kotel, the Western Wall. It will NOT look like this photo from last August!

The first two weeks of the month of Elul will be a test for managing Selichot services at the Kotel prior to the upcoming peak-crowd days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Jerusalem sehilchos

The  Jerusalem Great Synagogue with its 1,200 seats is not to reopen for the High Holidays.

It is also not planning to open its doors for ShabbatSelichot, or the Sukkot holidays.

Water bottle disposal sign in Jerusalem to keep streets clean

The campaign to keep Jerusalem clean has been going strong all summer. New signs were posted for everyone to clean up their mess.

Jerusalem Israel pickup truck for things left on street

Here’s a new truck collecting discarded items along the street.

The truck stopped. A man jumped out and grabbed a sweater on the side of the road.

He tossed it into the back of the truck and drove off.

The days of furnishing your Jerusalem apartment with other folks abandoned property could be much harder now. Everyone will have to move quickly before that truck comes by.

Workers in Jerusalem filling a pot hole in street

This large truck and work crew arrived. They stopped traffic and blocked the street.

They repaired a pothole in a few minutes while I watched.

Jerusalem woman crossing street as traffic waits

Near the same spot the day before, this frail woman crossed the street.

What was newsworthy and worth sharing about that?

She stepped off the curb into traffic, not near crosswalks. However, cars in both directions stopped. They waited until she safely crossed to the bus stop. And, not one car behind them honked!  I wished I had taken a video.

Exit of Jerusalem Israel Museum toward the Knesset

This is the view on the way out of the Israel Museum. The Israel Knesset Building is across the way. “LAST HOPE” is painted on the pavement. Tonight we will find out if the “unity” government can agree on how to proceed with a budget or if we go to a fourth election this year.

It has been a crazy year, with struggles not only to cross the street but for many to survive.

Much of Jerusalem’s economy is based on international tourism.

The closed skies due to the coronavirus pandemic have led to extremely dire financial situations.

Selihot at the Kotel, will not be the same as in the past. There are planned Selihot tours in the Old City, limited in numbers and with social distancing precautions. As with all tours and sites, check ahead to make sure you have a spot and a ticket.

It’s been an unusual summer with few tourists on the Jerusalem streets.

Flowers planted near Jerusalem street

However, as we enter the month of Elul and look forward to a New Year, colorful flowers are blooming to brighten the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Riding the Waves of August

Jerusalem Riding the Waves of August

From Jerusalem, there is good news and bad news.

Rollercoaster days with ups and downs.

Highs and lows with COVID-19.

Beautiful, happy weddings and sad, sad funerals.

Crazy times with closings and openings.

Yet 140 new Olim arrived from France.  We know that others are arriving daily without a big reception, to go into a two-week quarantine, before starting their new lives in their new home.

The seasonal international tourists are missing from the Jerusalem streets.

The Pianos Festival went online this year.

However, the seasons and nature are consistent.

Jerusalem Valley of the Cross

The days are growing shorter with the end of August rapidly approaching.

Gan Sacher in Jerusalem Israel

The well-watered grass in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park is ready for guests.

Jerusalem pizza truck in Gan Sacher

The Jerusalem Mayor’s office announced the removal of public telephones. But Jerusalem has added food trucks in various park locations. Friday morning, pizza was available in Gan Sacher.

Drive-in movies are being shown at the First Station parking lot. Regular theaters are still closed to Corona restrictions.

Shaon Horef, the Winter Noise Festival held on Jerusalem streets on Monday nights in February, got lost in the news of approaching novel coronavirus. Now Jerusalem is trying for Shaon Horef  on August summer nights with music and performances on various streets.

COVID-19 activity in Jerusalem Israel exercise in park

 

The parks are sponsoring Sport and Fitness for retired folks.

Among the other options are biking, flower arranging, yoga and Pilates, and Segway tours.

Family with a flying toy in Jerusalem park

Not sure who was having more fun here, the father controlling the flying toy or the kids who sat to watch.

Corona Hebrew advertisement for party for youth

Parties for the youth are planned in the Jerusalem parks.

Young couple meeting on a date in Jerusalem Israel park

And Jerusalem parks are, as always, perfect for a first date, another sign of this season.

The Jerusalem municipality has offered to host weddings at various scenic locations:

Tayelet Haas Promenade empty on Friday after terror attack

the Promenade at Armon Hanatziv,

I love Jerusalem in flowers.

the Bloomfield Gardens near the Montefiore Windmill,

Jerusalem Israel Bell Park in summer

and the Liberty Bell Park.  They are also some of my favorite Jerusalem locations.

Protesters sitting on Jerusalem street near the Prime Minister's Residence
Photo credit: Shifra G

Those noisy protests near the Prime Minister’s Residence continue.

View of Israel Museum Dome over Dead Sea Scrolls

The Israel Museum was closed for months but there is some good news there.

People standing outside the Israel Museum entrance in Jerusalem

 Museum galleries are scheduled to open this Thursday.  The employees protesting last week are to return to work.

Valley of the Cross in Jerusalem new landscaping

From a distance I noticed the all-black covering put on the back of city promotional signs along Hazaz Street, part of the black shirt anti-government protest.

Valley of the Cross new landscaping and flowers along exercise path

However, looking closer to the new landscaping along the street, there are new flowers emerging.

Friday afternoon in Jerusalem man selling flowers before Shabbat on street corner

This pink sign is one of the Jerusalem promoting tourism which were covered in black. But I took this photo to share a sign of normalcy. Friday morning flowers were being sold for Shabbat.

Jerusalem Israel sunset

The sun has risen and set.

