Jerusalem: Layers of History Underground

Jerusalem: Layers of History Underground

It is obvious the future skyline of Jerusalem, Israel, is changing daily, as buildings go up and up.

But centuries of history of Jerusalem are underground going back thousands of years.

Jerusalem Western Wall plaza view

This is the image most think of when mentioning Jerusalem of old.

But under the Jerusalem, Israel streets layers of history are being revealed daily.

View of southern excavations old City Jerusalem

Along the southern side of the Old City Walls, the new excavations can be seen by everyone.

Givati parking lot archaeological site outside walls of Old City Jerusalem

The intricate archaeological work under the Givati Parking lot is another site open to the public.

Givati Parking lot excavation

Across from the Old City Walls, not far from Dung Gate, centuries-old houses are being restored.

Roman remains in Jerusalem archaeological dig

The remains of Roman domination in Jerusalem are on display.

House under excavation in Givati pakring lot in Jerusalem Israel near old City walls.

One new discovery was a two-story house. The destruction by Rome of Jerusalem was so powerful that the upper level of this house fell on top of the lower one and a two-meter high piece of the structure was unearthed.

Givati Parking lot excavation

As in other Ir David finds of the historic time period, blackened remnants from the destructive fires were discovered in this house.

I opted to take photos from above and not enter the bedroom below.

Jerusalem drainage route unearthed and from Givati parking lot to Western Wall

But below we did go.

We followed the path of the drainage system of Jerusalem to the Shiloah pool in the Kidron Valley, which was under the Jerusalem streets in the time of the Romans.

Map of old city Jerusalem in Givati Parking lot

This map shows the route of the planned Pilgrims Path which is being excavated and made safe for tourists.

Another layer under the old street has been found, the drainage channel from which the last Jews of Second Temple times tried to hide and escape from the Romans.

picture of Jerusalem in time of Rome

This poster illustrates the street scene in more pleasant ancient times and the drainage channel which ran below it.

However, the last Jews of Jerusalem did not escape to Masada.

They were discovered hiding in the drainage channel by the Romans and all murdered.

The artifacts they left behind are being revealed daily at the Sifting Project in the Zurim Valley.

Drainage path under Jerusalem during Roman times

Today large portions of the drainage channel have been careful revealed by archeologists.

From the Givati Parking lot, we surfaced at the base of the Western Wall.

Jerusalem Israel Western Wall stones of destruction from Rome

Here are stones from the Roman destruction of the Second Temple, tossed away and remaining today.

Stone with ancient markings in Jerusalem Old city

Pieces of stone with Temple carvings are in this area by the Davidson Southern Excavations.

Under your feet, almost anywhere in Jerusalem’s Old City are layers of history.

Jerusalem Israel under ground archaeological discoveries

A new excavation under the Western Wall exposed a very old mikvah, a ritual bath.

Digging under Western Wall

Work in this area leads archeologists to believe the Greeks were building a theater that was never completed.

Stones of Western Wall under ground

More sections of the Western Wall stones have been revealed under the present street level.

Jerusalem Israel Davidson Archaeological Park and view of Har Hazetim

The Davidson Southern Excavation is continuing with new discoveries, with the view of the Mount of Olives in the background and Al-Aqsa Mosque on the left.

Children in Jewish Quarter on trip

Children, tour groups, thousands of all ages filled the Jerusalem Old City streets during the Nine Days leading up to Tisha B’Av.

Sitting on stone in Jerusalem Israel reading Eicha on Tisha b'Av

People sat on the ground, on Jerusalem stones to hear Eicha, the book of Lamentations, at night.

Tens of thousands arrived all night long for Tisha B’Av at the Kotel, the Western Wall.

There was so much more I could share, but I will conclude with two favorites on Tisha B’Av.

Jerusalem Israel Tisha B'Av old man walking

This gentleman with a lovely English accent, born in 1931, took a head start before the group walking around the walls of the Old City. He said that he comes most every year for the last 25-years.  Later during the walk, he refused any help, and his only complaint was timing to get to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv after Shabbat.

Kessim, Ethiopian religious leaders, have been coming to the Kotel each year before Tisha B’Av to pray.

Before Tisha B'Av Kez, Ethiopian religious leaders visit Jerusalem to pray

Near the Kotel, under this old archway, three of the men, from the larger group of Kessin all dressed in white who were on a tour, stopped to talk.

Think about it–their traditions went back to the times of the First Temple.

They arrived in Jerusalem to find Zion, Jerusalem, the First Temple had been destroyed.

Another ancient war, another layer of history yet to be revealed.

On and below the Jerusalem streets, old and new, constantly evolving.

