7 positive things in Jerusalem this week

Oh, what a year it has been in Jerusalem, Israel!

Oh, what a week it has been!

Where to start?

It’s been a year since Jerusalem’s Old City walls were lit with flags of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in honor of the Abraham Accords.

This week the first Israeli baby was born in UAE, Mia’s father is the Israeli General Consul in Dubai. Because of coronavirus normalization has not gone as fast as many would have liked.

Still waiting to show new Twitter friends the real Jerusalem streets when they are finally able to travel here.

Too many lights over the Jerusalem, Israel streets to see the meteor show, but we did have a clear view of the new moon, over the entrance to the city filled with construction cranes. Building and moving are major themes this week in and around Jerusalem.

New decorations keep popping up over the city center.

People have returned in large numbers to the outdoor spaces.

During the heat of the day, I try to stay off the streets. Jaffa Gate was not filled with the usual tourists, but a slow, steady stream of visitors.

Large gatherings are in danger of being canceled with the new COVID19 regulations and rising numbers of people sick with coronavirus.

However, small musical groups played along Ben Yehuda mall, with children and cats as part of the audience. When it gets so hot, the cats are smart enough to avoid the Jerusalem streets until late in the day.

At Zion Square, the renovated plaza with benches and shade, people appreciated having a place to sit under the newly colorfully decorated large trees.

The tours for Israelis who are not leaving for summer vacation, as usual, are popular and seen in many locations.

This tour group was in the area behind the King David Hotel.

Competing with a performance of Shakespeare in the Park. Theater in the Rough is back! Last year these annual outdoor events were not held.

This week the segway tours and dog walkers passed by on one side.

While from Bloomfield Park, one could also see the Tower of David where people flew by on a wire.

This year it’s Henry IV in Motion performed until the end of August.

This is the only Shakespeare group in the world acting with the wall of the Old City as background. An annual favorite on mine, more HERE

From Hansen House, the towering structure called Ester is still an impressive sight at night.

Lights lead into the former leper hospital from the main gate to the renovated new cultural venue.

I had not noticed these gravestones in the back garden before this week.

I assume that the lights and stands were set ready for one of the scenes of a theatrical performance taking place at Hansen House. With theaters closed so much of the past year, acting companies moved venues and outside.

The new Agam-designed mezuzah on Heichel Shlomo said to be the largest in the world, is easily seen from outside, but not so easy to photograph.

Not all construction work seems to have progressed this past year, it appears that the Knesset Museum still has a long way to go.

In the past year, Beit Avi Chai moved most of its programs online.

New corona warnings and rising numbers were announced this past week. While signs with Miriam Perez urging people to come to Jerusalem and enjoy the festivals and happenings are all around. Not elected Israeli President, she is donating money from her new modeling ad campaign to good causes.

Meanwhile, if the people who are walking on the Jerusalem streets look up from their phones, they will see that there are flowers blooming all along the streets.

There are these new lights near the Prime Minister’s residence to light up the night at the entrance to Balfour Street.

The month of August is half over, and it’s summer holiday time.

However, the big question is whether all schools will open on time.

No one really knows what will be next, but if you want to see the latest Corona regulations updated from Prime Minister’s office I posted HERE

New Rosh Hashanah art posters are up along the streets.

Hard to believe the year 5781 is almost over. Oh, what a year it was!

It’s the count-down time to the holidays. Selihot services and various selihot tours have been announced, too many to mention. No idea where we will be praying this year.

But for the first time in over a year, we had family for Shabbat dinner. Plus I was ready with some of it in time for a photo, chicken was still in the oven.

Oh, what a week it was!

What will happen next on the Jerusalem streets?

11 Ways to Enjoy August in Jerusalem

I wonder if everyone slowed down this past week during the heatwave.

Days were so hot in the blazing sun, all I wanted to do was hide in the air-conditioned room and stay off the Jerusalem streets.

But it’s Rosh Chodesh Elul today and the weather person on the radio announced it should cool down to “regular” hot for the week ahead.

Season after season, there are some Jerusalem streets, no matter the hour, I want to stroll and share with you, like this one in Yemin Moshe.

It is fascinating that the new steps look the same after a major repair.

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New sections of King David Street renovations are challenging — they not only surprise drivers but also pedestrians.

The first section of King David Street’s renovation between the YMCA and the King David Hotel is passable now.

The new street is made to look old.

The classic view of the King David Hotel lit up at night – always impressive.

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Summer vacation and people are walking and shopping in Mamilla Mall.

Tourists are enjoying the view from the Montefiore Windmill Promenade. Groups are back on those Segway tours again.

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On hot summer days, the fountain in Teddy Park has been a favorite.

But on this warm summer night, the water was off in the Lions’ Fountain.

Israel has long been known as the land of milk and honey.

This summer at Jerusalem’s Islamic Museum, however, it’s all about coffee.

On a hot summer day, the extensive exhibit offers a good way to keep cool. Who knew of a coffee cup to protect your mustache?

We watched the preparations for the show to open with art,

and artifacts collected from around the world,

an impressive variety of items and displays.

All this is from the small beans originating from Ethiopia.

Not sure that young children would appreciate the rooms of coffee paraphernalia, but there is fascinating historical information on a display that took decades to curate.

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, BLMJ, is also back with a new exhibit.

BIRDS from ancient sources is new in the temporary exhibition hall where YEMEN was last shown. Another extensive collection of valuable ancient relics with detailed explanations, but not recommended for young children.

