Jerusalem, Israel’s Children

Jerusalem, Israel’s Children

June is full of graduations and end-of-year celebrations,

from nursery school children to honorary doctorates.

Plus, all the different festivals in Jerusalem,

and it is impossible to keep up with everything.

The Jerusalem Theater auditoriums were filled with

the 56th annual Israel Festival, an annual June event.

Memorial performance Tirza Atar daughter of Nathan Alterman

“Songs of Tirza,” a unique performance by Nathan Slor,

with music and readings of his mother Tirza Atar z”l,

was a memorable night for one full-house audience.

While outside all along Chopin Street

and down to the Hansen House,

Jerusalem Design Week on Chopin Street

music and lights from the

Jerusalem Design Week

Design Week in Jerusalem Israel 2017

were seen and heard by all.

Music for Design Week Jerusalem Israel

Except these musicians, who could be heard only

by festival goers wearing special headsets.

The two major Jerusalem book fairs

were scheduled to overlap this year.

International Book fair in Jerusalem

But the large signs for the Book Fairs posted at First Station

Light Festival Jerusalem 2017

have already been replaced by the ones for the Light Festival.

Inside Takhana Rishona, First Station,

Jerusalem Shavuah Hasefer

children’s books were displayed at the entrance,
Performance for children at Shvuah Hasefer

and performances for children are scheduled daily.

Little girl looks at flags outside international book fair in Jerusalem Israel

The flags of the participants in the international fair

First Station International Book Fair

were flying outside Station Hall,

Station Hall at First Station, Takana Rishona

which was filled with displays,

Jerusalem Israel book fair

with publishers’ booths and rows of books,

and authors coming in to autograph purchases.

So much to do, so much happening,

and so much attention to children.

But.

Also, in the center tent of First Station

last night was a very different type of event.

Protest against MK LItzman for not opening cancer center in Jerusalem

Hundreds of people showed up on short notice,

informed only by a few afternoon Facebook posts.

Parents of children with cancer wanting Jerusalem hospital care

Parents of children with cancer held signs,

urging Israeli Health Minister Litzman,

to save their children.

Tent in Sacher Park for child patients with cancer Jerusalem

A white, large air-conditioned tent was erected

in the Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, basketball court.

In the past, the park has been a scene of protest tents.

Gan Sacher hospital tent children with cancer

But this one is a make-shift hospital for children,

Medical clowns in Gan Sacher

complete with medical clowns.

However, there is nothing funny about the situation.

As I understand the complicated issue,

Hadassah Hospital closed their children’s cancer division

to merge it with the adult division,

and the pediatric oncologists resigned en-masse.

Some parents have given up hope for suitable treatment

for their seriously ill children in Jerusalem

and are travelling to Tel HaShomer for medical services.

Other parents want Shaare Zedek Hospital to open

a children’s oncology unit.

Doctors, parents, and politicians are involved.

Hopefully this painful situation will be resolved soon,

sign for Live at Museum Israel Museum

and  I can go back to posting about

Live Music in the art gardens of the Israel Museum,

Blue lights lining streets of Jerusalem for Ramadan

Ramadan lights lining the streets,

and the record-breaking increase in tourism

Tourists in lobby of hotel

that is filling once-empty hotel rooms and lobbies.

Meanwhile refuah shelama,

thoughts and prayers for a speedy and full recovery to all the children

and for a solution to the dilemma.

Best of Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut in Jerusalem

Best of Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Israel, for the Yoms 

as usual was overloaded with events,

 many this year influenced in anticipation of

Celebrating 50 years liberation of Jerusalem

50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem.

Israeli flags are draped down the sides of buildings.

Israeli flags Israel Museum for memorial and Independence day

These are at the Israel Museum entrance

where the dome of the Shrine of the Book can be seen.

Yom HaZikaron, Israeli Remembrance Day

for fallen soldiers and victims of terror,

began Sunday night with memorials throughout Israel,

and were accompanied by prayers, speeches and memorial flames.

The official state ceremony seen live on television,

was held at the Kotel, the Western Wall,

where President Reuven Rivlin lit the memorial light.

Ammunition Hill on Israel Memorial Day

Sponsored by the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin,

a memorial service was held at Givat HaTachmoshet, Ammunition Hill,

the site of deadly fighting to defend Jerusalem in 1967.

