Jerusalem Under the Sturgeon Moon

Did you know the last supermoon of 2022 was named for a fish? Kosher or not kosher, the sturgeon is the largest fish found in the US.

The full moon over Yemin Moshe is always photo-worthy. However, this week I wished I had a better camera with me when I saw it rise in the sky.

President Herzog received new Ambassadors to Israel, the first of the day was from Viet Nam with his wife in traditional colorful outfits.

Then the new Ambassador from Germany presented his credentials.

In spite of recent controversies, German government officials receive a welcome in Israel second only to those of the US. The dinner for Andrea Merkel is one example, the ceremony celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations, was another.

But seeing a German military official saluting along with IDF at the red carpet reception for the playing of Hatikvah was a stop and video moment.

Another one of those green bike path lanes runs outside of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence. Only they start and stop and go nowhere.

Oh well, there were plenty of places to go now that Tisha B’Av is over.

The Takhana Rishona, First Station hosts musical entertainment.

One night advertised as Klezmer free concerts, young people were featured.

At the Jerusalem Theater, not only inside, but on the plaza out front music could be heard on Jerusalem streets.

Monday night Israeli dancing attracted a large enthusiastic group of participants, men, and women of various ages and styles.

Another August favorite is the Theater in the Rough Shakespeare productions. This year the Merchant of Venice has another seven performances in Bloomfield Park behind the King David Hotel.

The popular Jerusalem public space was shared by a loud party

and multiple family photoshoots on the night I attended.

As the audience moved along with the thespians,

dozens of families strolled on summer outings.

The Train Theater is ready for the week with a big opening tonight.

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park is back as a popular night spot for families.

I went by on my way to check out the Likud Primary voting situation at the Jerusalem Convention Center.

At 9:00 pm, the stated closing time, people were still arriving.

Campaigning was going strong outside in the crowded plaza.

And heading home, in Sacher Park people were still arriving to party.

There was much to celebrate, with or without sturgeon this past week in Jerusalem.

Come see The Real Jerusalem Streets for yourself.

Jerusalem Celebrates Sports and More

The Maccabiah 2022 started with lights, sounds, and fireworks on July 14th.

On Sunday, July 24th the final medal events are being held at the YMCA and in the Malha stadiums. It’s been another Jerusalem Celebrates Sports week.

Over 30,000 people participated in the opening Maccabiah 2022 ceremony held in Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, Israel, on the summer day of July 14th, as Jerusalem cooled in the evening as the sunset.

I remembered that 5 years ago, the Maccabiah joined Jerusalem for a Night Run. That 2017 event began at Jerusalem’s Takhana Rishona, First Station.

This time the Jerusalem Night Run started and ended in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park with three distance routes – half marathon, 10 K, and 5 K.

Not quite the Jerusalem International Marathon, as the finish line for all the runners was in the park. The helium-filled finish was installed shortly before the race times.

The last meters to the finish line were plain grass, not the ramp which has been a feature for the full marathon after the first muddy year in 2011.

Arriving early before dark, I was able to meet the head of the US track team

and a junior runner from Hong Kong.

The starting line was up in time for the race starts – but just barely. There were drums and music as the runners took their positions.

One Ukrainian flag was displayed at the start of the half marathon,

and a proposal marked and delayed the start of the second race.

I went early as it is hard to get good photos of Night Run participants.

It is much easier when runners pose before the start.

And much more fun when you see people you know running again.

The night air cooled the park, which was filled with colors and lights.

Oh yes, Jerusalem streets were blocked again and closed for the Night Run.

As I walked home, both international and local runners kept coming,

seemingly enjoying racing thru the Jerusalem streets to the finish line.

The Night Run was not the only event the Jerusalem public could observe. For the Maccabiah 2022, an ice hockey rink was constructed in the Pais Arena. After Shabbat, the stadium was opened for the final game, Canada vs. the US.

Oh, how different from the 2013 Maccabiah games, also held in Israel,

when we had to travel all the way to the ice rink in Metula, in the far north.

Not exactly the same scale by any measure!

The closing ceremony of the 21st Maccabiah will take place July 25th at the Live Park in Rishon LeTzion. 

It will be interesting to see the changes the next time the international Jewish athletes from World Maccabiah return to the Jerusalem streets.

However, not just sports filled the Jerusalem streets this past week.

The Sultan’s Pool, across from the walls of the Old City was full of thousands

of excited baby boomers for the Paul Anka concert on Wednesday night,

and on Thursday night there were 5,000 on hand for the opening of the 39th Jerusalem Film Festival, which goes until the end of July and includes more than 200 films from more than 50 countries and outdoor shows.

