See Winter in Jerusalem

Winter in Jerusalem, Israel, is so different than those we experienced in the US. Being used to those long Boston winters with piles of snow into June and New York where tree branches remained bare for months on end, the greenery popping up all around is always a pleasure.

When the rain stops, the sun comes out, and things turn green.

Jerusalem flowers Kalaniot Anemones

The first spotting of wild Kalaniot, anemones, is an annual favorite.

Tourists and locals are enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

Our Crowd 2018

The OurCrowd Global Summit attracted 10,000 people to the Jerusalem International Conference Center.

Construction Jerusalem Israel no stairs

I had always used this stairway to get to the entrance, but the stairs were gone this time. With so much construction in Jerusalem, you never know what you will find, or not find.

Audience at Our Crowd Global Summit in Jerusalem 2018

The auditorium was full for the opening plenary.

Map of Eretz Yisrael from ancient times.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was a featured speaker in the morning. Jerusalem of the ancient past appeared in this slide in his presentation, but the focus was on the future.

Mayor Nir Barkat in front of photo of new Jerusalem - Tel Aviv train station

This is a photo of the future fast train station. He promised it would be ready soon, with a ride of 28 minutes from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

However, beside mega-events like OurCrowd, dozens of smaller events are held nightly.

AMIT-Emunah movie night at Ramat Tahel Monkey Business

On Sunday night, AMIT-Emunah Jerusalem held an annual movie night featuring “Monkey Business,” at Ramat Rachel. The story behind the “Curious George” children’s books, and the Jewish authors journey to survive the Holocaust was fascinating.

Panel Yossi Klein HaLevi with Moshe Boogie Ya'alon at Tmol Shilshom with Anat Mufkadi moderator

Then at Tmol Shilshom, in Nahalat Shiva, Author Yossi Klein HaLevi discussed the Hebrew version of his book on Israel in 1967, “The Dreamers,” with Moshe “Boogie” Ya’alon, with Anat Mufkadi moderating.

Shaon Horef, Jerusalem Israel street festival in February on Monday nights

Monday nights in February, in various Jerusalem neighborhoods, streets are the setting for a cultural festival called Shaon Horef, or Winter Noise.

Winter Noise at Nahalat Shiva Jerusalem Israel culture event

Not only does the location vary, but so does the quality of entertainment. February 5, 2018, the event took place in Nahalat Shiva, off of Yoel Salomon Street. There were light projections on buildings, music, and more.

Acting on Jerusalem Israel streets for Winter Noise cultural festival

Improv acts,  one of the free entertainment events, drew a crowd in this small alley.

Jerusalem Israel Winter Noise Festival activity

Some shops were involved. Bands provided music on the streets late into the night .

Music at Winter Noise festival Jerusalem Israel winter night events

Tmol Shilshom was again filled for musical performances.

As we enter the 70th year since the establishment of State of Israel, get ready for more events and mega-events.

Jerusalem, Israel Knesset gathering of Ambassadors

Ambassadors to Israel were hosted for an annual gathering at the Knesset which also celebrated its 70th. The Knesset opened on Tu Bishvat back in 1949.

Knesset Israel Arab men entering for tour Jerusalem Israel

I wondered if the diplomats from around the world noticed this Arab tour group in the Knesset at the same time?

Sign up for kindergarten and first grade in Jerusalem

However, the real streets did not focus on visitors to the Knesset this week. Signs are up to register for ganim, nurseries and school for next year. For many families, the big event last week was report card week.

Runner in Jerusalem Israel in Valley of Cross

The sun was shining and the weather was warm. Runners have been out training for the Jerusalem Marathon on March 9th.

Will all the construction be done in time for the race? This has been the final few meters in the full marathon in the past.

Even in winter, as always, so much is happening on the Jerusalem streets.




Jerusalem: Business, Brains, Beauty and Start-Ups

Oh, well, I have been doing everything wrong.

When I started posting,

it was assumed that RJS was done by a man.

Being anonymous,

 I used to receive emails forwarded

from laughing friends, “Oh my, you really know him!”

To stand out, one must tell a unique story,

and that was this year’s theme at the

6th Temech Conference for Women in Business.

The first year I attended Temech,

I did not know anyone.

This year it was different,

it was wonderful to see so many friends participating,

and as always so many accomplished women speakers.

Mayor Barkat and temech

Mayor Nir Barkat spoke first in Hebrew

 and then in English to over 600 religious women,

all Israeli business women and entrepreneurs.

I admit that lunch was a real treat.

photo food

 For women who prepare meals day after day,

a delicious buffet, without cutting and chopping,

 is itself a mini-holiday.


this day was about growing business

with many speakers and sessions.

