Jerusalem 8 Contrasts in First Week of June

Jerusalem 8 Contrasts in First Week of June

The first week of June in this time of novel coronavirus pandemic has been a week of contrasts.

Scenes of continued isolation versus images of huge protest gatherings.

Cities appearing under siege with rioters breaking windows and burning stores.

Watching educators provide a memorable graduation ceremony for their classes of 2020.

Israel, meanwhile, began to emerge from COVID-19 isolations and lockdown.

Path in Jerusalem Valley of the Cross

Not sure if I should share secrets – but this path is in the Valley of the Cross.

New landscaping along Jerusalem bike path

The new landscaping seems to have burst out in color along the new bike path.

Milton's Way new bike paths in Jerusalem Israel

How many times did I walk this way and not notice “Milton’s Way Bike Path?”

Walking and bike path Jerusalem Israel Valley of Cross

Not the usual wheels one sees on this bike trail. It seems even individuals more at risk took time to get out and exercise in the pleasant weather.

Mask on ground in Jerusalem park path

A sign of the times – a discarded mask on the path in the Valley of the Cross.

Contrast #1 – this peaceful location was a scene of a terror attack.

Prof Menahem Stern memorial in Valley of Cross murdered by terrorist in June 1989

The path where Prof Menahem Stern was murdered by a terrorist in June of 1989.

Path in Valley of Cross Jerusalem Israel

Contrast #2 – the green growth so close to the dried weeds, with the Israel Museum overlooking the stones of an ancient dwelling.

Jerusalem Israel street construction and traffic stopped

Contrast #3 – This intersection of Herzog, Tchnernichovsky, and Haim Hazaz Streets,

Herzog Street being repaired in Jerusalem Israel

with the same intersection two days later. Each image shared tells a different story. With less traffic Jerusalem construction work has proceeded.

Jerusalem Israel pillbox with Scouts banner posted for June event

One sign of normalcy, the Scouts put a banner on the Pillbox at the corner.

Protest sign on Jerusalem Pillbox

Contrast #4 – a protest sign in the same location two days later. This group wants to keep the Jerusalem hills green with no building. Corona or not, protests have continued on a daily basis, for multiple issues.  At least the new “save the hills of Jerusalem” protest was quiet.

Jerusalemschool closed to COVID-19 being sprayed to disinfect building
Photo credit: Spokesperson Municipality

Contrast #5 – Israeli schools reopened after being closed for weeks. However, Jerusalem’s Gymnasia Rechavia closed after two teachers were diagnosed with COVID-19, and many students tested positive also. Crews went into the high school building after it was shut and disinfected everything. Today 22 more schools were reported on the list as closed.

With the spring holiday season over, the Israeli flags have been removed from over the Jerusalem streets, while new colorful signs were put up.

Jerusalem sign for coronavirus summer.

Contrast #6 – Things are to be very different this summer than in past summers. 

Fewer Israelis will be traveling overseas and fewer international tourists arriving.

The hotels by the Kinneret have started advertising for guests to come again.

But wait, Jerusalem wants Israelis to come to spend their holiday time here in the city.

Signs in Jerusalem for summer tourists to come to city instead of going overseas vacations

The new signs are for food, music, street entertainment, and more.

Jerusalem street closed for restaurant opening after coronavirus closures.
Photo credit: Aaron Katsman

One idea was to temporarily close streets to traffic so restaurants could serve patrons outside. Azza Street was one of the first of 13 locations to close.

Unity Prize at Beit Hanasi was one of many Jerusalem events held at the beginning of June.

President Reuven Rivlin hosted, the sixth Jerusalem Unity Prize award ceremony in memory of Eyal Ifrah, Gil-ad Shaer, and Naftali Fraenkel ז”ל at Beit HaNasi on Tuesday, June 2. During the ceremony, Uri Ifrah spoke on behalf of the families and former Jerusalem Mayor, now MK Nir Barkat, one of the founders of the prize, also spoke.