The program in English was live-streamed

and seen by over 16,000 people around the world.

All day Monday, tens of thousands of Israelis visited cemeteries.

Cemetery Jerusalem 1948-49

This cemetery has many graves from 1948-1950,

 the first years that Jews could not get to

the Mount of Olives due to the Jordanian occupation

and had to find new places to bury their dead.

One man standing by old grave in Jerusalem cemetery on Yom Hazikaron

On Yom HaZikaron, a man prayed by a grave.

Israeli military grave on Yom HaZikaron

A small Israeli flag with a black ribbon attached,

and small bunch of flowers, yizkor, remembers

Flowers, Israeli flag and black yizkor ribbon on 1948 grave

those much too young who died in war.

The cemetery is next to Harel Garden

Memorial wreath at Harel Garden Memotial

and Memorial wall, where this lone wreath was placed.

Walk around the memorial and you can see

At Harel Memorial distance to Gush Etzion lost in 1948 to Jordan

that Gush Etzion is 16 kilometers from Cinema City and

the Israeli Supreme Court and government offices.

Israel Yom HaZikaron at Har Herzel end of day

Tens of thousands came to Har Herzl Military Cemetery

during the day, to place flowers and to mourn,

remembering those lost to war and terror.

Woman sitting near graves of Har Herzl military cemetery Yom Hazikron

The crowds thinned at end of day,

Two soldiers walking on Har Herzl Cemetery

and all headed home from the Har Herzl Military Cemetery.

But as the sun set,

on another part of Har Herzl,

Stage ready for Yom Haaztmaut official televised program

the lights went on this huge stage,

celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day.

This year for the first time two non-Israelis were selected

with the honor of lighting one of the 12 memorial flames,

Rabbi Marvin Hier and Michael Steinhardt,

Two US honorees in Israeli ceremony

seen here before the official program began.

The show is telecast live and seen by thousands,

Show for Yom Haatmaut ceremony

but watching on TV you could not see them remove

the circle of fire used in one production number.

It is an extravaganza with set rituals,

Israel Independence day starts with lighting of ceremony torch

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat broke with tradition

when he joined with Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein

to light the official flame of Israel’s Independence Day.

waving flags and cheering

Seats were at a premium, the flag waving,

 cheering crowd did not need a lot of encouragement.

One of 12 torch lighters Chana Henkin

Besides the two Americans, I wanted to see Rabbanit Chana Henkin

 who was honored as one of the twelve torch lighters,

one for each tribe of Israel.

Dr Ahmad Eid speaks at Yom Haatzmaut ceremony

Dr. Ahmed Eid, an Arab doctor, was another honoree.

Military with flags at ceremony on Yom Haatzmaut on Har Herzl

The program featured songs and military colors.

Soldiers form a Jewish star during official ceremony for Yom Haatzmaut

For this shot, no seat in the stands would work,

Sunset at Har Herzl camera over head

only this overhead camera would do.

Afterwards celebrations went all night,

in too many locations to list, with prayers, songs and dancing.

Music for diplomats at Beit Hanasi Independence day

The next day at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

 120 outstanding soldiers were honored in the morning

Front row Beit Hanasi on Yom Haatzmaut

and in the afternoon rows of diplomats came,

Yom Haatazmaut at Beit Hanasi

along with one young Presidential grandson,

to pay their respects to Israel and hear the Prime Minister

and President speak on theme,”next year in Jerusalem.”

While the heads of consuls and foreign military were at Beit Hanasi,

Gan Sacher Yom Haatzmaut

thousands of Israelis were in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

Lone Soldier Center mangal Yom Haatzmaut

Most of the green spaces all over the country were full of Israelis.

On the radio were announcements of crowded roads to JNF parks.

Couch brought to Gan Sacher

This family brought a couch to Gan Sacher,

which is one way to make your holiday mangal, BBQ, feel like home.

I know this is getting way too long,

but there was so much more,

like the Bible Competition, free museums, and performances.

festive meals, and those IDF flyovers and stunts.

Israel, after 69 years

as President Rivlin said, is young for a country,

 under constant threat and repeated attacks,

yet has accomplished so much.

So it was,

Flowers at Beit Hanasi 69

from memorials to celebrating independence,

so much happening in Jerusalem.