President Time in Jerusalem

President Time in Jerusalem

If it’s February,

it’s time for Presidents again.

In the United States, February means a long holiday weekend

Jerusalem street sign for US President Abraham Lincoln

in honor of the birthdays of President George Washington

US President Abraham Lincoln street sign Jerusalem

and President Abraham Lincoln.

Since I have used these Jerusalem streets signs often,

I went to find something new.

I went looking for the sign where the two streets meet,

image of Presidents Where Washington and Lincoln Streets meet in Jerusalem

only to find, there is no sign on that Jerusalem corner.

Over 6,000 people came from around the world

Binyunei Hauma for #OCsummit2017

for the OurCrowd Global Summit last week.

with Elli Q, one of hundreds of amazing Israeli innovations.

Presidents of companies and leaders of the Startup Nation

networked and shared their ideas and talents.

At another venue, the annual Conference of Presidents

of Major American Jewish Organizations met again this year

in Jerusalem, Israel, after a kosher dinner in the royal palace in Morocco

and a stopover in Cairo to meet President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Reuven Rivlin and Malcolm Hoenlein at Inbal Hotel

President Reuven Rivlin was the first speaker,

and no, the President was not so excited to see me.

Romanian former President Rosen Plevneliev

The former President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev

was in the banquet hall for the opening dinner.

 He really is a friendly person.

Bulgaria President at Beit Hanasi

On his way to visit President Rivlin at Beit Hanasi,

the official residence of the Israeli President,

the former President of Bulgaria and his team,

 stopped, said hello, smiled and posed for photos.

But as usual in February,

 most people are not thinking about all these Presidents,

Candy in the shuk before Purim

they are busy thinking about

costumes, candy for gifts, and meals fit for a king,

Machane Yehudah Market, the shuk, has been ready for weeks.

No matter the weather,

Rainy day with fabric out on street for Purim costumes

colorful fabric for costumes lines the sidewalks on Jaffa Road.

 Purim is coming.

Jerusalem Noisy February Nights

Jerusalem Noisy February Nights

Life in Jerusalem, Israel,

is unpredictable.

No one knows for sure what will happen next.

This week, for example,

the weather changed so many times

it was impossible to keep track.

Starting on Sunday, rain was on and off.

Yafo in rain, empty and wet

 Jaffa Road was wet and deserted.

The red urban installation Varda hung deflated,

like a soggy, wilted flower.

Machane Yehuda Market closed

Inside Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk, 

there were rows of closed shutters,

but umbrellas were out for sale in many places.

A few years ago, the Municipality came up with a plan

to attract people to Jerusalem at night in the winter

with a festival called – שאון חורף – Winter Noise.

 Monday nights in February,

in a different center city location,

people watching giant game projected on wall

people were to come to fill the streets and be entertained.

Last week was the first of the series

held on Shushan and Horesh Streets.

game projected on wall for Jerusalem February Monday night festival

This was a clever projection,

the player was on the sidewalk,

but his screen was many stories high on the wall.

projected images on building at night

Can find me here on this screen?

Winter Noise starts at 7:00 pm and goes to 2:00 am.

light design on wall Jerusalem Israel festival

I like to go early before the crowds

to take photos of these light projections,

street music Jerusalem

and live music in multiple locations.

actors in store window Jerusalem

 Actors performed in this store,

while the audience watched from outside.

Across the street, a new boutique hotel called

The Post, in the old post office building,

The Post music in main room Jerusalem

had live music, food and drink,

and was a great place to sit and warm up.

But most of the Winter Noise takes place

outside on the streets,

street music Jerusalem Israel

with free concerts and entertainment.

Alcohol and food are part of the fun in most locations.

Inside Sobar music for Winter Festival

At Sobar, there was coffee and music,

since it is a new alcohol and drug-free venue.

Sobar for Jerusalem Festival

I spotted a former Jerusalem Deputy Mayor

listening in the audience.

How do I describe the way to Sobar?

Shushan Street Jerusalem Sobar entrance

Go to the end of Shushan Street,

through the gate, to the right and then left.

I often walk around Jerusalem, Israel, at night,

but never on these streets in the dark.

I was really glad I had asked a friend to come along.

black and white images of people watching

Now do you see us here?

 I never would have never ventured in alone

artist Jerusalem

and seen this art gallery and artists’ center.

The first week of Winter Noise was fun.

I discovered and saw many new locations.

But, I am glad I did not post this last week.

Winter Noise was on Shammai and Hillel Streets this week.

There were to be 6 more locations than last week,

but there seemed to be far fewer.

The “entertainment” was not good.

I could not find one thing to photograph and share.

At a conference this week,

City Councilman Aryeh King expressed disgust

with some of the “culture” and entertainment,

and how the city spends its money.

This second week of Winter Noise,

proved him to be all-too correct.

It was reported that he resigned in protest.

I have often questioned what is considered culture here.

I agree with King, this event was tacky and trashy,

and I am relieved I did not encourage anyone to go.

Only good thing I saw,

was that due to the inclement weather, fewer people came.

Each week is different,

 I hope next week Winter Noise gets back on track.

When the rain stops,

runner on Jaffa Road at night

day or night,

you will find someone running on the streets,

in training for the Jerusalem Marathon.

Jerusalem Marathon sign near Tower of David

Signs are up.

 On March 17, come rain or shine,

the streets will be filled with tens of thousands of people,

running and cheering them on.

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.