Photo for Jerusalem Unity Prize 2019 at Israel President's Residence

Last year on stage for the final photo, winners stood behind the Israeli dignitaries.

Unity Prize founders three families Fraenkel, Ifrach and Shaar at Beit Hanasi for Unity Awards Ceremony

Two years ago the room was filled with families and guests and entertainers,

Shuli Rand and Guri Alfi were highlighted in the program.

Beit Hanasi for Jerusalem Unity Prize awards in corona-virus masks
Photo credit: Mark Neyman (GPO)

Contrast #7 – This year was a very different scene.

Protest signs not to divide Jerusalem

As the “Trump Plan” and Sovereignty are hotly debated, these posters were posted in Jerusalem.

No one knows for sure what the future will bring.

Contrast #8 – I want to end with something positive.

Muslim and Jewish female United Hatzalah volunteer team
Photo credit: United Hatzalah

This photo from United Hatazalah, with a caption on Tweeter: “a secular Israel, a religious Arab Israeli, and an Ultra-Orthodox Israeli saving lives together on an ambulance shift today in Jerusalem,” mentioned @RealJStreets.

As of now, it has been retweeted 200 times from the original and has well over 600 likes.

Not to worry, the women all wore masks working and only removed them to smile for the camera.

A week filled with contrasts, and highs and lows.

But as always things were happening on the Jerusalem streets.

Which images and contrasts did you see shared?

Jerusalem: Gay Parade Photos You Did Not See

It is hot outside.

It is so very hot that the cold water from the tap needs ice to cool off.

Wild forest fires were burning.

The smell of burnt wood filled the air last night.

Shira Banki, the girl stabbed at the

 Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance died of her wounds.

SIGH.

JustinRoths and now Laura have been writing,

 many more friends are posting on Facebook.

I posted on the parade on Israellycool last week.

However,

I did not do a RJS Shabbat Shalom greeting.

But not to say something, to ignore events turning Jerusalem,

Israel, and Israelis inside out?

Enough.

That fateful Thursday afternoon,

I went to see what was happening,

and I want to share some photos of scenes you did not see.

gay parade

Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park

had a nice size crowd gathered for the start of march,

 rainbow colors were even on cars.

The crowd seemed larger than previous years.

The route was different from last year,

horse and police patrol

 as always the police horses were worthy of a look.

I was on Lincoln Street minutes before the stabber.

wedding carcar decorated for wedding

There was a car decorated for a Tu B’Av wedding,

this is wedding season, heat or no heat wave.

street blocked for gay parade

City buses blocked traffic for the parade,

and some people were held up for two hours.

Jerusalem street photo

Walking was best way to get around.

But, there were so many other things happening too.

networking group

Made in Jerusalem was celebrating

Jerusalem’s ranking as one of the top 50 start-up cities.

People were also gathering near them at First Station

for a Klezmer band to start performing,

part of Klezmer Festival taking place in many venues.

Muslim pcinic

Muslim families were picnicking in this park,

while at Kraft Stadium the annual Woodstock Revival was rocking on.

train that takes tourists around old city

The new tourist train to Old City was running.

elevator

The new elevator at the Cinematheque is coming along,

to provide better access for the disabled.

construction Jerusalem

 Isrotel Hotel across from First Station is going up.

Jerusalem street photo

At least one women on Emek Refaim was using her head,

Jerusalem cafe street photo

while others at this cafe were looking down.

Really big news,

Jerusalem Street photo

 a 5 shekel cafe has opened in the German Colony.

Around the corner,

building Jerusalem photo at night

the Christian Embassy lights go on as it gets dark,

always a beautiful scene.

There are all kinds of jokes and myths about full moons,

but that night was also a ‘Blue Moon’.

Jerusalem sunset

Blue moons are not blue,

they just happen once in awhile.

That night the full, blue moon rose over the Kidron Valley.

As traffic was stopped for emergency crews and police,

 just a few minutes and meters away,

all was so peaceful looking.

Today it was so very hot,

Jerusalem street photo bus stop

as these women were waiting for a bus,

at the stop along the march route,

another day on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.