7 positive things in Jerusalem this week

Oh, what a year it has been in Jerusalem, Israel!

Oh, what a week it has been!

Where to start?

It’s been a year since Jerusalem’s Old City walls were lit with flags of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates in honor of the Abraham Accords.

This week the first Israeli baby was born in UAE, Mia’s father is the Israeli General Consul in Dubai. Because of coronavirus normalization has not gone as fast as many would have liked.

Still waiting to show new Twitter friends the real Jerusalem streets when they are finally able to travel here.

Too many lights over the Jerusalem, Israel streets to see the meteor show, but we did have a clear view of the new moon, over the entrance to the city filled with construction cranes. Building and moving are major themes this week in and around Jerusalem.

New decorations keep popping up over the city center.

People have returned in large numbers to the outdoor spaces.

During the heat of the day, I try to stay off the streets. Jaffa Gate was not filled with the usual tourists, but a slow, steady stream of visitors.

Large gatherings are in danger of being canceled with the new COVID19 regulations and rising numbers of people sick with coronavirus.

However, small musical groups played along Ben Yehuda mall, with children and cats as part of the audience. When it gets so hot, the cats are smart enough to avoid the Jerusalem streets until late in the day.

At Zion Square, the renovated plaza with benches and shade, people appreciated having a place to sit under the newly colorfully decorated large trees.

The tours for Israelis who are not leaving for summer vacation, as usual, are popular and seen in many locations.

This tour group was in the area behind the King David Hotel.

Competing with a performance of Shakespeare in the Park. Theater in the Rough is back! Last year these annual outdoor events were not held.

This week the segway tours and dog walkers passed by on one side.

While from Bloomfield Park, one could also see the Tower of David where people flew by on a wire.

This year it’s Henry IV in Motion performed until the end of August.

This is the only Shakespeare group in the world acting with the wall of the Old City as background. An annual favorite on mine, more HERE

From Hansen House, the towering structure called Ester is still an impressive sight at night.

Lights lead into the former leper hospital from the main gate to the renovated new cultural venue.

I had not noticed these gravestones in the back garden before this week.

I assume that the lights and stands were set ready for one of the scenes of a theatrical performance taking place at Hansen House. With theaters closed so much of the past year, acting companies moved venues and outside.

The new Agam-designed mezuzah on Heichel Shlomo said to be the largest in the world, is easily seen from outside, but not so easy to photograph.

Not all construction work seems to have progressed this past year, it appears that the Knesset Museum still has a long way to go.

In the past year, Beit Avi Chai moved most of its programs online.

New corona warnings and rising numbers were announced this past week. While signs with Miriam Perez urging people to come to Jerusalem and enjoy the festivals and happenings are all around. Not elected Israeli President, she is donating money from her new modeling ad campaign to good causes.

Meanwhile, if the people who are walking on the Jerusalem streets look up from their phones, they will see that there are flowers blooming all along the streets.

There are these new lights near the Prime Minister’s residence to light up the night at the entrance to Balfour Street.

The month of August is half over, and it’s summer holiday time.

However, the big question is whether all schools will open on time.

No one really knows what will be next, but if you want to see the latest Corona regulations updated from Prime Minister’s office I posted HERE

New Rosh Hashanah art posters are up along the streets.

Hard to believe the year 5781 is almost over. Oh, what a year it was!

It’s the count-down time to the holidays. Selihot services and various selihot tours have been announced, too many to mention. No idea where we will be praying this year.

But for the first time in over a year, we had family for Shabbat dinner. Plus I was ready with some of it in time for a photo, chicken was still in the oven.

Oh, what a week it was!

What will happen next on the Jerusalem streets?

10 Signs the Jerusalem Streets are Back

Oh, Jerusalem! Oh, Jerusalem!

Nahamu. Nachamu.

After the lows and mourning of Tisha B’Av, just a few days later and it’s party time – at least summer holiday time. People who might have traveled overseas in a normal year, are staying closer to home with the uncertainty of border closings and questions of the Delta and other variants.

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1. Gan Sacher, Sacher Park fills with large family gatherings in the evening as summer days cool off and they are able to share elaborate meals.

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2. Synagogues have reopened, with a mask requirement, however, those outdoor social distanced services continue in many locations.

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3. Midnight at the Kotel, Western Wall, the sight of hundreds of people coming and going, day and night is back.

Last year many “annual” events were not held or were extremely limited.

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4. At Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, an annual event remembering deceased former Presidents and Prime Ministers was held.

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New President Isaac Herzog hosted, with his wife Michal and new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at his side. All present had to wear a mask inside.

