Colorful Week in Jerusalem

Will it rain tomorrow?

How cold will it be today?

In Jerusalem, Israel, the weather is a constant topic of conversation.

Last week was unusual, with pleasant weather, not too hot, not too cold.

A great week to get out and get some sun before the winter rains return.

My colorful week with good weather began with one of the best views of the Jerusalem Old City from the Tayelet.

Sigd this year was downsized to a few “capsules” with three Kessim at the dais to lead the traditional prayer service which was broadcast live.

Seated a few meters away was “capsule 3” Kessim in a group, socially distanced sitting under their colorful umbrellas. The annual observance in other years attracted thousands for prayers and after the fast a major party, but due to corona restrictions, it was extremely limited this year.

This woman was keeping her distance as she faced Jerusalem’s Old City, but I noticed her cell phone.

This man sat on a wall at the Tayelet, but without the view.

Was he watching the prayers broadcast on his phone?

Security was in place. However, sadly due to COVID-19 few people came.

These new buildings sprung up near the Tayelet and they are part of the change in the neighborhood.

Ahdeya Ahmad Al-Sayed, President of the Bahraini Journalists Association, said she will never forget the photos from Jerusalem of Israel and Bahrain.

The red and white flags of Bahrain were at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence, as the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, His Excellency Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani, signed the official guest book before meeting with President Rivlin.

The King David Hotel was open, but King David Street was closed.

I got a photo of the Bahrain and United States flags on the hotel with the Israeli flags as official state meetings were held inside.

The real streets were not involved with meetings unless the drivers were stuck in traffic, which was an all too common occurrence before the coronavirus pandemic.

Now is the time for fall colors – rare and appreciated in Jerusalem.

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The garden outside the Knesset was more colorful than usual this week.

The flower bed on Herzog Street had reached peak color.

The floral butterfly near Gan Sacher, Sacher Park was past prime time.

It’s time to pick those olives, otherwise, they end up on the ground under the trees, and turn into squashed overripe purple globs. Plenty of photos of those streets, but not such a pretty sight.

Blue skies and white clouds were great for walking this past week.

This path, empty in the past, became so popular I went off to look in different directions.

Groups of children were in parks taking advantage of the sun.

Jerusalem parks were green and filled with student groups.

Jerusalem green spaces were alive with the sounds of children’s voices.

In Nahlaot, where space is dear, green vines grew on and over the streets,

and flower beds add color along the walls in the old narrow lanes.

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Coronavirus has moved synagogue prayers outside to the Jerusalem streets,

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and study centers out of the buildings into covered open shelters.

Communal street lending libraries were open when other public ones were closed for browsing due to virus limiting restrictions.

Gan Sacher was green and full of life, as couples strolled in the midday sun, taking advantage of days without rain.

It was a colorful week, with people taking the time to get away from their screens and go outside, from the Tayelet to the Jerusalem Rose Garden where before corona I led nature photo walks.

But I will save those many photos, and share one of my favorite sights this past week before I close.

A woman taking her youngsters out for a walk using one of those rolling pens. The old ones from kibbutz days were made of wood, but this one was made from light metal. They were such a cute sight on their outing.

The Jerusalem new winter signs are up, for “a warm winter and health – because in Jerusalem winter is winter.”

So when the weather is good, it’s good to get out and see the autumn colors.

Take care everyone and stay well.

Jerusalem Moving Outside: Summer in Sacher Park

Jerusalem Moving Outside: Summer in Sacher Park

Jerusalem, Israel.

The sun is shining. The hot days of summer are here.

Many people on my street went away for a holiday weekend.

Life appeared to be normal, except for a few masks.

Moving outside is now the “in” thing to do.

Signs for summer outside in Jerusalem Israel during coronavirus

New signs were posted for summer under the stars at the Kahn Theater and the Jerusalem Theater.

Cultural events were stopped and theaters have been shut for months.

However, construction and road work accelerated under corona closings.

Gardner planting new roses in Jerusalem Israel

The Jerusalem municipality gardening crews planted new roses.

Jerusalem Sacher Park entrance

One of Jerusalem’s largest public outside green spaces is Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

Sovereignty sign posted in Jerusalem Gan Sacher Park

One entrance to the park has a protest sign against building in the “White Ridge,” west of the city, proposed much needed new housing in the green Jerusalem hills.

This is one location that has greatly improved over the past few years.

Jerusalem Israel Savher Park entrance before marathon days.

The entrance before renovations often had signs posted. But oh that path!

Valley of Cross path toward Gan Sacher Park

This was the way the path looked before,

Walking and bike path Jerusalem Israel Valley of Cross

and this is the same path now divided for walkers and cyclists.

Jerusalem Sacher Park couple exercising

Gan Sacher is being well-watered and the grass is green.

