Best of Passover in Jerusalem

Best of Passover in Jerusalem

The Passover holiday in Jerusalem, Israel, is always a busy time with so much to do.

After days of cleaning and shopping, and a late night seder, what next?

This year I decided not to spend hours in the car along with millions of other Israelis going to lush camping sights and sandy beaches, but rather to stay home and explore what Jerusalem has to offer.

Now to share with you some of the best of Jerusalem for Passover this year 5778.

Where else to start, but with food.

Jerusalem Israel humus shop closed for Pesach

Some restaurants like this new humus place were closed tight for Passover.

Kosher for Pesach Holy Bagel and Shwarma in Old City for Pesach

But not to worry, in Jerusalem, there was an abundance of kosher for Passover places to eat. This Holy Bagel in the Old City is not only mehadrin kosher, but “KOSHER without fear of legumes!”

Pesach pizza and matza in Mamilla Mall for Pesach

With baskets of matza on the table, this potato crust pizza looked good enough to eat. People were standing in lines for seats to taste for themselves.

Pesach in Jerusalem food displayed in window for Pesach

Pizza, rolls, sandwiches, pies, cakes and more…one of the best places for Passover food is in Jerusalem, Israel.

Pesach crowd in Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel, with two Muslim women walking through the mall

Mamilla Mall was busy and crowded with local shoppers and international tourists, plus entertainment and performances for children.

Pesach in Jerusalem, people dressed in varied clothing

Another favorite was seeing the clothing in the Old City, with many dressed in their holiday finest, wearing every type of outfit imaginable.

View of Tower of David inside Citadel on spring day of Passover

With so many activities for families, it was hard to decide what to do first, as dozens of museums and sites were free for children. The Tower of David had families walking, touring, and climbing.

Ramparts walk in Jerusalem on Pesach

From the Tower of David you could see the Old City ramparts walk with tourists going along the top of the walls of the Old City.

Volunteers pouring water to give away to visitors to Old City on Pesach

Days were warm and the sun beat down midday. But volunteers were in several locations in Old City offering cups of water, free to all who walked by.

Menorah in Rova in front of Hurva Shul for construction of new elevator to Western Wall Kotel

The Golden Menorah was moved near the Hurva Synagogue, where tourists were busy taking photos.

Construction fence at site of new elevator for access to Kotel near steps where menorah had been before in Jewish Quarter

This menorah is a photo posted near where the gold one was located. The Western Wall elevator is to be constructed here.

Remember I said every type of clothing imaginable? How about a Betar uniform from the 1920’s?

Pesach crowd in Kotel plaza after Birkat Kohanim on Pesach

It was reported 100,000 people were at Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, Monday morning.

Afternoon of Chol HaMoed Pesach at Kotel

In the afternoon and for most of the week, the Western Wall Plaza was still filled with families.

Visitors to Western Wall Plaza from Rova on afternoon of Chol HaMoed Pesach

All day long tens of thousands of people came and went from the Old City.

Visitors line up to go to Temple Mount on Passover afternoon

This line was not at the security entrance leading to the women’s section, but just a long line of tourists waiting to access the Temple Mount.

Pesach afternoon and egalitarian space at Western Wall was empty

The egalitarian section, however, was almost empty. On the right of this photo, if you look very closely, you can see children playing near the stones from the Second Temple.

While so many were in the Old City, other Jerusalem locations were also holiday destinations.

Gan Sacher on Pesach with people grilling and lounging

In Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, smoke filled the air with dozens of extended families grilling meat for large meals, with boxes of matza on the tables.

Passover in Jerusalem, Israel, in Gan Sacher

Children were playing as family members and friends were sitting and talking or playing sports.

Another extremely popular destination was the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.

Botanical Gardens pond on Passover

Thousands of people wandered the grounds over Passover.

Pond lily in Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

I was fascinated by these flowers in the pond. There is so much beauty in what was formerly a garbage dump.

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens children's activity on Passover

There were planned and supervised activities for children,

Boy and girl looking at flowers in Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

as well as colorful flowers to capture their attention.

Jerusalem park on Pesach with people eating and grilling

Nayot Park was one of dozens of Jerusalem parks where grills were going, smoke was rising, and matza was on the table.

One parking spot is worth standing until your car arrives in Jerusalem on Passover

Driving in many locations took much longer than usual. Finding parking was not always easy. A free parking spot in a good location was worth saving.

There were varied musical events at night, too numerous to list.

Old places like Hansen House were full of activity.

So much was happening in Jerusalem this Passover week.

More photos: Old City HERE    Gan Sacher HERE   Botanical Gardens  HERE

I will end with a video of the Birkat Kohanim,

Pesach in Gan Sacher two little boys palying

and one of my favorite photos, of these young cousins getting to know each other at a Gan Sacher picnic.

Wishing all a good holiday and Shabbat Shalom

 

Tu B’Shevat in Jerusalem

Tu B’Shevat in Jerusalem

Tu B’Shevat,

the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat,

is often called the “New Year of Trees,”

and marks the beginning of spring in Israel

and the birthday of the Knesset.