BIRG: Basking in Reflecting Glory,

Rabbi Issamat Ginzberg

was the first tip from Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg,

whose Hassidic background and dress enables him

to stand out as an unique business adviser.

Issamar Ginzberg sitting with Aryeh Deri

Ginzberg sat with MK Arye Deri

Issamar Ginzberg and Moshe Gafni

and then with MK Moshe Gafni,

both speakers at the conference plenary.

Only Ginzberg actually sat for less then 30 seconds each time.

He must have counted on the abilities of this great photographer

to capture the moment.

A wise business tip brilliantly exemplified.

Another popular session was with Haim Walder,

a Hebrew writer who had lines of women waiting

to buy his books and talk to him.

Nir Barkat with book by Haim WAdler

Walder presented his book to the Mayor,

yet another example of business savvy.

There were piles of business cards on a special table,


including my new postcard.

However, taking inspiration from these examples,

I will share that I studied Chemistry and worked in

Biochemical research at The Rockefeller University

after graduating university with honors.

So this being start-up Israel,

I went to hear about VLX bio-med start up funding.

Quill illustration

What brilliant ideas inspired by nature.

Maybe basking in glory.

image Peptides

 but I confess that I did not understand most of the peptide lecture.

Brilliant ideas and creativity and innovation,

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens at sunset

and the beauty of the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens as the sun set.

Hundreds of talented, hard-working Haredi women,

ingenious Jerusalem bio-med start ups,

so what did you hear about this week?

Federation General Assembly Goes out in New Style

The 82nd Annual General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America,

the GA, met in Jerusalem, Israel, over three days this week.

#JFNAGA photo, Netanyahu image, picture Prime Minister speaking

The first night Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was main speaker

at the Jerusalem International Convention Center – ICC.

I spent two days inside the ICC, following a program called

“The Global Jewish Shuk: A Marketplace of Dialogue and Debate,”

so it was great that the farewell ceremony was held outside.

image #JFNAGA, picture from end of Israel general assembly

These chairs and a small stage were set up for GA delegates

and many others in Kikar Safra, Safra Square.

image Naftali Bennett speaking, photo Naftali Bennett at GA

Minister Naftali Bennett was the featured government speaker,

and he showed off his best English for the Anglo crowd.

photo GA, chairmen of GA image, picture from Kikar Safra

Michael Siegal thanked Ronny Douek and

Susie and Michael Gelman for chairing the convention.

And then, 

picture walk to kotel, image GA leaders,

with Mayor Nir Barkat and Natan Sharansky at his side,

he led the crowd out of the government plaza

image GA walk to Western Wall, picture walking to Kotel

 to the sounds of a real brass band.

image walking along Old City walls.

With small US, Israeli and GA flags,

image Palestinian women, picture Israel Arab women, Israel apartheid

they walked along the Walls of the Old City,

picture walk to egalitarian service, GA mixed prayer at Kotel

past Jaffa Gate,

image walking to Kossel, Wailing wall

and up the narrow stone steps,

image women waving flags, picture women going to egalitarian service

with more music and more flag waving along the route.

image going to egalitarian service, image parade through old city.

These children waiting to cross the street in the Old City parking lot

got an eyeful as colorful entertainers joined the GA participants.

The route took them to the new area at Robinson’s Arch.

My challenge is to share with you what it looks like now.

image view of new section for public prayer, egalitarian section western wall, picture new Robinson's Arch

This metal platform is constructed up against the wall,

photo Robinson's Arch enlarged, new area of western wall for women and men

the same huge wall as the Kotel, the Western Wall.

giant stones photo, image large stones near western wall.

These massive ancient stones have not been moved.

image new section of wailing wall, picture women at wall,

From this platform one can reach up to place a note in the wall

from an area where men and women are not separated and can pray together.

image size of new section of western wall, picture egalitarian area, photo of Western Wall new section

This is the new area, the large platform on the upper left,

that Naftali Bennett talked about at the farewell ceremony,

 part of a temporay plan while Natan Sharansky

is trying to work out as a compromise

for Women of the Wall to have Rosh Chodesh singing

and other egalitarian prayer services.

image new area for public at western wall

A plaza open to the public was important for this group,

and the GA ended their conference here, as the sun was setting.

image Old City, photo of Jerusalem,

I passed thousands more tourists from around the world,

coming down the stairs to the Kotel, to the Western Wall,

to experience the ancient and holy place.

 I started to walk home,

after two days of going to exhibit booths,

listening to speakers, meeting new people, running into friends,

and talking and talking, talking too much,

and taking way too many photos.

One woman told me as we were walking, and yes, more talking,

that once she got to Israel, she has not been afraid even once.

I am so glad she also got to know the real Jerusalem streets.