Couple doing yoga moves in Jerusalem Park Gan Sacher

Enough space for almost private exercise under the trees.

Jerusalem Israel park Gan Sacher

Even this rock near an entrance was cleaned up!

Jerusalem Israel Gan Sacher Park

I went back to find a photo of before, yes it was that sad looking.

Jerusalem Israel two Muslim women walking in Gan Sacher Park

I passed two Arab women wearing masks on the walking path.

Masks are not required for exercise.

But police are giving out fines for those not wearing masks in public.

View of Sacher Park above the restaurant

The restaurant in the Gan Sacher was busy. People were eating in the open covered area and a few couples were sitting outside. Seems those seats and steps which were hard to understand in the past are brilliant for our new reality.

Sacher Park in Jerusalem play are with steps before renovation

At this time of year, the playground would be filled with children.

Lately, the play equipment in Gan Sacher stands empty.

Jerusalem Israel playground in Jerusalem Park

Notice the steps are gone. It will be interesting to see the results when completed.

Jerusalem park Gan Sacher Park

Lights on were on in the building with restrooms, but no landscaping around.

Jerusalem Gan Sacher 2019 sign for Passover

Passover 2019 there was green planted all around.

I stopped going inside to check, as every time I found it clean.

Restroom in Sacher Park under construction

I remember how thrilled to see when this was being built.

Jerusalem Israel old restrooms before renovations

The situation before was Outrageous!

Progress and changes in Gan Sacher over the years, included the picnic area.

Jerusalem Israel Gan Sacher Park cement tables i

February 2018 this was a new picnic area near the play equipment.

Those tables and benches looked sturdy. However, those round things near fields?

Guess I was not the only one confused. Were they to be used as seats or BBQ grills?

Truck in Sacher Park in Jerusalem Israel

But now those benches and tables and round things are gone.

Jerusalem Israel new picnic tables in Sacher Park

There are even newer picnic tables

Jerusalem Israel Sacher Park new eating areas

in several locations along the path inside Gan Sacher. 

Jerusalem Israel Sacher Park renovation

One area in front of the trees that border the Knesset has also been developed.

Old view of Gan Sacher when trees fell down

Remembering in March 2014, after storms, many of the old trees in that spot were down.

Some trees were marked to be saved. Some were removed.

Trees trimmed have come back to provide shade again.

Two Muslim women stopping in Sacher Park to take selfies

By the time I came around the park, the women had reached the same spot and were taking selfies.

It was time to walk home.

Road work along path in Valley of Cross in Jerusalem Israel

Not too long ago serious fire here had endangered homes on the streets above.

A few days ago the dried weeds were cut, the area was being replanted.

Jerusalem Rechavia view from Valley of the Cross

Today you can see the results of the new landscaping.

Jerusalem Israel Sacher Park

In spite of the summer heat, and in spite of the coronavirus pandemic, the Jerusalem park spaces are being upgraded and green.

Jerusalem summer activities for children in the city parks in summer 2020

New activities for young children are planned in the Jerusalem parks.

Broadway shows in New York City are closed until January.

Things may not be coming up roses everywhere but in Jerusalem,

there are new roses on the streets and people are moving on and outside.

Israeli Scouts Masada center open after COVID-10 closing

After months closed, the door to the Israeli Scouts Moadon was open.

The sounds of children’s voices could be heard again filling the Jerusalem streets.

 

Preserving the Past, Promoting the Future, and Anchors Aweigh Jerusalem

Preserving the Past, Promoting the Future, and Anchors Aweigh Jerusalem

Jerusalem offers a wide array of activities before the new school year begins.

Searching for a good quote for “circus” I found “preserving the past, promoting the future.”

What could be more appropriate for Jerusalem, Israel?

Jerusalem Tower of David end of summer event Circus

What could be more appropriate for the Circus at the Tower of David?

Jerusalem Israel Tower of David Circus sign

In the venue of historic ancient stones, the past is carefully preserved.

The Circus being held this August is especially aimed at young families.

Encouraging. Enriching. Exciting.

Providing educational and enjoyable activities that promote the future.

Tower of David view of tables set for Shesh Besh competition in Jerusalem Israel

From the Tower of David, you get panoramic and dramatic views of Jerusalem.

From the top of the Tower of David, we could see the area above Mamilla Mall across from the Old City walls near Jaffa Gate was set and ready for a shesh-besh tournament.  Backgammon players of all ages were invited to enter the public competition.

The plaza area near Jaffa Gate was not the only place that was busy this summer.

360 Degrees music festival in Jerusalem Liberty Bell Park

The Liberty Bell Park was one of the locations of the 360 Degree music and theater festival.

Muslim woman standing with Jewish man at music event in Liberty Bell Park Jerusalem

Diverse populations attended these events that were open to the public and free of charge. This was a drum circle, with standing room also.

