Another week flew by in Jerusalem, Israel.
Shabbat morning I was not the only one taking a walk on the Jerusalem streets before the heat of the day.
Without his usual entourage, I almost didn’t recognize Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion with two security guards dressed in short sleeve shirts. It looked like the CEO of the Jerusalem Development Authority was the fourth person walking along looking at Azza Street.
Clouds of smoke covered the sun in the Jerusalem sky last week as the Jerusalem Forest burned out of control for two days. Homes and businesses were destroyed. People raced to put possessions into their cars and escape the flames. Hospital patients had to be evacuated until fire units could control the burning forest under windy conditions. Everyone was relieved when the winds and flames ended.
As usual, along with the bad, many new, good things were happening too.
Docu.text, the annual documentary film festival, was held by the National Library this past week.
The new Israel National Library complex under construction is an impressive sight at night. Looking forward to when it will finally open.
The new Train Theater is to host the annual International Puppet Festival.
The name now makes sense, as this is the original Train Theater being restored on the new campus, located at the end of the Liberty Bell Park.
It is located next to the expanded parking lot across from First Station. But be warned; I have seen cars circling around and around looking for a spot.
The Jerusalem Theater is preparing to celebrate its 50th year.
The opening night of the 38th Jerusalem Film Festival, JFF is set for August 24th, again at the Sultan’s Pool near the Cinematheque. However, this year there is a new addition, Film Truck, which will have showings in various Jerusalem neighborhoods – for free.
Quentin Tarantino received a special award from Mayor Nir Barkat five years ago and is to be back again this year in Jerusalem for the JFF opening.
At the last big JFF opening night, BC, Before Corona, Dr. Ruth was a special guest, along with then-President Reuven Rivlin.
Speaking of the former president, he was back at Beit Hanasi with new President Herzog and Prime Minister Bennett to welcome back the Israeli Tokyo 202 Olympic athletes.
Cameras were readied in the main diplomatic hall of the Israeli President’s Residence.
There were selfies galore with the two gold medal winners.
Smiles, hugs, and kisses, as the athletes, coaches, and supporters celebrated Israel’s success at Tokyo 2020 games.
And of course, there were speeches also.
Coming outside for official photos, President Herzog stayed for more and more poses with the medalists.
For even more of those smiles, check on Facebook HERE
PM Bennett left followed by his security detail.
Back at Balfour Street, the ugly added layers of security have been removed. Protesters are now in Ra’anana, where the Prime Minister lives, rather than near the official residence in Jerusalem.
Families are getting in their last days on the Jerusalem streets near the end of August, and hopefully before the start of a new and better school year,
Ben Yehudah is one of many locations with people listening to music and finding places to eat on the cooler summer evenings.
Big concerts at Kikar Safra, Jerusalem City Hall Plaza, are now accompanied
by long lines of people waiting to get their jabs. Vaccinations are now going to be available in a long list of Jerusalem neighborhoods also.
Those random Jerusalem street closings still continue to challenge drivers.
And those building sites go up (after going deep down first) all over the Jerusalem streets!
Get ready for The Jerusalem Night Run to launch the Maccabiah Games to be held in Jerusalem, set for August 29th.
The Israeli athletes on the Paralympic teams are on their way to the Tokyo Games. They receive less attention than the main Olympic events but have a tradition of more medalists.
And as August comes to an end and we approach the New Year, a shemittah year. Planting on new traffic circles has been sped up.
The new outside locations need to be planted before the restriction of planting begins with another shemittah cycle.
Gardeners are busy now, but they won’t be as busy next year.
A favorite sight this time of year on the Jerusalem streets–pomegranates are ripening on the trees. And those in the know cover the ripe fruit to protect it from the birds.
So there you have it, some of the good things happening in Jerusalem to balance the bad ones that make headlines.
Take care and stay well, the new year will be here soon.