Though  15 Real Photos of Arab Girls was the most popular RJS post.

I hope you enjoyed these bits of archeological finds, there are more to share next time.

 

Jerusalem Lightricks, Unicorns and Israel Innovation

Jerusalem Lightricks, Unicorns and Israel Innovation

Israeli startups raised over $650m in July

Three of the financing rounds in July created unicorns –

startups with a valuation of more than $1 billion

was the headline in Globes Business News English online edition on August 1, 2019, for Lightricks.

Lightricks at Hebrew University Givat Ram Jerusalem Israel hi tech

I visited Lightricks, located on the Hebrew University Givat Ram campus, in the spring.

I got a great paper notepad. However, now I regret not taking better notes and more photos.

Jerusalem Israel Lightricks on Givat Ram at Hebrew University

In the old HU university dorm buildings, Lightricks has grown quickly.

Lightricks Jerusalem Israel

The outdoor locations were bursting with colorful flowers.

Being located on the HU campus, it has become one of Jerusalem’s entrepreneurial hubs attracting the best and brightest.

View from conference room of Lightricks in Givat Ram Hebrew University campus

From the conference room window, you can see one of the outside paths. This is not your typical big-city working space.

I had gone to Lightricks as one of the tour options of Forbes Women Under 30.

JVP Forbes under 30 Women entrepreneurs at JVP in Jerusalem Israel

The diversity of the international groups of young entrepreneurs Forbes brings to Jerusalem at JVP has always been impressive.

Just one of the amazing things happening in Jerusalem, Israel, I wanted to share with you.

Jerusalem Israel Azrieli college Chinese delegations

International trade missions, as this one from China at Azrieli Engineering College at a JlmBioCity BioMed and Pharma pitch-night, now stop in Jerusalem on a regular basis.

But I want to share three diverse entrepreneurial Jerusalem groups you may not have heard about.

The IDF Intelligence Unit 8200 has gained attention though I do not know what they really do.

Soldiers leaving this elite army have gone on to establish impressive startups and innovative businesses.

Carmel 6000 entrance in Har Haztozfirm

A new addition to startup entrepreneurship with volunteer service is Carmel 6000.

A select group of young women has the option to do volunteer service combining hi-tech with social needs.

One of their projects was a collaboration with AYLN Children’s Hospital.

Wheel chair sensors by Carmel 6000 for Alyin children's hospital in Jerusalem Israel

What did the hospital need? A warning system for when a wheelchair was backing up. Here you see the sensors created by Carmel 6000!

Machon Tal hackathon in Jerusalem Israel

In June, Machon Tal of the Jerusalem College of Technology held its Hack@Tal. This educational program is geared to young religious women, with childcare support on campus.

Jerusalem Israel religious girls at Machon Tal hackathon

Another startup creative entrepreneurial competition to create applications for existing problems.

Nearly 200 young women worked day and night on their designated projects.

Machon Tal hackathon in Givat Shaul Jerusalem Israel

From ways to get ambulances through traffic efficiently to a wireless baby monitoring system, students collaborated with an approaching deadline.

Jerusalem Israel tech Machon Tal hackathon

With babies in tow and mentors to guide, the Hack@Tal was…I am at a loss for words of how impressive and positive. Women and STEM have come a long way in Jerusalem, Israel.

Jerusalem Israel MassChallenge Finale at beit Shmuel

The 4th MassChallenge Finale was held last week at Beit Shmuel.

Ten startups were selected from 44 businesses mentored and nurtured by staff members and 200 volunteers, and go on to the US to compete.

While at the end of June, Starting Up Together sponsored by MassChallenge, Rothschild Foundation and Peres Peace Center had a pitch night at First Station.

Jerusalem Israel First Station pitch night for Standing up together

PlayClean won the competition for its application for residents to report garbage to be cleaned up in a fun way to municipal governments.

Jerusalem Israel Bedouin pitch idea for Starting Up Together

Participants from Rahat worked on a website for local women to sell their crafts.

Group pose at Jerusalem First Station MassChallenge Stating up Together

Bedouins from the south, Muslims from the north, and Jews from all over in between, everyone is a winner on evenings like this one.

BioHouse, MadeInJlm, and now FemJlm are more names in startup Jerusalem.

Go north to find WeWork in south Tel Aviv – Hero Makers TOM out to change the world for the better. In Kfar Batya there is an amazing new high school space called Innovation Gogya.

Jerusalem street umbrellas

The umbrellas are up again over Yoel Salomon Street for summer.

But there is so much more happening than a colorful image for tourist season.

Watch out world, from these diverse Jerusalem streets great things are happening.

