In the United States March Madness means the college basketball championship playoffs.
In Jerusalem, Israel, March Madness has a very different meaning.
First there is the weather, which is constantly changing and so hard to predict.
This year with heavy rainfalls, low lying areas are full of water days after a storm.
Outdoor activities have to be re-planned. One rainy afternoon we went to the Israel Museum.
Loved the sunset view from inside the museum.
March madness means Purim is coming, with costumes, treats of sweets, and parties galore.
Special Megillot Esther, scrolls with the story of Purim, are on display in the museum.
Of many sizes, from small to this large illuminated one, both of these stand out in the collection.
This case contains special noise makers that are used to block out the name of Haman as Megillat Esther is read at night and again in the morning of Purim.
Across the corridor from these noise makers and the Jewish holiday collections is a special exhibit on Rambam, Maimonides.
Thirteen handwritten, works of the Rambam are displayed in a dark room, in special cases, including this one from Germany, from 1355-56, written in ink, with tempre and gold leaf.
From the early 1300’s, a handwritten Guide of the Perplexed, also illustrated.
The Kaufmann Mishnah Torah, dated 1295-96, is also in the impressive collection.
From the calm of the Israel Museum, back to madness.
It is impossible to keep up with the number of international conferences.
Over 18,000 people from 183 countries were registered for Jerusalem innovation conference Our Crowd. The crowded halls and spaces of the Jerusalem International Conference Center were at times packed with people moving from speaker to event. The room for the panel on cannabis was closed after capacity was reached. The lines for Beyond Burger, a plant meat substitute, were just mad, hard to believe how long people waited while other food stations had no lines. I ate waffles, never got a bite of burger. More photos HERE
State Comptrollers from Europe and Asia are meeting at an official gathering this week in Jerusalem. A delegation visited Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence and received a brief tour of the gardens and its history before meeting with President Rivlin.
The Innovative TV Conference (intv) brought television executives from around the world to Jerusalem for two days at the YMCA on King David Street.
Overlapping for its first day with intv, the DIGITELL19, also was at the YMCA, before taking off to Mitzpe Ramon in the south, and then going to Tel Aviv.
One of the sessions at YMCA for DIGITELL19 was ‘Xtream Marketing’ presented by SodaStream’s Matti Yahav, Chief Marketing Officer. The conference sponsored by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs brought an international group of pro-Israel social activists together. I only took a few photos. The “secret sauce” for SodaStream, the 4 ‘Ps’ is here, but some of participants were also a secret, so I only posted a few on Facebook HERE.
Most of the conferences do not involve the real streets. However, the upcoming Israeli election is hard to avoid. A visit to the Israeli Elections Committee Logistic Center was interesting.
As messages from various political parties invade our phones and homes, in this building in Modiin Industrial Park in Shoham, the boxes for election polling stations are being packed.
Each box has everything down to the paper clips counted out and sealed. Work goes on 24/6 to be ready to deliver before the April election day.
Notice the new boxes being made to accommodate the 46 political parties, plus one blank ballot for a write-in option.
After the election 250 tons of paper will be recycled. No politics here, just posting the logistical madness.
If you are interested in knowing more about the various parties, their names, ages and positions.. check out a clever voting guide – HERE
But, before Purim, before elections….
The Jerusalem Winner Marathon is running on March 15th!
Runners are training on the streets. Landscaping and paving along route is going at a mad pace to finish before the 40,000 runners from 80 countries start to line up at 6:45 am.
Jerusalem schools are closed. Museums in the area are closed on Friday, as they are near the starting point of the marathon.
The Bloomfield Science Museum is closed on Friday for marathon, but in honor of PI day, on Thursday afternoon, is open and free.
Marathon direction signs are posted along the routes where Jerusalem streets will be closed from 5:00 am until after 1:00 pm.
March Madness Jerusalem style gets really going after the marathon.
For Purim one never knows what or who one will find on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.
This year the city has a long list of events planned all week.
The day Purim is over, the Passover marathon begins, from March Madness to Passover Panic.
Where to go and what to do with so much happening Jerusalem streets!?