A simple greeting this week, wishing all a restful Shabbat.
Oh how many times have I said, “Timing is everything!”
The Prime Minister is in Tel Aviv giving his innovation speech to a Cybersecurity conference. I think I know most of it by heart, especially his example of agritech, where Israeli drones can water one thirsty plant out in the field.
In Jerusalem, Israel, conferences on health, society, and more are filling numerous hotels.
Last week Security Minister Gilad Erdan hosted international leaders in a Homeland Security Forum at the Orient Hotel.
What a difference a week makes! I had to research the US delegation head last week.
Minister Gilad Erdan listened as head of US Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen spoke.
I would bet she enjoyed the Israeli conference much more than being chased by protesters from a Mexican restaurant last night in DC .
Besides hundreds of police officers and international officials, the heads of Israel security also attended.
Sorry some slides are top secret, but I thought this one was interesting and shareable.
Room #2 was off limits. But these three 3-d copying machines were going strong for all to see.
Israel President Reuven Rivlin attended, spoke for a few minutes, and was on his way in no time.
Shame he missed getting one of these key chain holders made by the copying machines.
They tell me 3-d chocolates are next. Now that is something worth waiting for.
On the topic of timing and waiting, there are two very short videos clips I have been waiting to share.
Student robotics champions were at Beit Hanasi, the Israel President’s residence, in the room to greet official dignitaries, to demonstrate their winning entry.
Oh dear, that is me trying to be quiet and not succeeding.
A demonstration of how a few tense seconds, less than a minute, can feel so long.
But there you have it, after a bit of delay, the robot threw the ball as intended.
Tense? Time for international yoga week.
For those who cannot read Hebrew, the orange sign in the middle announces that it is Yoga week from June 17-22.
The Big Dream poster on the left is a special event in honor of International Yoga Day, with music and decorated yoga mats in Hinnom Park near the Old City walls.
Another one of those “you never know what you will find next” on Jerusalem streets.
Innovation and tech. The big deal tonight is at WeWork Creator awards in the Arena. From the 1300 videos entered into a competition, 10 finalists will be on stage to present to thousands of participants coming by free shuttles from around the country for food, entertainment and more. Perhaps next week I will share my video.
Out on the streets, one simple pleasure.
Appreciating the simple things, new white lines have been painted to make pedestrian crossing a lot safer at this busy corner.
White crossing lines painted so all can see the crossing: How many times have cars zoomed past recently as I waited to cross.
Smoke and dust filled the air at this planned building demolition. Old Jerusalem buildings are coming down to make way for new towers to be built near entrance of the city.
Still waiting for the fast train to Tel Aviv.
However, construction goes on…and on.
As always, something new is happening on the Jerusalem streets.
Another incredible week in Jerusalem, Israel, as tens of thousands filled hotels and their buses made their way through the Jerusalem streets.
The Unity Prizes were awarded at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence. With the Gesher Foundation and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, the Fraenkel, Ifrach and Shaar families initiated these awards four years ago.
The families of the three murdered teens Eyal, Yifrach, and Naftali z”l wanted to find a meaningful way to express their appreciation for the unity and support they felt during those difficult days.
The program was held in the main hall and included music and entertainment, with the families and prize winners filling the room.
Boca Florida won a prize for Jewish Engagement, unity in Jewish education. Representatives from Florida came to Jerusalem to receive their award.
Other winners were Runners without Borders, TEC Center, Koolulam, and a special Global life achievement went to Birthright.
Three video clips were included in last week’s Shabbat Shalom greeting. They can be seen HERE.
Soon after I left Beit Hanasi, there was another event in the gardens of OneFamily.
Photo ops with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani were popular that night.
Giuliani was mayor at the time of September 11 terror attack. He spoke of dealing with victims of terror in the aftermath and emphasized the good and important work of OneFamily helping victims of terror in Israel.
Not all of his remarks would be considered politically correct, but here is one short clip on Arafat and the PLO.
Beit Hanasi, as usual, was a busy place all week. The presidential gardens were ready for numerous international guests.
The leadership of American Jewish Committee (AJC) lined up so politely to enter. Should I confess that I smiled and went in the other door to bypass the line?
At AJC closing plenary, one of the many faces of Israel, Ahlam Alsana, stressed the importance of education in her remarks.
For locals, it was the annual Shavuah Hasefer, Hebrew Book Week, again held in First Station. As every year, thousands of volumes were for sale, attracting young and old.
A volunteer student theater group performed as families gathered before the entry gate opened.
After their performance, confetti covered the ground and the actor/painter was back at his easel at work.
Another “you never know what you will find” scene for sure.
You never know what you will find at those end of school year performances filling schedules in June. Mega events, with professional staging and lights, lasting well into the night – for elementary school. Interesting, as college graduations in Israel are so low key compared to US.
The new Orient Hotel was the scene of a gala dinner celebrating the 80th year of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz and Steinsaltz Center contribution to education.
What other dinner gala featured a wall of impressive books, under the authorship of one person?
Rabbi Steinsaltz was escorted into the full banquet hall by his son and grandson.
Popular singer Avraham Fried gave a powerful performance.
The key note speaker was Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who spoke about power and knowledge.
To end with some inspiration, take two minutes and listen to a brief clip from his insightful remarks.
So much is happening in Jerusalem.
Israel Festival has ended. Jerusalem Design Week has begun.
Then on June 27, begins another week of the annual Light Festival in the Old City.
But for this week if there was one overshadowing theme, it was that education is the key.
Education should be everyone’s birthright, not only the privileged.
Am Yisrael Chai.