Jerusalem Covered in White

Jerusalem Covered in White

Jerusalem, Israel, covered in white.

Why is it? What is it?

The world loves to see photos of snow in Jerusalem!

This past week Jerusalem awaited the arrival of nearly fifty world leaders.

Knesset covered in snow in February 2015 storm

Five years ago the snow made for impressive images.

Valley of Cross in Jerusalem Israel covered in snow

The Valley of the Cross looked like a scene from Europe rather than the Middle East.

This week temperatures dropped as the rain pounded down for days, seemingly without end.

However, though forecast, no snow fell to cover the Jerusalem streets.

Interval of sun during rainy days in Jerusalem Israel

A few white clouds occasionally let the sun peak through on Tuesday at Beit Hanasi while awaiting the first of the international world leaders to meet with President Rivlin.

Australia Governor General David Hurley meets Israel President Reuven Rivlin

Governor-General David Hurley was the second of twenty-seven world leaders the President hosted in private meetings at his official residence, over the few days before and after the Fifth World Holocaust Forum (WHF). Close to fifty world leaders converged on the Jerusalem streets for the WHF, which met for the first time in Jerusalem, Israel.

Preparations for tent outside of Beit Hanasi for world leaders to pose for photograph

High-level delegations could not use the main entrance on Tuesday. A white tent covered the entire outside area. The ground was wet from a day of heavy rain. On Wednesday night at the dinner hosted by the President, the official photo was taken here.

Jerusalem Israel Nasi Street ready to host world leader dinner

Outside on Wednesday evening, white security tents and screens covered the length of Rechov HaNasi.  There was no snow in Jerusalem, but a white security screen covered many streets.

What a difference two years made!

Two years ago for the UN initiated Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Prime Minister spoke to Ambassadors in the synagogue at Yad Vashem.

This year, marking the 75th year since the liberation of Auschwitz and the 5th WHF, royals and presidents and world leaders converged on the Jerusalem streets.

Sun set in Jerusalem Israel

At least as the sun set there was a bit of color in the grey sky.

Lights along path into Zedekiah Cave for press event

Zedekiah’s Cave was lit up with a thousand candles for a Wednesday night event for the  media.

From the cave on a large screen, the main event dinner at Beit Hanasi was projected.

View of dinner hosted by President Rivlin for 40 international world leaders

White linen and beautiful white flower arrangements were on the tables as the President spoke.

Jerusalem Israel Old City walls with a projection

Walking home I went past the Old City walls near Jaffa Gate. Special lights and special colorful projections lit up the night.

Jerusalem streets closed for world leaders staying at Jerusalem hotels near old City

Great idea to walk home, as major streets near hotels were closed to the public.

Jerusalem street without traffic near Har Herzl

The next morning on Har Herzl this street was open, but the public was scared away.

Jerusalem Israel security preparing

Security units were deployed on Jerusalem streets early on routes to the main Thursday events.

White security tents in Yad Vashem parking lot

The closed parking lot at Yad Vashem also had white security areas.

Inside Yad Vashem buildings white security barriers were erected.

Jerusalem Israel view from Yad Vashem

International television crews had panoramic views of the Judean Hills from Yad Vashem.

Fog covering the view of Jerusalem as TV reporter speaks from Yad Vashem

But reporting in the afternoon, the fog on the hilltop made for a white background.

Interview of Rena Quint a Holocaust child survivor

Holocaust survivors were at Yad Vashem to speak to international media.

Walter Bingham at Yad Vashem telling his story of survival and success

German-born Walter Bingham attended as both a child survivor and a working member of the media. Bingham, 96-years young, is proud of his status as world’s oldest working journalist.

Main ceremony of Fifth World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem Israel at Yad Vashem

The main live-streamed event was held in a tent constructed on Yad Vashem’s Warsaw Plaza.

View of Yad Vashem at sun set day of World Holocaust Forum

White security tents and barriers could still be seen at the entrance to Yad Vashem as the sun was setting.

Jerusalem Israel Yad Vashem

With so many world leaders attending, the official Israeli black diplomatic vehicles were called in to use, as were dozens of white cars, lined up to take participants away at the conclusion of the ceremony.

But that was not all!

There was much more of the white security tenting.

Gan Sacher for Leningrad Memorial dedication

At Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, covering what had been the dog park, were white tents.

Already on Monday night Gan Sacher was preparing for Thursday afternoon’s dedication of the Leningrad Memorial with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending along with Jerusalem and Israeli leaders.

Roller blade park in Gan Sacher painted white before Leningrad Memorial dedication

The Roller Park looked like a swimming pool from rain, but the graffiti had been painted over, all nice and white.

