Jerusalem Opera, Genesis Prize and More

Hot.

It is hot in Jerusalem, Israel.

The pool at Jerusalem Dan Hotel looked so cool.

Shrut HaDin 052b

But Sharut HaDin was having a conference inside the hotel,

so we were inside listening to experts on panels

discussing the new cyber and legal battlefields Israel is facing.

When it gets hot,

Teddy Park Mitchell Garden Jerusalem Israel

the parks are quiet by day,

Teddy Garden Mitchell Park Jerusalem Israel

but every fountain is as good as the beach.

Jerusalem Israel street graffiti

Even new graffiti was in a shady spot.

This was certainly the most random street scene,

random street scene garbage Jerusalem

getting ready for a trip to the beach,

but with a box of memorial candles?

End of June.

It is again the season,

of big people on little chairs.

end of year party Jerusalem big people on little chairs

The mandatory end of school year celebrations,

are at all hours of day and night.

But this week, there is another celebration.

Itzhak Perlman is in Jerusalem to accept the Genesis Prize.

Itzhak Perlman speaking with Uri Dromi before Genesis Priza

A gifted musician whose abilities overcame his disabilities.

Through appearances on Sesame Street

he taught important values to a whole generation.

Born in Israel,

though he has lived in New York for decades,

Itzhak Perlman Jerusalem Israel

he was surrounded by the Hebrew media and well-wishers

after a press conference at Mishkanot Sha’ananim.

Also, Dame Helen Mirren is in Israel

this week to present the Genesis Prize.

Dame Helen Mirren at JPC before Genesis Prize

She only played a Queen in the movies,

but she is a regal act in real life too.

Her stories of good times spent in Israel – priceless.

Helen Mirren Jerusalem Israel for Genesis Prize

She was evidently pleased to receive a membership card

to the Jerusalem Press Club.

Now I can say I have something in common

with Dame Helen Mirren.

But on some days,

big truck going up small street

not only on the Jerusalem streets is it hard to get by,

 but there is so much happening,

it is hard to do it all.

That night was opening of the Jerusalem Opera Week,

Italy Israel at Jerusalem Opera

with an Italian theme for Rigoletto.

People were warned to come on time.

Parking and picking up tickets for hundreds

 of opera goers required planning,

plus because of Ramadan fast ending at that time,

a shortage of taxis were anticipated.

Jerusalem Opera stage in Sultan's Pool

The huge stage was constructed in Sultan’s Pool,

with seating rising to street level.

As the sun was setting the audience

opera stage in Sultan Pool Jerusalem Opera Rigoletto

and Israeli Philharmonic prepared for the show.

Translations in Hebrew and English,

were provided on the top and sides of stage.

Rigoletto Opera in Jerusalem Sultan Pool

Magnificent music filled the air.

 Even though the story line is one of tragedy,

Cst of Rigoletto Jerusalem Opera in Sultan's Pool

it was especially exciting to see an Israel performer

excelling in the lead female role.

field of flowers, Jerusalem Israel

So everything may not always be as beautiful as a bed of flowers,

but as I walked home at night near midnight,

Shavuah Hasefer Israel Book Week at First Station

people were still at Shavuah HaSefer at First Station,

watching the football (soccer) match and drinking beer.

Hundreds more were leaving the Jerusalem Theater.

sign for Jerusalem Theater

The signs are up for the new season at the theater,

but the Genesis Prize award is there tonight.

Then we will have to wait to see what

 will be happening next on the Jerusalem streets.

Israel Booming: From Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to Beer Sheva

Impossible.

It is impossible to compress all that has happened

this past week into a 30-second blog post.

Complexity has to be cut to a sound bite, while

we keep trying to share what the mainstream media misses.

President of Cyprus flag up in Jerusalem

The President of Cyprus was visiting,

and his country’s flag hung on Jerusalem, Israel streets.

I wonder what dignitaries see of what is really happening.

Did the President meet regular Israelis?

Did you know he was here?

Or that the German Bundestag President is speaking at the Knesset?

Most people just read of “conflict” and troubles,

 but construction is booming.

Huge cranes fill the skylines.

The Museum of Tolerance is above ground,

Museum of Tolerance

the construction site is busy with dozens of Arab workers.

building in Tel Aviv

In Tel Aviv, more towers are under construction,

two are going up near the Google office.

desert blooming

The flatland of the Negev is such a contrast

to the Judean Hills of Jerusalem.

large Hebrew sign saying they keep shmita

For the shmita year, some farmers are taking

the sabbatical year literally, leaving the land untended.

Negev desert

But in the Negev,

Rahat seen from highway

the Bedouin town of Rahat is booming,

Soda Stream plant near Rahat

 and Soda Stream’s new plant stretches out in the sand nearby.

A few kilometers down the road

large sign welcome to Beer Sheva

there is a new sign welcoming visitors to the new Beersheva.

The once sleepy desert town is the largest city in the Negev.

Beersheva is booming with new neighborhoods,

new business and new cultural life.

After the hundreds of rockets from Gaza last summer,

bomb shelter built in south

 Beersheva homes are getting new safe rooms.

There were so many sleepless nights due to red alert sirens

announcing the oncoming missiles that

home bomb shelters are being installed.

Will running to a safe spot be the summer activity again?

There was another rocket last night in the south,

and it was not the first of the season.

The UNHRC has released its report.

Did they take into account the millions of Israelis

living under terrible conditions last summer?

peace slogan in Hebrew

“I believe in PEACE” says this sticker on a Jerusalem crossing.

Everyone hopes those rockets from Gaza,

and the explosions on the Golan border will stop.

Preparing for summer in Jerusalem

Big plans for this summer.

The start-up nation is booming.

Weddings and end-of-year school performances fill the evenings.

No bombs and rockets are welcome.

Nothing is simple,

but like this Jerusalem bus sign,

Neseya tova

here’s wishing all a good and safe trip.