 

 

 

 

Jerusalem One Summer Night of Two Hugs

Jerusalem One Summer Night of Two Hugs

Oft repeated here,

you never know what you will find on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Antique car on Jerusalem Israel street

This cute little “Electric Bimba” on the street certainly fits the theme.

Forty three degrees in car parked in sun

As the Jerusalem temperature was rising outside, our car parked in the sun went to 43 degrees C, over 100 degrees F. I have no idea what the temperature was in the old revved up personal transporter.

Fountain in Teddy Park Jerusalem Israel

People gather at Teddy Park in the evening, for the water fountain to go on and cool off.

Jerusalem Israel Yad Vashem

One place with thousands of visitors daily, no matter what the weather, is Yad Vashem.

A very special event was held on July 25 in the evening.

Rabbi Y M in Yad Vashem synagogue

As Rav Yisrael Meir Lau Israel’s former Chief Rabbi told his story, he looked at an image projected on the wall of the synagogue.

The occasion was a conference on Holocaust education for North American Jewish educators.

The image was that of him as an 8-year old child.

A Holocaust and concentration camp survivor, the image shows him sitting on a bench between Jewish US Army soldiers who liberated Buchenwald.

Sixty percent of the concentration camp survivors died during the first few days after liberation.  His older brother Naftali z”l was ill, so weak he was unconscious, and was not aware of liberation until much later.

Rabbi Hershel Schacter z”l, was the US Army chaplain who entered with the liberating US Army, who extended his hand to the frightened little boy.

Next to speak was his son, Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, who told the story of his father’s desire to serve in the US Army during wartime.

From the Yad Vashem synagogue, after listening to the emotional remarks from both rabbis, the assembled group walked solemnly into the main building.

Rabbi Y M Lau pointing to himself as a child in large photo in Yad Vashem

There Rabbi Lau pointed to where he sat amid the US Jewish soldiers and Holocaust survivors in the famous image.

On the far left side of this US Army photograph, is Rabbi Schacter z”l, 25 years old, leading the Shavuot holiday service.

Rabbi Y M Lau at Yad Vashem near photo of himself as a child

In Jerusalem, in Yad Vashem, in the hall of memories, Rabbi Lau spoke with the son of Rabbi Schacter z”l of his first Jewish memories as a survivor.

Near photo of his father Rabbi JJ Schacter hugs Rabbi Y M Lau who was also in the image as a child after liberation

The two men hugged in front of the iconic image, in the presence of Rabbi Schacter’s z”l extended family, which included a great-grandson.

A unique and meaningful hug, spanning decades of history, uniting liberators and survivors.

Jerusalem is a city, of contrasts, old and new, and diverse realities.

Jerusalem Film Festival opening night

From Yad Vashem, as the sun was setting, I rushed to the Jerusalem Film Festival opening in the Sultan’s Pool.Jerusalem Film Festival in Sultan's Pool

The screen could be seen from the Cinematheque, with the walls of the Old City in the background.

Jerusalem Film Festival Israeli President Rivlin speaking at opening event

President Reuven Rivlin was the honored guest, as a new film award was initiated in memory of his wife Nechama z”l.

Jerusalem Film Festival Paul Newman

In the opening video presentation along with greetings from Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and Sports and Cultural Minister Miri Regev, were clips from the movie Exodus.

Paul Newman in Exodus in opening video at Jerusalem Film Festival

I wonder how many people learned of the establishment of modern Israel and were influenced by Paul Newman in this 1960 movie.

Dr Ruth and President Reuven Rivlin

As for the second hug of the evening, Dr. Ruth Westheimer is back in Jerusalem. The documentary movie of her fascinating life was a feature of this annual film festival.

Jerusalem Film Festival honoree Katzriel Schori

Katriel Schori received an award for lifetime achievement in Israeli film.

View from Cinematheque of Old City and Sultan's Pool at Jerusalem Film Festival

I left before the main film was shown, but I could see Schori accepting his award on the screen.

Jerusalem Food Truck in Haginon Park

Down below in the valley the Food Truck Festival was going strong.

Thousands of people were out enjoying the cooler evening temperatures on very crowded Jerusalem streets.

Back to the Future with the Philharmonic orchestra performing live near the Old City walls was sold out days before. It was a Jerusalem Film Festival success.

However, the film festival has open and free film showings in various neighborhood parks.

Jerusalem film festival sign for public free film

This sign in Arnona is for a film on Wednesday night in Baka.   It will be shown free of charge outside in a park.

Jerusalem Israel parks signs in Arabic and Hebrew to keep clean

Signs in Arabic and Hebrew request that the parks be left clean.

Day or night, another week with many and diverse happenings on the Jerusalem streets.