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For the first time as Prime Minister, Bennett spoke at an event at Beit Hanasi and attracted a little media attention.

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Noticeably, he refrained from shaking hands. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attended, the only former PM or President present.

The real streets paid little attention to the event.

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5. Crowds of people have returned, and are filling Mamilla Mall, day and night, passing thru or just strolling,

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shopping,

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and eating at old favorites or trying the new dairy restaurant that opened recently.

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On Mamilla Avenue, one store closes and another store opens.

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This Dior cafe on the roof is gone, after making a short appearance on social media, and creating a buzz for a few days.

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6. But the food trucks are back in the Hinnom Valley Park near the Cinematheque, bigger than ever, attracting nightly summer visitors.

While the Beer Festival music blasting from Gan Haatazmaut, Independence Park could be heard on distant Jerusalem streets,

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7. softer, free music was offered on the pathway thru the Artists Colony.

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On the cool Thursday evening, it attracted an appreciative audience.

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8. Nice to see artists back in their shops creating and working.

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Nothing seemed to reach the attention level of the ice-cream crisis, but

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9. Golda in Mamilla Mall was busy as usual selling ice cream. One of the sad sights of the corona lockdowns was the empty spaces outside stores forced to close.

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10. Back at night under the full Tu B’Av moon was the fountain at Teddy Park. Ah, the sounds of thrilled children playing in the water as hundreds of people watched from around the on a cool summer night.

The Jerusalem streets are back.

Let’s hope they stay open, filled with people enjoying the summer holidays.

Check out more on Jerusalem travel here.

L’Chaim!

To Life!

Jerusalem 15 Happenings for Bright Summer

The Jerusalem summer of 2021 is looking to be brighter and so much better than last year.

In 2020, Jerusalem, Israel gatherings were limited because of the multiple and changing coronavirus restrictions. Museums shuttered. Theater lights were dark. Festivals were canceled.

See what’s new and what’s happening again in Jerusalem for this summer:

The wooden structure, called Ester Tower, in the Hansen House garden, was lit at night for Design Week. Talented artists prepared other unique and original pieces for the Runaway Circus theme of the annual event.

The fullest IDF band in recent memory was assembled on July 6th, for Israel’s outgoing 10th President Reuven Rivlin to welcome Israel’s 11th President Isaac Herzog to Beit Hanasi, the President’s Official Residence.

The sculpture of Reuven Rivlin in the garden was unveiled in the morning.

During a rehearsal break, members of the honor guard were able to see the ‘heads’ and read histories of the former Israeli Presidents.

The full red carpet was rolled out for the arrival of the official motorcycle-led motorcade in the early evening after the Knesset swearing-in ceremony.

President Isaac and Michal Herzog were escorted in by the IDF military and Beit Hanasi personnel.

Former President Rivlin waited to escort the new occupants inside to the main reception room where the Beit Hanasi staff and family waited.

Warm speeches and hugs, and more children than usual filled the room.

Stopping on the way out to sing Hatikvah for the live stream and cameras,

the Herzogs waved goodbye to the former president,

who was accompanied by Rivka Ravitz and her staff who also are moving on.

But not only was it good to be back again at Beit Hanasi this week.

It was good to see the fountain and lights back on in Teddy Park!

Last year it was not operating and no children were having fun in the cooling water as it stops and starts and pulsates upwards overhead.

Groups are back in the parks, tour groups and tour buses are again seen on the Jerusalem streets.

First Station was busy when it was allowed to be open over the past year. Starting soon in July at First Station there will be a new activity: ice skating.

Signs are up for the annual Beer Festival July 21-23, again to be staged in Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park.

The Wine Festival is to be back on July 26-27th at the Israel Museum.

The annual Street Ball Festival is set for July 27-28, and the Outline Festival “layers” August 5-12th.

Food Trucks are back in Hinnom Valley from now until the fall.

Jerusalem signs are up for summer in the neighborhood. In August there will be street performances and street installations along nine main Jerusalem streets.

Sultan’s Pool and Safra Square concerts are to be back again bigger than ever.

Camping sites for families are planned in six Jerusalem parks on July 29 from 4:30 pm to July 30 at 10:00 am.

Urban nature events and guided tours will augment the end of August Silchot tours.

At the Botanical Gardens, a Snow Kingdome is to run from July 25 – August 31st, with ice figures and lights.

Work at the Tower of David is ongoing, but events were also announced.

So much and more happening in Jerusalem for a busy and bright summer! See full details of Jerusalem summer events

Let us know what you decided to do this summer on the Jerusalem streets.