International Women’s Day in Jerusalem

International Women’s Day in Jerusalem

Oh, how some things have changed over the years.

When did you first hear of International Women’s Day?

Back in 2011, International Women’s Day coincided with Israel Apartheid Week.

Israeli Apartheid? was the blog posted in honor of women in Jerusalem.

In spite of coronavirus – COVID-19, this year I have been to multiple events featuring Israeli women doing amazing things.

Hebrew sign for International Women's Day in Jerusalem Israel

Signs for International Women’s Day (IWD) appeared. In Jerusalem, not only March 8, 2020, is to be celebrated, but events are planned for the entire month of March.

Finish line for Jerusalem Winner Marathon placed before race was postponed

The Jerusalem Marathon 2020 finish line was up near Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

Gan Sacher Park in Jerusalem Israel

The construction in the park was nearing completion.

However, the March 20 marathon races have been postponed until October.

IWD events did not involve a large number of international participants and were held, though perhaps with fewer attendees than would have been expected.

United Hatzalah of Israel inaugurated Israel’s first pink ambulance with a specific mission to treat women.

Inside of United Hatzalah pink ambulance
Photo credit: United Hatzalah

The ambulance will be operated by a crew of female volunteer EMTs and paramedics. It will respond to any type of medical emergency but will prioritize responding to incidents in which there are female patients.

Women volunteers of United Hatzalah pose for group photograpn
Photo credit: United Hatzalah

Female volunteers of United Hatzalah posed recently for a photograph.

United Hatzalah volunteers at Herzl Conference

At the Herzl Conference held at Har Herzl, I had a chance to speak with the United Hatzalah volunteers on duty watching for any sign of trouble.

Aliza Lavie at Herzl Conference opening evening.

Educator and Author Dr. Aliza Lavie, who served in the Knesset from 2013-2019, now heads the Herzl Center.

President Reuven Rivlin, Herzl impersonator, and Aliza Lavie

At the Herzl Conference on Zionism, President Reuven Rivlin participated, as did former US Senator Joe Liberman. A Theodor Herzl impersonator was on hand for photographs.

Sun set over Har Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem Israel

At Har Herzl on Wednesday night at sunset, we heard stories of women who fell in the establishment in the modern state of Israel as we toured the cemetery.

Presenters on International Women's Day at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem Israel

However, the main event was inside the education center to hear from seven women about their strong Zionistic visions and accomplishments, each with a unique story, Women. Leadership. Zionism.

Standing (r to l) Dr. Lavie, Shoshana Keats-Jaskoll, Olga Israel, Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoun; Seated Bat-El Papura, Emily Winkler, and Naava Shafner.

Each of the speakers could be more than one story, but there were other IWD events.

International Women's Day posters at Jerusalem Cinematheque

At the Jerusalem Cinematheque posters of women lined the walls.

March 3-5, in honor of IWD, lawyer, producer Paula Kweskin Weiss hosted a film festival at the Cinematheque featuring women.  Founding The 49% media production company with the intent to feature women, this festival’s theme – women’s storytelling as an act of courage.

Peta Pellach moderates panel at The 49% Festival at Jerusalem Cinematheque

The last night of The 49% Film Festival  Kiverstein Institute sponsored a documentary film on Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom. After the film, the director, as well as Fleur Hassan-Nahoun, participated in a panel discussion of women in politics led by Peta Pellach.

Female agriculture students working in fields before establishment of Israel

Women were trained to work in agriculture, as seen in a screenshot from a 1934 archival film. 

Jerusalem Israel new buildings planned for Beit Alliance building site

Today in Jerusalem women are involved in startups and hitech. At the old Beit Alliance Building, with a new sign announcing future housing towers, there was another IWD event on Sunday morning.

CEO Miriam Schwab and MassChallenge Yonit Serkin

International Women’s Day: Fundraising as a female founder was the topic of the MassChallenge Israel sponsored program. Miriam Schwab (on the left) shared her experiences of the founding of her WordPress startup Strattic to a mostly female audience. Yonit Golub Serkin, Managing Director of MassChallenge Israel, moderated.

