7 Things That Happened in Jerusalem this Week

With headlines full of controversy, negativity, and protests, you may have missed the positive things that happened in Jerusalem this week.

I have been trying to get a rainbow photo for so many years. Finally, on Thursday afternoon, it was starting to rain as I was ready to walk home.

I called my husband to give me a ride.

But a rainbow was forming in front of me. I hung up on him as fast as possible and captured the fleeting moment of the full rainbow.

A light, brief shower like that is called tif tuf in Hebrew and stopped in a couple of minutes, so I did walk home.

But I was obsessed enough to use the image for a Shabbat Shalom post.

While construction and building are hot topics again, the week was also filled with events you might have missed hearing about.

Starting on Sunday morning with Living Financially Smarter in Israel 2023.

Rifka Lebowitz started the private Facebook group 13 years ago and it has grown to over 36,000 members.

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Their first conference held at and with Nefesh Be’Nefesh was sold out early.

Amazing how many people stayed until the end of the long day to learn and ask questions. Knowing how to manage your finances is important for a successful aliyah.

In Cinema City, Yad L’Olim has opened a special shop for Ukrainian refugees to assist them in their getting established since many fled without many essentials.

Inside the Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence had a busy week.

I wonder what Herzl would say about the current situation.

“The foundations of Israeli democracy, including the justice system, are sacred and we must strictly safeguard them, even at a time of fundamental arguments and debates about the relationship between the different branches of government,” stated President Isaac Herzog in an official statement issued on Sunday morning after rallies in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

On Tuesday at Beit Hanasi, the new Education Minister and others joined with the head of the Jewish Agency and the President to acknowledge 30 years of the educational program Naale.

There were representatives from each one of the 30 years of the program’s existence, designed for students who come to Israel on their own for high school.

After the official program inside, the President posed with people who stood in line for the photo opportunity.

After the full morning of ceremonies receiving the credentials of five new Ambassadors to Israel on Wednesday, the Herzogs posed with the members of the Honor Guard after the last of the diplomatic limousines departed for the King David Hotel reception.

Instead of photos from the five-hour-long ceremony, I made an eight-minute video to share a bit of behind-the-scenes.

Hansen House hosted 58 artists for the InPrint ART BOOK FAIR from January 11 – 13, 2023.

Love how the old leper hospital is full of life now with art, science, and technology events.

Yes, positive things are happening on Jerusalem streets.

Come and see for yourself or for your group book a virtual tour.

Jerusalem Conferences and Festivals Returning

In Jerusalem, Israel, where to begin RJS this week is a problem.

Today is September 11th.

September 11 memorial flame off main road to Jerusalem

The day we remember 9/11 – September 2001 when terrorists hijacked jetliners, and crashed into the financial World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, the heart of the US military, murdering thousands of innocents.

Jerusalem memorial to victims of September 11 flowers placed on names of murdered.

On September 11, 2018 – we had a different US Ambassador in Israel, but the Israeli 9/11 Memorial off the main road to Jerusalem, with all the names of the victims of terror, is there 24/7.

Jerusalem is changing. Buildings are to come down and go up higher.

The traffic back-ups. Near the entrance of Jerusalem, the road changes and heavy equipment, always something new to confuse drivers.

But this week outside, and inside the Jerusalem International Convention Center, one could find earth-moving equipment.

AGROMASHOV, Israel’s Largest Agricultural Conference, and CLEANTECH, two international conferences & exhibitions were held in Jerusalem, Israel, on September 5-6, 2022.

Israeli agriculture displays included watermelon of course!

Solar technology was also on display in the large hall.

One area featured the use of sabra cactus as food. The Ambassadors and Embassy representatives heard about various ways to use the fruit on their guided tour of the exhibits.

Angola was not the only African country in Jerusalem for the exhibition. I met a man who came from Nigeria that day who flew in specially for the conference.

I did not hear who won the cherry tomato competition.

But can tell you that 10% alcohol sabra cream was way too strong for me.

With the end of summer, school is back in session, a new bicycle tunnel opened, and Jerusalem festivals have returned to fill the days, nights, and streets.

For the first time, the Hansen House hosted a contemporary dance festival with solo works by choreographers from Israel and overseas. The new Jerusalem International Dance Festival included master classes and discussion panels.

The Takhana Rishona, First Station, is busy with food and entertainment.

At First Station, one can always find something new. I have no idea what this young woman was recording one night near the carousel.

At Teddy Park, the moon was full over the Old City walls and the fountain was on, but people were only passing by, headed to the Sultan’s Pool.

Thousands of concertgoers were headed to their seats at the Sultan’s Pool for the Shlomo Artzi concert.