Rehearsals for Theater in Motion – Shakespeare in Bloomfield Park in August, went on in spite of the US Presidential visit, street closings, and runners on the roads.

Jerusalem Train Theater, original train under renovation

And preparations are well underway at the new Train Theater to host the 31st International Jerusalem Puppet Festival in August.

Jerusalem new Train Theater near Liberty Bell Park

From that old train car, the new state-of-the-art facility at Liberty Bell Park will host international puppeteers and a long list of family events.

Original Train Theater in Jerusalem

Yes, the Train Theater, the sports and culture, and the facilities have come a long way – and much more.

View of Har Habayit from the Rova

Isn’t it time you came to see them yourself?

Jerusalem Celebrates in July

The Jerusalem streets are back to normal!

After more than two years under the corona cloud and closings, the tourists and their tour buses are back clogging the Jerusalem streets. Family and Birthright tours and so many more are in Jerusalem this summer.

One day I had to pick from three things happening at the same time.

Sunday evening the sky was pure gold as the sunset. The weather has been fabulous for the new burst of tourist activity.

Machane Yehuda Market, shuk, is filled with colors of summer produce.

The variety and colors and flavors are always photo-worthy.

We had a photo walk thru the shuk, and it was fantastic to see it again.

Even better from the lens of fresh and young eyes.

Always something new to see in the shuk and on the Jerusalem streets.

Some of the images really pop out at you.

And the building! As the construction goes up and up, the skyline changes.

The huge Midtown Jerusalem project next to the old Shaare Zedek Hospital is going down and down, now that the plot has been cleared.

Even the citadel at the Tower of David is getting a makeover/repair.

Nearby in the valley, the Auto Food Festival is back until the end of August.

The Liberty Bell Garden was the scene of a youth festival. I was not allowed to enter, so no photos from that event.

However, with the music coming from the Shalom Hartman outdoor stage, it was hard not to stop on the way home.

Signs are up for summer in the neighborhood parks for July and August.

This summer Jerusalem celebrates Sport in July!

First, the Israeli Sports Championships were held last week.

The European Under 18 Championships were held at Givat Ram Stadium, morning and evening, and were open to the public. It was a big success according to those who attended, but there was no closing mega event due to concerns about the rising corona numbers.

The 21st Maccabiah is opening on July 14, with thousands of international Jewish athletes to compete. One Jerusalem event is a Night Run on July 18, registration for that race is open.

What’s bigger news than sports?

The signs are up on the Jerusalem streets -no parking near Beit Hanasi. The Israeli President’s Residence is to host President Joe Biden. He was last here as US Vice-President five years ago.

This visit has already produced an official logo and a 30-siren blasting motorcade late-night rehearsal thru the Jerusalem streets.

One topic said to be on the discussion agenda is the status of E 1.

E1 (short for East 1) includes the land area east of Jerusalem French Hill to Ma’ale Adumim.

Ma’ale Adumim is home to 30,000 Israelis.

From a lookout in Ma’ale Adumim, we went to see the contested area.

E1 covers an area of 12 square kilometers (4.6 sq mi).

From Ma’ale Adumim you can see across the wadi to Al-Eizariya or al-Azariya, familiar to Christian tourists as Bethany.

Also, there is the Israeli police station in E1.

And this lake – not what one expects to see.

Al-Eizariya is part of the story with its unregulated growth, the disposal of trash down the side of the mountain is easily visible.

But the bigger current issue is the Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin site.

Repeatedly the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled this illegal encampment to be removed and at the last minute, governments have not followed thru.

The people living here were offered other options and refused.

On land outside of Ma’ale Adumim, the encampment has grown. The people who would want to move and improve their living conditions are forced to stay because of the politics of those who want Israel not to connect Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem.

The red warning sign in to Al-Eizariya warns Israelis of danger but does not say forbidden, we drove up to another lookout spot.

We could see one of the checkpoints back to Jerusalem was backed up and used another one to return. It will be interesting to see what the Biden visit stirs up in this already sensitive E1 area.

I felt it more important to go and see what the situation looked like than attend yet another session on antisemitism at Hebrew University with Deborah Lipstadt which was at the same time as the E1 media tour.

Remember she spoke in Jerusalem three years ago?

Deborah Lipstadt speaking on antisemitism at the Begin Center for the B’nai Brith Awards in 2019..

Back on the Jerusalem streets, the Sultan’s Pool is ready for those huge summer musical nighttime concerts again.

When the sun sets in Jerusalem the colors are not just Jerusalem of Gold. Look at this view over the Dead Sea to Jordan.

This is why I love to do the Jerusalem photo walks in the Yemin Moshe area. Hope you will be able to appreciate the view also and soon.