In the startup world, organizations like MassChallenge provide mentors at its incubator, as well as necessary advice and support to both men and women.

Research shows women in the early days of the establishment of Israel had more equality in numbers. Eleven women served in the First and Second Knesset, and in the 1950s, that was considered advanced.

On the local level, women are involved in politics, and ten percent of municipalities are led by women.  On a national level, the numbers of women in Knesset are down. One thing women are lacking is political mentors.  It is much more difficult for Arab and Haredi women to get involved in politics, and the new Women’s Party started too late for Knesset 23.

Not wanting to leave you with a political story, I took a walk around to see what was happening on the Jerusalem streets with COVID-19 filling the news feed.

People were out, young and old, shopping and eating, and preparing for Purim.

Valley of the Cross in Jerusalem on a spring day

And after all the winter rain, below the Israel Museum, the vegetation in the Valley of the Cross was picture perfect.

Jerusalem Style March Madness Pictures

Jerusalem Style March Madness Pictures

On Jerusalem, Israel streets, a general sigh of relief can be heard at the end of a year of campaigning madness and frozen government.

On Monday, March 2nd, the third Israeli election in a year was held.

Jerusalem voting place for Knesset 23

The Jerusalem street outside our polling place was not a pretty sight,

Man pushing wheel chair in Jerusalem street

nor easy to access. Memories of Knesset 19 voting at our location were recalled.

Israeli Knesset 23 voting slips in voting booth

Inside there were fewer parties this time around and fewer letters to pick from for Knesset 23.

The votes were cast. Calculations are being made.

The magic number of 61 is not yet achieved.

The Knesset has 120 members, to form a government a majority is needed.

News sites and others sat glued to their monitors.

Tree blossoms on Jerusalem Israel

But I decided it was time to go for a walk and see the trees in bloom.

Jerusalem old stones with yellow flowers growing

New flowers were popping out of old stone formations.

Jerusalem Israel wild flowers

I was not the only one walking when the sun finally peaked out from between the winter clouds.

Jerusalem Israel Museum

The grounds below the Israel Museum were lush green after this winter of rain.

Many drove south to see the fields of anemones for the Red Darom Festival.

Jerusalem Valley of Cross wild fowers

I was content to walk the paths right here in Jerusalem to see the red wildflowers.

Path to Jerusalem Israel Museum wild flowers in spring

Sunday is a workday in Israel. So with schools, businesses, and offices off for Election Day, many families had a “Sunday” experience family day.

I decided to wander up the hill and go to the Israel Museum.

Jerusalem Israel Museum Ancient History

Near the Israel Museum archaeological section entrance is an interesting exhibit on hieroglyphs and emojis.

 Hieroglyphics at Jerusalem Israel Museum

An example of ancient picture writing showed “offerings of wine” and beer.

 Hieroglyphics at Israel Museum

Picture writing was very important in ancient Egypt.

Hieroglyphics at Israel Museum

This piece of stone caught my attention for the “heart” symbol, much more realistic than the shape most often used today in modern picture writing.

 Hieroglyphics at Israel Museum message at exit

Are we going back to the days of symbols to communicate?

In the museum, one can view the new Rodin & Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit called “Expressive Genius.” The statues and drawings of the two French artists explored the human form, capturing the diverse population of Paris at the end of the 19th century.

Rothschild Room at Israel Museum

Wandering through the vast halls and galleries are period rooms like this one dedicated by the Rothschild family. Also, displayed are reconstructed synagogues from around the world that fill entire rooms.

Warhol at Israel Museum of Golda Meir

I found a familiar face, Golda Meir by Andy Warhol.

Sculpture outside at Jerusalem Israel Museum

Did you know there were art pieces outside besides those in the main garden?

What I did not know was that the Israel Museum, though open on Election Day, closed an hour earlier at 4:00 pm.

image love

The Hebrew Love is probably the most well-known sculpture in the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden.

I was looking for the special ‘Masks for Purim’ the museum is offering. That meant checking out what was happening in the Children’s Wing.