Muslim women picnic in Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem during a summer music festival

I took this photo of a young woman ready to do face painting for the children in the park.

If you look closely the women behind her are wearing hijabs and having a picnic dinner.

Jerusalem Israel Bloomfield Park scene from Measure for Measure - Shakespeare in Motion

In Bloomfield Park, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure in Motion holds its last performances on August 25, 26, and 27. The annual theatrical event attracted the attention of Yiddish-speaking children who were in the park on family outings. Shakespeare is not taught in Israeli schools, and this is one fun way to preserve the Bard.

End of August summer activities at Hansen House in Jerusalem Israel

Hansen House, the old leper hospital, now the site of innovative programs, is presenting end-of-summer activities for families. Locals may be away, but a few children were doing activities in the Hansen courtyard. Sunday night was scheduled for a grand opening.

Sign for Sukkot 2016 Archaeological campus

Preserving the past, the National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, had a grand opening almost three years ago.

Building of Schottenstein Antiquities Campus

The huge complex was meant to showcase Israeli archaeology.

Inside Antiquities Campus 2016

The innovative architectural designed building was to be home to researchers preserving the past. Visitors could watch work being done through glass walls.

Room in Schottenstein Antiquities Campus

Rooms were dedicated to each era and the ancient finds were to be on display.

valuable pieces in museum lower level Schottenstein Campus

Down in the depths, the most ancient and valuable pieces were to be preserved and displayed.

Archaeological Campus site near Israel Museum

The front still appears the same from the street as on our exciting initial visit, only now the doors are chained shut. It will take a huge new cash infusion to promote the campus in the future.

Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem Israel

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem (BLMJ) is next to the shuttered campus.

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem main floor

BLMJ has rare antiquities carefully preserved and ancient relics on exhibition.

Exhibit at Bible Lands Museum on discoveries found preparing for new Beit Shemesh road

In the spring the Highway through History exhibit opened.

Beit Shemesh Road work halted because of major site underneath

Displays and photographs of the #38 Highway expansion are seen near the entrance.

Side of road where ancient site was found next to new road in BEeit Shemesh

However, driving by the site on the way to Beit Shemesh, was a very different experience.

Archaeological dig in Beit Shemesh where new road was to go.

I know they said it was big and close to the road, but as we drove by it was hard to capture how expansive the site is. Everywhere in Israel, preserving the past and promoting the future is a balancing act, as Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch and museum curators said at the opening of the Highway Through History exhibition.

The newest exhibit Anchors Aweigh opened this week.

BLMJ exhibit on Sea Ports of Holy Land

The exhibit is dedicated to seaports and is located downstairs in the museum.

Blue and white Israeli flag at Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem Israel

 Out of the Blue and with its blue threads was the previous exhibit on display in this space.

Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem exhibit on Ports 1800s

Fifty works of Holy Land seaports from the private collection of Yossi Gilben are on display.

Image of Ashdod port in 1839 BLMJ exhibit

This 1839 lithograph by D. Roberts is of Ashdod. What a contrast to the thriving city and port today.

Lithograph from 1839 of Gaza with soldiers near water in port

Troops heading north to Sidon are depicted in this D. Roberts lithograph, also dated 1839, in Gaza.

BLMJ image of Jaffa SeaPort in 1677

Jaffa was the closest port to Jerusalem. It was not a natural harbor and lacked deep water, so those arriving had to disembark onto small crafts to reach land. It was destroyed in the 13th century after the Crusade-era and remained in ruins for hundreds of years.

In the 15th century as more pilgrims came to the Holy Land they would spend a night or two in the ruins and head for Jerusalem. Finally, in the mid-17th century, the Ottomans allowed a small group of Franciscan monks to settle in Jaffa and care for European pilgrims. Later they were granted permission to establish a hospice.

This engraving by O. Dapper is from 1677 shows the port and citadel, along with some buildings, in German, Ioppen in Palestine.

The other seaports of Ashkelon, Haifa, and Caesarea are included in Gilben’s impressive lithographs and engravings collection which has preserved the past for us to enjoy now.

BLMJ old map that was printed in error with Mediterranean on wrong side

This map placed just outside the main room is from the collection of Batya Borowski.

Incorrect map of coastline of Holy land printers error

Jewish Holy Land with allotments of the 12 tribes in German is the title of the wood engraving by S. Munster (ca. 1550).

It was pointed out to us, that the map with the south on the upper area and the Mediterranean on the right side, was due to a printing error. It seems as back as the early days of printing, even those who honored and yearned for Jerusalem did not always get their facts straight, as they had never been to the Holy Land.

Leonardo DaVinci is featured at the Bloomfield Science Museum.

The Israeli Museum always attracts families during the summer holidays.

It is hot. Streets are almost empty of cars.

But as always good things are happening on and under the Jerusalem, Israel streets as the summer wanes.