Back on the Jerusalem Streets

Eight years?

It has been eight years since I left Israel to go overseas. I, too, was one of the millions who decided it was time to travel again. It was good to go to the US for a happy occasion and see so many relatives and friends again.

However, I was even happier arriving safely back at Ben Gurion Airport.

Back on the Jerusalem streets in time to see President Herzog depart to the Kingdom of Bahrain, to be the first Israeli head of state to visit Bahrain, on a State Visit at the invitation of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Oh, the things I saw in America during the shopping sale days

before Thanksgiving and Black Friday crowds.

Glitter and glitz and gifts galore, “Let it glow” next to “Mint to be” caught my eye in one of the bigger stores with endless merchandise.

While back on the Jerusalem streets, the new orange recycling bins are out.

Though with the World Cup Mondiale going on in Qatar – football or soccer – was much more important in many homes and on the Jerusalem streets.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Capture-1024x421.png

Plenty of Israeli flags and late-night youth events as “Chodesh Irgun” came to a close, a month of intense youth group activities kept families busy.

On a walk in the midday sunshine after a long flight and being away, I stopped to read all the new posters for some of the upcoming events.

Hanukkah is in two weeks and the preparations are underway.

In celebration of India’s 75th anniversary as an independent state, the Israel Museum is holding a new display, Body of Faith: Sculpture from the National Museum of India.

There is a ride available, but I like the long walk to enter the Museum.

There was Indian music at the opening night reception.

Kosher wine was served, with the kosher Indian food, which went too fast for me to get a photograph, but I was able to grab a few items to taste.

Celebrating India’s art and independence, President Isaac Herzog spoke to

the assembled guests in the museum’s theater auditorium.

The Ambassador of India, Mr. Sanjeev Singla, also spoke at the opening of the new display at the Israel Museum.

The Indian dancers who performed during the program posed near the exhibition upstairs as the exhibit was officially opened.

Going up the stairs quickly, I was able to get a photograph of the main room before it became crowded with visitors.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Israel-Museum-India-084-1024x768.jpg

Entitled, Body of Faith, Sculpture from the National Museum in India, these rare pieces exemplify ancient religious art.

“Shiva as the Lord of Dance” Tamil Nadu, Southern India, Chola dynasty, (ca.300 BCE-1279) 12th-century bronze piece is on loan from the National Museum in New Delhi.

Fourteen of these historic pieces are seen in Israel for the first time in this important diplomatic and cultural exchange.

India is celebrating 75 years as an established state. Israel’s 75th is coming up soon. There are many important partnerships.

Walking away from the upper floor of the Israel Museum on such a beautiful night I had to stop and take some photos.

As I walked outside down the stairs, marveling how others were missing the spectacular sights, but happy not to have them in my photos.

The Israel Museum any night is lovely and it was good to be home.

Then I noticed the dome of the Shrine of Book was lit purple, one of the Israeli sites marking International Day of Disabled People (IDDP), a global event to promote inclusion and advocate for the rights of disabled people.

Good to be back on the Jerusalem streets. But hoping to see the Jerusalem streets more inclusive. While the Old City is now wheelchair accessible, the elevator is still in the future. We still have a long way to go. I hope you can see for yourself soon.

Jerusalem in Autumn Colors

While I miss the colorful autumn leaves from the North Eastern United States, it was a very colorful week in Jerusalem.

Different colors, such as the colorful wedding we attended to start the week.

Occasionally an interesting leaf appears on a Jerusalem street.

But it was the bright yellow of the blooming flowers

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Beit-Hanasi-election-005-2-1024x739.jpg

and newly planted Jerusalem flower beds that really got my attention.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Silo-025-2-1024x685.jpg

Under a bright blue sky with white clouds, Jerusalem was full of color.

The Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor was awarded to President Nicos Anastasiades of the Republic of Cyprus at Beit Hanasi by President Herzog.

During the ceremony, the colorful flowers outside the window distracted me and caught my attention.

But I put together a short video if you want to see more of the event.

Not only are there new colors in the smaller receiving room,

but new colorful Jerusalem artwork is displayed on the walls.

A few hours after the Medal of Honor ceremony the furniture was rearranged in order to receive the representatives of the political parties to recommend a candidate to form the new government.

As in the recent past, the President’s discussions were broadcast live.

The procedure began with Likud, the party with the most votes.

The media has the same view on screens from a reception space off the main room, however, I decided to go to see what was happening.

Here a TV news person reported in Arabic as the Noam party finished their turn with a recommendation to the President.

I waited to see the United Arab List (Ra’am) delegation comprising Mansour Abbas MK, Yasser Hajirat MK-elect, and Iman Khatib-Yasin MK arrive on the red carpet to tell the President they would not make a recommendation.