The mega concerts and Jerusalem festivals have returned to the Jerusalem streets, and after two years, people are happy to be out again.

The Manofim Jerusalem Contemporary Art Festival joins the September Israel Festival in Jerusalem with unusual cultural options.

The postponed Woodstock Fest at Silo, near First Station, off the large parking lot, is set for September 15, 2022.

Plus, Emunah Jerusalem’s first Ethiopian Israeli Cultural Festival Featuring traditional Cuisine; Art; Theater; Drum Workshop and circle; Basket Weaving; Dance; Film, and more, is also at the Silo Cafe, on September 29th, from 4:30 – 8:30 pm.

A Green Inside and Out Festival will be held on the grounds of the Bloomfield Science Museum from September 14-16.

It’s hard to know what to do first!

End of summer clouds covered the Jerusalem streets this week,

and the setting sun setting added impressive colors to the Jerusalem streets, a reminder that the holidays are approaching.

Rosh Hashana, the New Year Selihot crowds have started to gather at the Kotel, Western Wall after midnight. Culminating, October 3, 2022, before Yom Kippur with what should be a huge attendance.

Hope to see you here soon.

New Year New Start

Oh, what a year 2021 was in Jerusalem, Israel, and around the world.

Jerusalem Jaffa Gate should have been filled with visitors this past week. However, it was quiet enough for these young people to film a video.

In Mamilla Mall people were waiting to be checked to enter a store, not for weapons but for a corona-mandated green pass.

As most people can only dream of flying off to Paris for this holiday, a cosmetic company brought the Eifel Tower to Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall.

We did have some magnificent sunsets to say bye-bye to 2021.

Much of the past year is a one with a time blur, one day running into another. But I can remember where I was standing and who I was speaking with on the phone so many, many years ago when my young son walked in and saw him wearing an IDF uniform for the first time.

“Warrior” / “לוחמת” a new exhibit in memory of Hadas Malka HY’D opened at the Friends of Zion Museum on December 28, 2021.

Hadas Malka, 23, of Moshav Givat Ezer in central Israel, died of wounds sustained in a terrorist attack on June 16, 2017, 22 Sivan 5777, outside the Old City at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate where she was on guard duty.

The exhibit was initiated by her parents David and Geula Malka to illuminate her character, known for diligence and accomplishments.

 Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, former Ambassador Michael Oren, leaders of the Israeli Police, and Border Police joined the Malka family. 

The opening event included speeches to the seated dignitaries and officers.

“If we don’t protect Jerusalem, there will be no State,” was projected on the screen as the Mayor spoke.

Yes, and also we remember the relief when the army service finally came to an end, very different from the Malka family.

Another Jerusalem event held at the Vert Hotel the last week of 2021, celebrated the vision and legacy of the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky. 

The first panel was led by Yifat Erlich, on opportunities for young Olim in Jerusalem 2021. Included were successful immigrants Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and Irina Reider. Plus, Yossi Tsuria, CEO of Hilma – Hitech for Society and Security, which includes Carmel 6000, whose programs encourage advanced tech training. Modern chaluztim, today’s young pioneers given a start in very different fields.

The hotel ballroom was filled. People were repeatedly asked to wear masks.

Oh 2021, what a year it was in Jerusalem! I wondered if that would be the last large event – for how long?

As mentioned before, Hansen House has changed so much over the past 10 years, going from an abandoned desolate shell to a site of culture and tech.

At night after a rain delay, ZER0|1NE the hybrid digital art festival took place exploring the connection between art, technology, myth, and magic.  

ZER0|1NEin 2021 aimed to examine the place of technologies and applications with hybrid programming, live and online zoom options.

“Slowly we are beginning to see the community of digital artists blossoming in Israel, and we are excited to give a platform and place to those artists. We hope to grow from year to year and to expand the stage for other artists, and more original productions, while deepening the connection between the creative world and the technological world here in Israel” stated Danielle Zini one of the artistic directors.

The open courtyard design of Conrad Shick’s Hansen House so long ago home for lepers, the venue for corona events looking toward the future.

Paris Fountain in France Square is one of the hundreds of Jerusalem constructions sites unfinished in 2021, a new sign says May 2022 it will be finished.

Another sign near the full 10th Jerusalem Marathon finish line is a favorite and is still up from the event held in October. Only 200 meters to go!

For those of us who made it through 2021, here’s hoping the year ahead is a good and healthy one. Well done!

Instead of recounting the past year as many are doing, I decided to only review the unique events of the past week.

These signs have been posted over Jerusalem streets. Even though many students are presently back on Zoom school, it’s time to register for next year’s places in nursery and elementary schools.

It’s time to look to the future, to a better and hopefully healthier 2022.

Still hoping to see you on the Jerusalem streets- and soon!