Under-21 Championship Final and Tomorrow

The marathon of big events over the past two weeks,

Jerusalem Lights, Formula 1 Road Show,

and Hebrew Book Week, have ended.

Though it also began the beginning of June,

the UEFA Under-21 Championship Finals are still going.

The Israel-England game that was played at Teddy Stadium

attracted over 22,000 soccer (football) fans.

Many former Brits living in Israel were conflicted,

so they cheered for both sides.

Though Israel won, they still did not go on to the next round.

photo playing soocer

In the middle of Ben Yehuda Square,

usually the scene of street musicians, 

 this Under-21 Championship set-up appeared instead.

image kids playing soccer game

Playing this soccer game did not seem like the best exercise,

photo playing sports on wii

and gotta love these active sportsmen.

But I was glad I came back later

soccer ball practice image

to see that some young people were actually kicking  soccer balls

image boy with soccer ball

and some were using their heads.

UEFA under 21 Championship

Look out world,

here comes another generation of Israeli soccer players.

The European soccer championship game,

Italy vs. Spain, is being played tonight at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem,

 Spain could win back to back victories.

Update final score: Italy 2- Spain 4.

At the same time, at the Jerusalem International Convention Center

Israeli Presidential Conference

is the opening of  #Tomorrow13, the Israeli Presidential Conference.

 5000 delegates have come from around the world to attend.

 Tonight is a huge 90th birthday celebration

for Israeli President Shimon Peres, with Dr. Barbara Streisand,

(she got an honorary doctorate from Hebrew University yesterday),

former President Bill Clinton, Prince Albert of Monaco

and other celebrities, like Robert Di Nero.

It is harder to get a ticket than to the Barak Obama’s speech in Jerusalem!

But I wonder which event will have more home viewers?

So much happening on the streets of Jerusalem,

you do not have to be here to see the diversity!

Reflections on Tomorrow 2012

 Facing Tomorrow – the fourth Israeli Presidential Conference

was held at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem last week.

4500 participants came from around the world to attend and 

dozens of press releases and blogs have been written on this mega-event.

Tiny 84-year-old Dr. Ruth Westheimer was a big hit with audiences.

 One could say that Dr. Ruth, whose feet have trouble reaching the floor,  

was even bigger and better than last year.

International guest panelists spoke of the future.

Retired Chief-of-Staff Gabi Ashkenazi was one of the few speakers

who spoke in Hebrew and was a popular presenter.

The session rooms were overcrowded and I could not get inside,

so I spent a lot of time walking the halls.

I spotted Abe Foxman, National Director of ADL giving an interview

and Natan Sharansky on his way to speak at a session.

During an opening plenary session, Ayaan Hirsi-Ali

shared some of her impressive life story and experiences of Islam.

In her talk she mentioned her age as 42; she smiled when I told her  

that someone in the crowd tweeted that she looks more like 24.

Stanley Fisher (right), Governor of the Bank of Israel, is always popular.

The convention center was full of important people with important ideas.

But, due to his recent leg injury, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

did not speak at the closing session on Thursday.

There were three special sessions on Thursday for bloggers,

one was a question and answer session with President Shimon Peres.

Finally I had a chance to get in a session and have a good a seat.

But I did not attend the last day of Facing Tomorrow 2012.

Wednesday night I got the dreaded, but expected call

that my mother-in-law had passed away.

Ruth Brooks Spanglet z”l was born in America 89 1/2 years ago.

 She never went to college,

but her two children earned post graduate degrees.

Her legacy includes twelve devoted grandchildren and

 twenty-six great-grandchildren (with more on the way),

all of whom now must face a tomorrow without Bubby.

A friend of mine wrote a wonderful piece on what she found missing

at this conference of big names and creative ideas – the mention of family.

Families like Bubby’s are the real tomorrow and the hope for the future.

May all the mourners of Zion be comforted soon.