I did not stay around to see if they made a comment after or were followed out by journalists for comment as I saw for the Noam members.

The media was out in full when President Isaac Herzog assigned the task of forming a government to Benjamin Netanyahu MK at the President’s Residence today. So glad I got a front-row seat and was not standing on a chair in the back of the crowded room.

But more was happening this week than election news.

How appropriate that a book launch for “A Banker’s Journey: How Edmond J. Safra built a global financial empire” was held at the Israel Museum.

The Museum Theater where author Daniel Gross spoke with journalist Matti Friedman was next to the Edmond and Lily Safra Art Wing.

Colorful posters line some Jerusalem streets announcing events and festivals, like the Tower of David’s ZEROline II 1/2 on November 11-13.

Then there is the Israel Music Showcase Festival on November 22-27 and more, such as The Train Theater conference to begin on International Children’s Day on November 20, entitled, “How a child writes.”

Just when I thought I had finally found a place to enjoy a bit of fall color,

further down the path were big blue signs blocking the way.

Oh, the Jerusalem streets! Fix them and then tear them up again?

But to end with one piece of good construction news,

New tunnel on Route 60 to Gush Etzion

remember the Summer street scenes of the tunnel to Gush Etzion?

It was reported that one of the new tunnels is ready to open this week.

Perhaps some of the traffic backed up coming off of new Route #16 we ease up with the traffic flowing better out of Jerusalem.

It has mostly been warm during the day, so the leaves in Liberty Bell Park are still full and green. Love the Jerusalem colors as winter approaches.

It may not feel like it, but it’s time to plan for Hanukah, only 5 weeks away!

New this year is a Hanukkah tour of Nachlaot starting with donuts.

Or for those interested in a Jerusalem walking tour without the calories to see the colors of the real Jerusalem streets and lights check HERE

Snow and Light in Jerusalem


Snow in Jerusalem, Israel.

What is it about snow in Jerusalem that gets the world’s attention?

Wednesday night a blanket of white covered the Jerusalem streets.

After flurries during the day, the snow came down rapidly after dark.

Palm trees sagged under the weight of inches of snow.

I gave up trying to get clear images of people who were out walking.

The streets were full of sounds of excited children, many seeing snow for the first time, who ran out to play in the streets.

Thursday morning a significant amount remained, though not like my memories of snow storms in the northeastern US, and not as much as in Jerusalem in 2013.

But more than enough snow for the Middle East, and the cactus plant.

Friday piles of snow remained, this one in the park much to the delight of two little boys, was much prettier than the grey stuff left behind along the major streets.

What an upside-down week of weather in Jerusalem!

The beginning of the week it was warm enough to walk barefoot.

Young families still with no school could hike in the sunshine.

Spring flowers were popping up in nature areas.

The almond blossoms were out and already beginning to fall off the trees.

Work was proceeding on the roof of the new National Library.

It was a great time for letting the dogs out for a walk.

On the Knesset snow photo taken as the fog cleared, I noticed strange black things on top on the roof?

And along Hazaz Street, more lighting equipment was set up last week.

It’s for “Follow the Lights!” – February 21- March 3rd.

Special illuminated Jerusalem sites are planned to be viewed from moving vehicles. The huge projectors were placed along the road last week in preparation and I was told not damaged by the snow.

Get ready to follow the lights!

Will have to go and see if this is how it really will look tonight.

Most of the lighted sites are located where I usually walk.

The setup at the Israel Museum today was extensive.

Large structures are in place to be viewed from private cars.

Will see if everyone driving the route thru the Israel Museum parking lot really stays in their cars as instructed?

Near the Israel Museum, these bicycles line the bike path off the road across from the Knesset. Now they should be interesting lit up at night.

The snow was pretty while it lasted. But now it has melted.

Schools and malls and businesses are reopening. President Rivlin is to attend the Kahn Theater tonight to mark its reopening. The Prime Minister is headed to Eliat where hotels are to open.

The poppies were out again in Jerusalem in the sunlight.

Hopefully signs of spring and hope for a better year ahead.

Purim starts on Thursday, February 25th this year.

For one way to get into the Purim mode and mood, Tower of David has a program on Wednesday night.

Jerusalem Municipality neighborhood events are from February 22-28, not only Triple Purim – but a week, even though some coronavirus restrictions are still in place.

Dozens of Megilat Esther readings sponsored by various groups will be held. Already last year I avoided the large synagogue megillah reading for a small one, and downsized the holiday.

Hopefully next Purim we will all be back joyfully celebrating on the Jerusalem streets. But for now, you can come and enjoy the light shows.