Lime tree with fruit in Jerusalem Israel

The limes on the tree are growing and almost ready to pick.

Closeup on a rose in full bloom with small insect

I thought I had found a perfect rose for a closeup.

Only when I got home a saw there was an insect crawling on it.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon announced,”Following the global tourism crisis, we decided to advance the upgrade work and infrastructure related to tourist areas throughout the city. Upgrading King David Street is a complex upgrade project that affects transportation throughout central Jerusalem.”

The Israel National Library on Givat Ram announced, including their online sessions, will be closed for lack of funding.

Jerusalem Israel national Library building construction

But, construction on the new National Library is going strong. This is how the roof looked today.

Jerusalem Israel view from city center toward Old City

So there you have it, not all good, part of what’s happening on the Jerusalem streets this week.

I miss attending events at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence. The very restricted number of programs now are limited to the Government Press Office only, not open to those of us with GPO cards.

Israeli President on phone
Photo credit: Mark Neyman

Today President Rivlin spoke on the telephone with people who have requested help via the coronavirus hotline opened by Beit HaNasi.

Let’s hope we can all ride these waves safely.

Jerusalem after Tisha B’Av: Mourning to Celebrating

Jerusalem after Tisha B’Av: Mourning to Celebrating

Oh, Jerusalem!

Jerusalem has just completed another Tisha B’Av.

Kotel on Tisha B'Av night during COVID-19

Instead of past years with crowds of tens of thousands, there were 1,000 people allowed at the Kotel,  the Western Wall, at night.

Jerusalem, Israel during corona men siting on ground for Eicha

Sections were divided off and marked to permit the small groups allowed to follow the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

Kotel Women's section divided for COVID-19 regulations

The women’s section which in the past was crowded with thousands had barriers also.

Reading Eicha, Lamentations, in Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park, had a much smaller attendance.

Jerusalem Damascus Gate at night

Damascus Gate at night was quieter than usual as the 26th annual walk around the Old City Walls, limited this year to 50 participants, passed by.

Walking in Jerusalem at night of Tisha B'Av during COVID-19 regulations

On the other side of the street, the shops were all open late for Eid al-Adha preparations. The Muslim fast day coincided with Tisha B’Av this year, and at sunset they began a 3-day celebration.

Good news. The social workers and nurses are back to work after short strikes.

Israel Museum employees protest prolonged closing and no pay

Israel Museum employees held a peaceful protest holding up signs to passing traffic.

The only loud noises were cars honking in support.

Due to coronovirus restrictions Israel Museum closed

The Israel Museum has been closed since the coronavirus crisis began. On Thursday, museum director Ido Bruno announced a $4million donation from the American Friends of the Israel Museum. Plans to reopen are said to be underway.

Olive tree in Jerusalem Israel park

On the hill below the Israel Museum, olives are on the trees.

Gan Sacher in Jerusalem no Pele in the morning

Last week Jerusalem’s Gan Sacher, Sacher Park was empty.

The end of school year summer outings were not happening.

This morning, it was good to see children back in the Jerusalem park.

Jerusalem’s usual summer conferences have moved online, to Facebook and Zoom.

StreetBal competition in Bell Park Jerusalem Israel

The annual Jerusalem sport event of Street Ball has been canceled.

Flags from around world in Jerusalem March on chol hamoed Sukkos

Thousands of flags of the Jerusalem Parade will not fill the Jerusalem streets this year. The official cancellation was announced this week.

The day after Tisha B’Av, fifteen years ago, 8,500 Israeli citizens were forced out of 21 Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip and four communities in Samaria.

photo of photo of Gush Katfi before it was destroyed

These beautiful homes were destroyed 15 years ago. The expulsion did not bring peace.

Instead, thousands of rockets, missiles, and destructive burning balloons.

I went to see the rebuilding starts of Gush Katif victim nine years ago 

From Gush Katif Museum memorial for destroyed communities.

and the Gush Katif Museum five years ago.

That is an ongoing unpleasant chapter of Israeli history.

Jerusalem Israel Hurva Synagogue Old City

However, a much more pleasant story is what happened at the Hurva Synagogue 100 years ago. The historic and memorable first visit of the first British High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel, after his installation.  Samuel was a knowledgeable Jew who participated in the Shabbat morning service.

"photo Hurva", "Hurva synagogue picture"

Today at the rebuilt and re-inaugurated synagogue which was destroyed by Jordanian Legion in 1948, a special ceremony is to be held in honor of the centennial. However, attendance will be extremely limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Coronavirus safety sign in Hebrew

Highs and lows. And new Corona signs have been posted.

Jerusalem First Station sign for Leonardo da Vinci summer 2020 exhibit

New signs were up for “Leonardo da Vinci -The First Start-up entrepreneur,” the theme of a new exhibit at First Station for this summer.

Hebrew sign in Jerusalem for love not hate.

The next day this sign – “Needed Now “Baseless Love” sign was posted.

The protests near the Prime Minister’s residence have gone on unabated.

They are loud and they disturb the residents well past the 11:00 pm noise curfew.

I think the police have used great restraint with these provocateurs.

On to much better news to share, a notice for יריד היין הגדול של ירושלים.

At First Station, the Jerusalem Wine Festival is planned for  August 11– 13, 6 pm – 11:55 pm.

In local sports news, Israeli soccer is to return at the end of August.

Online tours galore can be found for those who are home-bound.

Jerusalem National Library building under construction

The National Library construction site had workers busy on the roof areas.

Now that Tisha B’Av is over, it’s almost Tu B’Av and time for celebrations and music.

Next Year in Jerusalem!