I did not find what I was looking for, as the program was ready yet.

Children's section of Israel Museum

But this little guy was so cute. They do start young to appreciate art and color.

Jerusalem graffiti before Marathon

Outside near the museum, this color will be gone very soon. Other graffiti nearby has been removed, like every year before the Jerusalem Marathon runs here.

Gan Sacher park in Jerusalem Israel

The full Jerusalem Marathon runners will run into Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, to the finish line which will be constructed here. As you can see there is still much work to be done before the March 20, 2020 races. Tens of thousands of people are expected to assemble in the park, both runners and supporters.

Rechov Azza after repair

Lines were painted on this newly paved road that leads to the finish line.

Sign for Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2020

Jerusalem Marathon signs were posted along the route as well.

Purim in Jerusalem Israel

But first Purim! “Every day is Purim in Jerusalem” announced these signs.

Love Jerusalem where Purim madness is a 3-4 day holiday!

From March 10-13 this year, in Kikar Safra and the center of town, there will be celebrations.

Hopefully, the coronavirus scare will not hinder all these planned activities.

 Hieroglyphics exhibit at Jerusalem Israel Museum

I thought that this description in the Israel Museum was interesting.

I don’t know anyone who believes that emojis can become real food and drink.

Pictures of food and drink.

Pictures and Purim.

Giant chocolate chip cookies for Purim

However, my giant chocolate chip cookies are ready for Purim.

Next week planning to share the best of Purim in Jerusalem madness pictures.

The cookies, however, should be long gone by then.

1000 Real Jerusalem Streets

1000 Real Jerusalem Streets


Rain and more rain in Jerusalem, Israel.

Trying to decide what to share this week,

I revert to the weekly Torah portion of Mishpatim, Laws.

לֹ֥א תִשָּׂ֖א שֵׁ֣מַע שָׁ֑וְא אַל־תָּ֤שֶׁת יָֽדְךָ֙ עִם־רָשָׁ֔ע לִהְיֹ֖ת עֵ֥ד חָמָֽס׃

Not to share the false things you hear. 

Thus no fake news, but on The Real Jerusalem Streets – not all is good.

Cherry tree in bloom in Jerusalem Israel

The rain was good for the cherry trees in bloom.

Jerusalem Israel street repaved

Continuing construction on Jerusalem streets not so good for residents.

I will spare you the images of stopped traffic and ripped up concrete.

Spelling mistakes in English on Hebrew signs in Jerusalem Israel

However, this sign posted on the Jerusalem corner is a new favorite.

This is post number 1000 from the Real Jerusalem Streets.

This is a milestone post –

a time to remember for International Women’s Day and Israel Apartheid Week:

Israeli Apartheid?

Nine years ago it took off and went viral, best RJS days of views ever.

Shame I was such a newbie, in Eilat, and did not follow up.

The next year, in 2012, also for International Women’s Day,

15 Real Photos of Arab Girls was published.

Those girls keep on going with over 25,000 views in the last 3 years.

Sign for Jerusalem Washington Street.

Another year, and the US Presidents Day and Conference of Presidents Leadership Mission have come and gone, but Washington Street in Jerusalem remains and its sign is lit up at night, a popular image to share.

Presidents was an early post and needed heavy editing to share.

The Jewish Agency Board of Governors is meeting only in Tel Aviv this year.

No jokes about rocket science or scientists.

Mars exploration scientist in Jerusalem

NASA’s Mars exploration scientist Nagin Cox was in Jerusalem at the American Cultural Center and concluded with the news that the countdown to the next launch is underway.

Mars exploration robot images

These NASA images of Mars look like they were taken in the Negev outside of Eilat.

Jerusalem King George Street hotel construction

While back in Jerusalem, new hotels under construction are changing the skyline.

Muslim women shopping in Jerusalem Mamilla Mall

The shops in Mamilla Mall have changed over the years, but the Arab women and girls are a regular sight, shopping and eating in the cafes.

So much has changed over the years on the Jerusalem streets.

So much has remained the same.