Jerusalem One Summer Night of Two Hugs

Jerusalem One Summer Night of Two Hugs

Oft repeated here,

you never know what you will find on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Antique car on Jerusalem Israel street

This cute little “Electric Bimba” on the street certainly fits the theme.

Forty three degrees in car parked in sun

As the Jerusalem temperature was rising outside, our car parked in the sun went to 43 degrees C, over 100 degrees F. I have no idea what the temperature was in the old revved up personal transporter.

Fountain in Teddy Park Jerusalem Israel

People gather at Teddy Park in the evening, for the water fountain to go on and cool off.

Jerusalem Israel Yad Vashem

One place with thousands of visitors daily, no matter what the weather, is Yad Vashem.

A very special event was held on July 25 in the evening.

Rabbi Y M in Yad Vashem synagogue

As Rav Yisrael Meir Lau Israel’s former Chief Rabbi told his story, he looked at an image projected on the wall of the synagogue.

The occasion was a conference on Holocaust education for North American Jewish educators.

The image was that of him as an 8-year old child.

A Holocaust and concentration camp survivor, the image shows him sitting on a bench between Jewish US Army soldiers who liberated Buchenwald.

Sixty percent of the concentration camp survivors died during the first few days after liberation.  His older brother Naftali z”l was ill, so weak he was unconscious, and was not aware of liberation until much later.

Rabbi Hershel Schacter z”l, was the US Army chaplain who entered with the liberating US Army, who extended his hand to the frightened little boy.

Next to speak was his son, Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, who told the story of his father’s desire to serve in the US Army during wartime.

From the Yad Vashem synagogue, after listening to the emotional remarks from both rabbis, the assembled group walked solemnly into the main building.

Rabbi Y M Lau pointing to himself as a child in large photo in Yad Vashem

There Rabbi Lau pointed to where he sat amid the US Jewish soldiers and Holocaust survivors in the famous image.

On the far left side of this US Army photograph, is Rabbi Schacter z”l, 25 years old, leading the Shavuot holiday service.

Rabbi Y M Lau at Yad Vashem near photo of himself as a child

In Jerusalem, in Yad Vashem, in the hall of memories, Rabbi Lau spoke with the son of Rabbi Schacter z”l of his first Jewish memories as a survivor.

Near photo of his father Rabbi JJ Schacter hugs Rabbi Y M Lau who was also in the image as a child after liberation

The two men hugged in front of the iconic image, in the presence of Rabbi Schacter’s z”l extended family, which included a great-grandson.

A unique and meaningful hug, spanning decades of history, uniting liberators and survivors.

Jerusalem is a city, of contrasts, old and new, and diverse realities.

Jerusalem Film Festival opening night

From Yad Vashem, as the sun was setting, I rushed to the Jerusalem Film Festival opening in the Sultan’s Pool.Jerusalem Film Festival in Sultan's Pool

The screen could be seen from the Cinematheque, with the walls of the Old City in the background.

Jerusalem Film Festival Israeli President Rivlin speaking at opening event

President Reuven Rivlin was the honored guest, as a new film award was initiated in memory of his wife Nechama z”l.

Jerusalem Film Festival Paul Newman

In the opening video presentation along with greetings from Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and Sports and Cultural Minister Miri Regev, were clips from the movie Exodus.

Paul Newman in Exodus in opening video at Jerusalem Film Festival

I wonder how many people learned of the establishment of modern Israel and were influenced by Paul Newman in this 1960 movie.

Dr Ruth and President Reuven Rivlin

As for the second hug of the evening, Dr. Ruth Westheimer is back in Jerusalem. The documentary movie of her fascinating life was a feature of this annual film festival.

Jerusalem Film Festival honoree Katzriel Schori

Katriel Schori received an award for lifetime achievement in Israeli film.

View from Cinematheque of Old City and Sultan's Pool at Jerusalem Film Festival

I left before the main film was shown, but I could see Schori accepting his award on the screen.

Jerusalem Food Truck in Haginon Park

Down below in the valley the Food Truck Festival was going strong.

Thousands of people were out enjoying the cooler evening temperatures on very crowded Jerusalem streets.

Back to the Future with the Philharmonic orchestra performing live near the Old City walls was sold out days before. It was a Jerusalem Film Festival success.

However, the film festival has open and free film showings in various neighborhood parks.

Jerusalem film festival sign for public free film

This sign in Arnona is for a film on Wednesday night in Baka.   It will be shown free of charge outside in a park.

Jerusalem Israel parks signs in Arabic and Hebrew to keep clean

Signs in Arabic and Hebrew request that the parks be left clean.

Day or night, another week with many and diverse happenings on the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Film Festival Week

Summer time in Jerusalem,

and for over 30 years,

Jerusalem Film Festival sign

the Jerusalem Film Festival

has screened thousands of films.