However, outside on the BLMJ grounds, the site has been developed for children to learn about birds – in a fun and creative manner. Inside this structure, there are multiple activities for children. The bench outside is good for tired adults who are sharing the experience. Early in the day or at sunset are the best times to view live birds.

A flutist was performing for the gala opening event I attended.

The viewing slots are placed at various heights to accommodate multiple museum guests. Remember on one side of Israel is the ocean and the other the desert, so birds appreciate the Jerusalem landscapes and cooler temperatures just as humans do.

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Here is the new Ice Skating rink at First Station. I appreciated the cooler temperature inside the tented area one warm evening. However, it has gotten mixed reviews. The intense heat was not good for the ice. So go early before you find unwanted pools of water.

More of those bikes to rent are ready at stands, but no helmets.

I have not seen any on the road, but I have seen plenty of rental cars. Beware this time of year when drivers new to Jerusalem streets are making dangerous U-turns after making a wrong turn.

Want to get a view above and over the Jerusalem streets?

The Tower of David has the new option to fly high from the Citadel.

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The Jerusalem campaign to lure Israelis to Jerusalem for the summer holiday days features Miriam Peretz in video and print ads, here she is smiling on a Jerusalem street ad sign.

Not sure where to go and what to do? Tour guides are waiting to help you explore attractions.

The Jerusalem Film Festival will be back later in August. The municipality will show outdoor movie screenings in the city center. The Moonlight Cinema Project is to run all August on weeknights…and there’s more – it would be too long to add all the musical events for youth.

But it’s time to start training for the Night Run, August 29, 2021.

I hope we are finally returning to life in Jerusalem, Israel.

Shakespeare is back in Bloomfield Gardens! Friends at Theater in the Rough are performing – Henry IV in Motion. You have 9 chances to share in the fun and adventure – August 11, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, and 24, 2021.

Will we see you all soon on the Jerusalem streets for these events?

Shavuah Tov and Chodesh Tov wherever you are, take care and say well.

Jerusalem Streets Summer Scenes

Summer is here in Jerusalem, Israel.

Love it when the weather person announces “hotter than usual.” It’s that time when it is good to stay off the Jerusalem streets during the day.

Some scenes are still consistently good like at Jaffa Gate.

Zahal Square is pretty much the same when the Light Rail trains are not going around the corner.

The new Superbuses are out and running a new route around the Old City. Egged green buses no longer have the monopoly on the Jerusalem streets.

There are bikes to rent at 25 docking stations at key Jerusalem locations –another new means of transportation, not all are blue, some are yellow.

The King David Street renovation goes on, constantly changing, and frustrates drivers, even those who thought they were familiar with the Jerusalem streets.

The residents near Paris Fountain who thought that with the anti-government protesters gone they would have some quiet now found out they were wrong.

The digging in France Square extended into the street, closing lanes and backing up traffic. This is always one of the noisy locations during the summer as visitors try to figure out which lane they should be in and the drivers behind are not patient.

Oh and the Gan HaSoos, Horse Park renovation!

The question this summer – “Is there one Jerusalem street not under construction?”

At least in some locations, you can get a history lesson as you sit in traffic.

New bus lines mean new bus station signs.

And new night bus lines are running late hours. Good – the city is planning ohel, late-night locations for teens to hang out.

Been out of Jerusalem to Gush Etzion lately?

The second tunnel is well underway to change and improve driving to and from Jerusalem on Route #60.

Tourists are here. Jerusalem hotels are back in business.

Some hotels have new names to learn and new owners.

Tourists will find new street installations, adding color over the streets off of Ben Yehuda.

Colorful kites are flying high nearby.

A major project by women of Jerusalem is to decorate all the trees in Zion Square, and it is attracting attention.

Two children were fortunate enough to find time to enjoy the cooling mist at the off Jaffa Road location.

On Ben Yehuda, stores are trying to attract roaming tour groups.

Kikar Safra, Safra Square, was setting up for the annual basketball event.

However, I found the new exhibition on the walls much more interesting.

The Lonka Project includes 360 survivors’ portraits from 35 countries. Each unique brilliantly done image is accompanied by a short biography. 

I was impressed to see a former neighbor and friend’s photo on the wall.

Oh, the stories! In 1942, Helen Brashatsky was born in Auschwitz. A Christian doctor sheltered her and her mother. After the war, they came to Mandatory Palestine, where she married Muhammed Jabarin, converted to Islam, and changed her name to Leila. Only after she registered as a Holocaust survivor did she tell her 8 children and 30 grandchildren.

Sonia Kam and her sister were born in Germany and separated during the war. Never could they have imagined that years later a close relative would be the Israeli ambassador to Germany.

Music from the Liberty Bell Park, the Israel Museum, and the Mekudeshet Festival on the Sherover Plaza on the Tayelet will fill the Jerusalem streets.

Also music at the Jerusalem Theater and Yellow Submarine, and Outline Festival is back again this week in Jerusalem.

The International Arts and Crafts Fair is to return to Mitchell Garden and the Sultan’s Pool with have major musical performers each night.

Going almost 24/7, Shabbat-friendly activities for kids at First Station to Shakespeare in the Park in August, day or night, something is happening on the Jerusalem streets this summer.

And if it gets too hot outside, it’s a good time to stay inside and watch the Israelis perform at the Olympics.