Growing up in the United States,

 I remember receiving dried, hard, brown carob pods

 called buxor to chew on, or rather to try and chew.

How different is Tu B’Shevat celebrated in Jerusalem!

Buksor for Tu B'Shevat

Thousands of carob pods fall to the ground untouched.

Stores are filled with many varieties of dried fruit.

Every year I have tried a different spelling of Tu B’Shevat,

so I know language translations are not simple,

Prunes with nucleus instead of pit on label

but “Dried Plums without a nucleus”?

In honor of Tu B’Shevat,

almond blossoms, Jerusalem photo tour

along with almond trees bursting into bloom,

let us see a bit of what is new for this year.

President Reuven and Nechama Rivlin hosted

a Tu B’Shevat seder for agricultural growers

and representatives of OneFamily.

Orphans who had lost both parents to terror participated with

Reuven and Nechama Rivlin Tu B'Shevat sedar at BEit Hanasi for One Family and agriculture growers

 red and white wines, wheat, figs, pomegranate, almonds

and more, and in the blessings, readings and song.

But that was a small and private gathering,

as for the real streets,

 Liberty Bell Park, foliage has been cut back.

Sculpture painted yellow in Liberty Bell Park

This old sculpture was painted bright yellow,

image Bell Park

but I hope they used better quality paint than this blue.

The new walking trails along the old train tracks

Bike path and walking trail from Old Train station to Malha Mall

will be filled with pedestrians and bikers.

New neighborhood gardens are being planted,

Community garden in Baka, Jerusalem , Israel

similar to this new community garden in Baka.

Long awaited, this improved play ground

Boy playing in new Jerusalem, Israel park

is appreciated for its play and climbing features,

and also for its accessibility features,

New play equipment in Jerusalem, Israel park

such as this swing.

A new and important addition are these shade covers

Fitness equipment in Jerusalem, Israel park

 and the fitness equipment.

It took months,

Park in Baka Jerusalem, Israel

 but this improved park will be busy soon.

Gan Sacher on Lag B'Omer

For years, Gan Sacher, Sacher Park,

was the main green space,

 then Gazelle Park opening two years ago.

Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park

has seen its share of picnics and protesters.

 Teddy Park became one of the most popular for its fountain,

Tower of David view from Teddy Park sculpture with boy taking photo of sky

but for photographers there is always a new angle.

Near by in Yemin Moshe,

Yemin Moshe tree replanted Jerusalem Israel park

 old olive trees were in dire need of re-potting.

And finally there is a serious effort trying to keep

these wonderful green spaces clean. 

There is much more happening, but for now,

Happy Tu B’Shevat from Jerusalem.

15 Real Photos of Arab Girls

As southern Israel is being pounded with hundreds of rockets launched

by terrorists in Gaza, the world is silent.

A few anti-Israel photos have been circulating for years.

The photo of a man holding a dead girl,

tweeted by a UN media employee that received so much attention,

is the same photo that I saw in 2008 under the caption,

“Israelis kill a lot of Arab children.”

This was the Google search top result for images of “people who smile a lot.”

I was not smiling and later began to take pictures of real Arab girls.

First, on the hot topic of Israeli soldiers and Arab girls,

only in a Bahrain street theater photo will you see a girl lying under a boot.

Israeli apartheid supporters might find it shocking that in Jerusalem,

"Israeli soldier"  "Arab girls" apartheid

 Israeli soldiers walk on the same streets as Arab girls,

"Palestinian school girls", " Israel soldier" , "Muslim girls"

  by the Walls of the Old City near the Jaffa Gate

Israeli apartheid, "Palestian woman" "Arab lady'

and in the city center. Often they seem to not even notice one another.

Arab girls can be found on the ground,

"Palestinian girls"  "Arab girls"

sitting and enjoying public performances,

Arab girls "Palestinian girls"

or just relaxing

"Arab women" "Palestinian women"

in Jerusalem’s public parks.

"Palestinian boys' "Arab boys'

Of course…the same goes for boys too.

"Arab girl' , "girl alone with boys' "Palestinian girl"

Where else would a Muslim girl be seen alone in the park with boys?

"Palestinians"  snowman picture,

And famlies enjoyed posing with this snowman last week.

"Muslim girl" "Arab women"

An Arab girl might be dragged along by her mother,

shopping in Mamilla Mall

but in Mamilla Mall, most girls can be found happily shopping, both day

Mamilla Mall at night ,"Palestinian at night'

and night with no sign of BDS, Boycott, Divest or Sanctions.

"Arab girls"

Sitting on the steps in Mamilla Mall while texting on their phones,

"eating alone" "Palestinian girl"

 or sitting at a table alone,

"Arab women shopping' "Palestinian women'

shopping late at night at the Rami Levi supermarket,

"Rav Kav" "light rail"

or selling Rav Kav cards for the Jerusalem light rail trains…

these are real photos of Arab girls and young women in Jerusalem.

The world is ready to accept faked captions,

how about the truth?