This year for the first time

there are films being shown in Gan Haatzmaut,

Independence Park, in the Wilf Garden.

Independence Park for Jerusalem festival

Security was so strict,

this is as close as I could get without buying a ticket.

But the main events are usually

shown at the Cinematheque,

where finally for the first time

sign for Cinematheque

disabled movie goers can access without steps,

using this newly-built elevator.

Old City Sultan Pool from near Cinemathque

I think it is worth going just for the view.

However, the opening night of the festival,

was held in the Sultan’s Pool.

Even the Tower of David, not so far away,

Opening Jerusalem Film Festival

is dwarfed by the size of this outdoor screen.

Miri Regev speaking at Jerusalem Film Festival opening

Minister of Sports and Culture Miri Regev,

was one of the speakers.

Special guest movie director and film star,

Jerusalem Film Festival Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino received a special award

from Mayor Nir Barkat before the film.

The star of the movie, Emma Suraez,

Emma Suarze film star Jerusalem film festival

was on stage to accept flowers.

But as much as there were numerous Tarantino spottings,

I assume Emma could go around Jerusalem without being noticed.

Also on the same night,

Israeli singer Idan Raichel received a special honor

by the B’nai Brith World Center,

in recognition of advancing Israeli-Diaspora relations.

I have seen him surrounded by screaming fans,

anxious to get close enough to take a selfie,

but when Idan entered the hall,

Idan Raichal at award ceremony

I was the only one who came over.

At least after he was presented with his certificate,

ceremony and Idan Raichal

there was more notice.

Different crowds, different reactions.

Miri Regev was booed during her speech

 at the Sultan’s Pool by some of the audience.

But three days later,

at the Jerusalem Theater

stage at ceremony 40 years Entebbe

for the official ceremony remembering

40 years since Entebbe.

dignitaries at Jerusalem theater for Entebbe 40

Miri Regev sat in the front row with the dignitaries.

When the program was over

people taking photos with Miri Regev

she was surrounded by well wishers

who wanted to be in photos with her.

As the emotional and well-done program

neared the end,

Netanyahu looking at watch at ceremony

I thought I saw the Prime Minister,

glance at his watch.

The Foreign Minister of Egypt was on his way

to have dinner with the Netanyahus.

While for some this week,

Huge football in Mamilla Mall

nothing could be bigger than the Euro 2016 football (soccer)

on the television.

There are free movies shown at night,

at First Station and in the Old City,

as the Film Festival comes to a close.

view old city walls at sunset

Maybe it’s me,

but just going for the view of the

Walls of the Old City at sunset is wonderful to see.

On Streets and in Houses: Summer Culture in Jerusalem

US Secretary of State John Kerry traveled back and forth many times

from Jerusalem to Ramallah, but not to worry, that distance is very short. 

 Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta was around this week also.

We did not hear that either man had time for leisure or culture while in Jerusalem.

But I wonder if they noticed, as their motorcades sped through the streets,

photo Jerusalem, image Jerusalem

that the viewing stands of the Jerusalem Formula Peace Road Show were coming down?

Still hoping that my hearing will return,

what a noisy event that was!

School is out for the long summer holiday.

So what is happening next on the streets of Jerusalem, Israel?

Image Jerusalem film festival

The 30th Jerusalem Film Festival is to open this week. 

 Also, the International Writers’ Festival is in nearby Mishkenot Sha’ananim;

next year it is to be in May so take note and mark your calendars now.

image season of culture, Jerusalem Photos

The annual Season of Culture in Jerusalem (July 1 – August 23)

is trying something new, “In the House,” 

where some events are held in private homes.

At First Station,

image woman and puppet, photo street theater

sitting in the shade, were Savta 

image Jerusalem street theater, photo Jerusalem, J Street

and her young friend.

So interesting,

Jerusalem street theater image, Jerusalem photography , picture Jerusalem street scene

 that not only children stopped to respond to their street performance.

image Jerusalem street music, photo man Jerusalem music

A young boy in a wheelchair danced in his seat as this street musician played,

just another of many performances in this new tourist spot.

Of course, the Jerusalem Theater is a constant venue of cultural performances.

But also the lobbies of the theater are used to showcase local artists.

image art gallary, photo art show

Last year we knew one young artist whose work was on display,

and this week, I knew two of the artists.

Jerusalem Theater art display

  The first a portrait painter, Laurel Sternberg

watercolor display  on wall of Jerusalem Theater, image gallery watercolour art

and  Shoshana Meerkin, a favorite watercolor artist, had their work showcased.

And if these examples of culture are not serious enough

image Falstaff by Verdi , poster for Opera

 on July 17, 2013,

Verdi’s Falstaff 

with Zubin Mehta conducting the orchestra,

will be performed at the Jerusalem International Convention Center.

 And these are just a few examples of what is really happening in Jerusalem.