Inside of white security tent in Gan Sacher for Leningrad Memorial dedication with Putin attending

Inside the main tent at Gan Sacher was the dedication ceremony held before the WHF.

What a week it was! Then the rain stopped.

First flowers in Gan Sacher park in Jerusalem

The white flowers popped out of rocks in the midday sun.

Construction worker in Jerusalem Israel Gan Sacher Park

Construction workers were back in the park and smiling.

Gan Sacher Park in Jerusalem preservation of trees

Trees near the Leningrad Memorial site were still in their protected white coverings.

Jerusalem Israel park white security tent for Leningrad Memorial dedication

The main white tent was still covering the area of the dedication.

Metal security barriers taken down

Metal security barriers were being removed from the park.

Jerusalem Israel roller blade park open

The Roller Park was open, but empty with fences still white.

Jerusalem Israel dog park moved for Leningrad Memorial dedication

This is the Gan Sacher temporary Dog Park.

White security tent for Leningrad dedication in Jerusalem Sacher Park

The levels and layers of white security tents for Leningrad Memorial were still being removed.

I tried to get inside and failed.

publicity image for Leningrad Memorial in Jerusalem park

So for now here is the publicity photo posted, but it shows only part of the tall monument.

Jerusalem Israel walking and biking path near Gan Sacher

Walking home it was good to see a wisp of white cloud and blue sky.

Israeli flags on Jerusalem Israel street

Blue and white flags being displayed to line some major streets, was one of many things that held up traffic this past week.

Now back to normal!?

Gan Sacher will have barriers up again.

The Jerusalem streets will soon be closed again.

Jerusalem Marathon training man and young children

Runners of all ages are out training – and getting ready.

March 20, 2020, as 40,000 runners will fill the Jerusalem streets.

The Jerusalem Marathon launch was also last week.

Official tee shirt for the 2020 Jerusalem Marathon

Tens of thousands of these white shirts will be seen as runners race through the Jerusalem streets for the 10th Jerusalem Winner Marathon.

Of course, there was much more happening this past week, but that will have to wait for next time.

Old City Walls Alive with Sounds of Jerusalem

Old City Walls Alive with Sounds of Jerusalem

It’s raining in Jerusalem, Israel, a cold and grey Friday winter day.

But when the weather cleared on Wednesday evening, before all the world leaders arrived for the World Holocaust Forum on Thursday, I decided to walk home from Jaffa Gate.

Here for you to enjoy, two video projections on the Old City Wall opposite Mamilla Mall.

These scenes of Jerusalem were enhanced by the inclusion of music.

This flags video with welcome greetings is longer. See how many languages you know!

Good thing I decided to walk home that night.

Jerusalem Israel street closed at night

The main streets were already closed near popular hotels.

What a week it was in Jerusalem with royalty and presidents and international heads of governments gathering to commemorate the Allies victory over the Nazis and 75th year of liberation of Auschwitz.

We remember. Never again.

A Hebrew blessing from the President of Germany to begin and end his speech!

Who could have imagined such scenes in Jerusalem 80 years ago when the British turned European Jews seeking refuge away from the shores of Mandate Palestine?

More next time, so much happened this week on the Jerusalem streets,

but now its time to start the challah and chicken soup for Shabbat.

    שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom

Jerusalem Biggest and Best of Hanukkah

Jerusalem Biggest and Best of Hanukkah

Jerusalem, Israel, for Hanukkah is a very special place.

This year, more than in past years, there were more tourists and more things to do.

New events were planned, though some got rained out.

As the eighth-day ebbs, here are some favorites of the biggest and best Jerusalem happenings.

Hanukkah paper goods for party in Jerusalem

Jerusalem paper goods stores were ready long before Hanukkah, with all you needed for your table and parties.

Hanukkah suffganiot rising in a bakery in Jeremiahs Israel

Jerusalem bakeries had sufganiyot, donuts rising by the tens of thousands.

Hanukiah at Beit Hanasi

Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence had a large hanukkiah, Hanukkah menorah, ready outside for all to see.

There were dozens of hanukkiot, Hanukkah menorahs. placed on street corners.

Around Jerusalem and the world, Lubavitch-Habad emissaries put a hanukkiah in public squares.

Chabad chanukiah in Jerusalem near Israeli President's Residence

This one near Beit Hanasi was at Schneurshohn Square on the third night of Hanukkah.

Photo of Lubavitcher Rebbe with Chanukah in style of Ramban yle of Rmaban.

These Hanukkah menorahs come in all sorts of styles and shapes now, but this style hanukkiah was preferred by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Jerusalem candle lighting at Mamilla Mall

At Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall a large one has been lit for the past eight years.

Mamilla Mall Hanuka candle lighting crowd with live music

Huge crowds come to Jerusalem for the lighting and live music and free sufganiyot.

Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall was full of tourists and holiday celebrants most nights.

Mamilla Mall on Hanukkah woman with puppet taking video with musician

Musicians, in more than one location, even a woman with a hand puppet making a video were entertaining holiday-goers in Mamilla Mall.

Hanukkah cafe with Arab women sitting and eating.

With tens of thousands of people crowding, pushing, standing in line to buy sufganiyot, these Arab women found a quiet table in a Mamilla cafe.

Jaffa Gate at night in Jerusalem Israel

Jerusalem’s Old City is an annual best-of Hanukkah. Near Jaffa Gate, the signs were up for special events.

Hanukkah in the Old City lights on wall of Tower of David

Light projections of a hanukkiah were screened on the wall of the Tower of David.

Large Hanukia outside a home in the Old City Jerusalem

In the Old City at night,  hanukkiot both large

Jerusalem Old City on Hanuka street with four hanukiot on wall as boy walks past

of more modest size are lit outside of homes. These four were in special boxes mounted on the stone wall.

Hanukiah at the Kotel for Hanukkah

This large hanukkiah was again placed next to the Kotel, the Western Wall.

I tried to get a clear view, but men and boys were posing continuously for photos.

Kotel Plaza on Hanuka with crowd and sign on Western Wall building

The crowds on the Kotel Plaza, both by day and by night, were impressive.

Wedding on Hanuka and couple gets photos at Kotel

But crowded or not, wedding photos were taken. Many weddings were held during the busy holiday time, to be celebrated with international guests.

Signs outside Aish Hatorah building on Hanuka

One way to get a view of the Kotel and area is from the Aish HaTorah building. This Happy Chanukah Bear was at the entrance to the rooftop observation deck

Jerusalem Old City man on bike with a menorah riding through narrow street

On a street in the Jewish Quarter, there was even a hanukkiah on a bicycle.

Hanuka menorah on top of train in Old City Jerusalem

If you looked carefully, there was another one on top of the Old City tourist train.

Free shuttle bus from Old City to First Station in Jerusalem

That train cost money to ride, but the shuttle vans from First Station to Old City are free.

They could be the only thing in Jerusalem that runs on time, on the hour, and every 20 minutes.

But they do not make stops, and they go from First Station straight to the gate nearest the Kotel.

Oh, I felt sorry for the tourists from England who found out too late and were taken far away from where they wanted to be.

Indoor activity in Jerusalem Israel new for Hanuka

At First Station, there is a new attraction. Jump Up opened before the holiday season.

Jerusalem First Startion Jump in Hanger

With rainy, rainy days of Hanuka and holiday from school, Jump Up should have been really jumping.

Fast train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem ticket from one of first riders

The big excitement this Hanuka! Another miracle. The fast train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was running. It took over 10 years. But the ride was 32 minutes!

Jerusalem residents one hour free parking sign at Kikar Safra

Another excitement for Jerusalem residents, one-hour free parking! This sign was posted on the main municipal building below the Mayor’s office.

Orange Lamborghini in Jerusalem parking lot on Chanuak

Perhaps free parking is not the first thing this car owner thinks of?

This orange Lembourgini matched nicely with the graffiti art.

Could it be the priciest Hanukkah gift of all?

Hanukkah events for Jerusalem nights ad signs

Big signs for a new Hanukkah Festival of Lights were displayed around the center of town.

Hanukkah Sameach on Museum of Tolerance for Hanuka

This festival light projection was shining on the yet to open Museum of Tolerance.

Across the way was a new larger than life hanukkiah with music.

Shuk on Hanuka and candles lit in a store

A more modest hanukkiah in the Machane Yehudah Market shop had candles burning.

Jerusalem Israel rainy night on Jaffa Road

Outside, the rain had kept away the crowds and dampened the streets.

But inside the restaurant was full and candle lighting added to the warm party atmosphere.

Lighting Chanukah candles at dedication of Studio of her Own on Hanuka

At Jerusalem gatherings of all sorts, as this dedication of Studio of Her Own, a women’s art center, candles were lit.

Suffganiah on Hanuka at Jerusalem family holiday party

Ah, that first bite on the first night,

First candle, first night of Hanuka as child watches the flames

or the first light on the first night.

The Greeks are long gone.

Scene of Jerusalem Cardo in time of Rome

The Romans of the Cardo are long gone.

But the Jerusalem streets and crowds at Mamilla Mall on Hanukkah were going strong.

Much more was happening over Hanukkah on the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Hanuka menorah near Friends of Zion Museum

I hope you enjoyed a few highlights and this the biggest of Jerusalem Holiday of Lights.

Remember last year’s favorites?

Many are the same, to see you can click  HERE