Jerusalem New and Old

While so much in Jerusalem is old, much is also new. It is hard to tell which stones on the ground are really the old ones. Even some buildings are made to look old.

Amazing Old and New in Jerusalem looked so very different 3 years ago.

Walking along Hanasi Street, you can see new signs outside of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s official residence, marking fifty years in the present location.

Images from the past complement the sign with more detailed information.

It’s been Middle Eastern hot this past week. I have refrained from midday excursions, as it was not pleasant to walk under the blazing sun.

But how nice to see the shade provided in children’s play areas in new Jerusalem parks, even if very few children were out playing.

Covered play areas have been a given in Australia for decades, finally, they are in more and more Jerusalem parks.

And now there is a shade for this school, finally, work has been done over the summer after years of neglect.

Families are busy getting ready for school to start on September 1st and hoping for a better new year after the difficult conditions with COVID-19.

Others families were busy with weddings. Mazel tov to Ilanit and Meir!

With new online participation, one can now dance at more than one wedding at a time.

Engagement setups are always fun to see in this popular area. I did not stop to watch if she said yes to the “Marry Me” at the end of the floral runway.

Who would have imagined the first night of selihot online from Bahrain!

Some old scenes never really get old. The Kotel Plaza, Western Wall, visible in the distance with dramatic lighting is one of my favorites.

Notice many men were distanced from one another, that was new this year.

This is my favorite location for photographs, but new this time, I had to show a green pass to gain access.

The selihot tours of the Old City annually draw large crowds. On Thursday night the crowds were so large that cars were gridlocked and parking was scarce in the surrounding area.

New this year, uniformed police on a walking tour with young boys.

Mamilla Mall was busy, busy, busy, you name the hour, Israelis came.

Amazing as soon as one store goes out, a new one comes in the rental spot.

The old Arab souk, however, depends on foreign tourism and was not busy.

For selihot this year, the old prayers have a new look. The Great Synagogue was open again to those with the green pass. The main musical event was held at Binyunei Hauma, the Jerusalem International Conference Center, with the Mayor and a long list of performers.

This year musical Selihot services moved outside in Yemin Moshe, with the walls of the Old City in the background.

The new sounds could be heard around the old neighborhood streets,

from multiple locations late into the night,

Selihot services were held inside synagogues and outside on porches.

This week the 38th international Jerusalem Film Festival was back.

The live audience gathered in the Sultan’s Pool amphitheater with the huge screen, not far from the Tower of David at sunset.

Former president Ruvi Rivlin came with his daughter Rivi and sat in specially reserved seats a few rows back.

The front row was not easy to photograph from the angle that President Herzog’s new security team demanded.

Herzog spoke, then when he announced that he was leaving, the audience responded with audible displeasure.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and others stayed to see the new animated feature film about Anne Frank.

Here is an old sight, the beigelah guy seated by the Cinematheque sign looking for hungry customers.

A week filled with new and old. New technology lets us participate in a Selihot program in Bahrain and witness weddings from afar.

And in the dentist’s office, this cube became a new tooth, in less than half an hour, to replace my broken molar.

As always there was more, but time now to wish you well and hope to see you soon on the (cooler) Jerusalem streets.

Next week is Rosh Hashana, a New Year.

Oh, where did the time go, the new gap year students are arriving?

11 Ways to Enjoy August in Jerusalem

I wonder if everyone slowed down this past week during the heatwave.

Days were so hot in the blazing sun, all I wanted to do was hide in the air-conditioned room and stay off the Jerusalem streets.

But it’s Rosh Chodesh Elul today and the weather person on the radio announced it should cool down to “regular” hot for the week ahead.

Season after season, there are some Jerusalem streets, no matter the hour, I want to stroll and share with you, like this one in Yemin Moshe.

It is fascinating that the new steps look the same after a major repair.

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New sections of King David Street renovations are challenging — they not only surprise drivers but also pedestrians.

The first section of King David Street’s renovation between the YMCA and the King David Hotel is passable now.

The new street is made to look old.

The classic view of the King David Hotel lit up at night – always impressive.

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Summer vacation and people are walking and shopping in Mamilla Mall.

Tourists are enjoying the view from the Montefiore Windmill Promenade. Groups are back on those Segway tours again.

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On hot summer days, the fountain in Teddy Park has been a favorite.

But on this warm summer night, the water was off in the Lions’ Fountain.

Israel has long been known as the land of milk and honey.

This summer at Jerusalem’s Islamic Museum, however, it’s all about coffee.

On a hot summer day, the extensive exhibit offers a good way to keep cool. Who knew of a coffee cup to protect your mustache?

We watched the preparations for the show to open with art,

and artifacts collected from around the world,

an impressive variety of items and displays.

All this is from the small beans originating from Ethiopia.

Not sure that young children would appreciate the rooms of coffee paraphernalia, but there is fascinating historical information on a display that took decades to curate.

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, BLMJ, is also back with a new exhibit.

BIRDS from ancient sources is new in the temporary exhibition hall where YEMEN was last shown. Another extensive collection of valuable ancient relics with detailed explanations, but not recommended for young children.

However, outside on the BLMJ grounds, the site has been developed for children to learn about birds – in a fun and creative manner. Inside this structure, there are multiple activities for children. The bench outside is good for tired adults who are sharing the experience. Early in the day or at sunset are the best times to view live birds.

A flutist was performing for the gala opening event I attended.

The viewing slots are placed at various heights to accommodate multiple museum guests. Remember on one side of Israel is the ocean and the other the desert, so birds appreciate the Jerusalem landscapes and cooler temperatures just as humans do.

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Here is the new Ice Skating rink at First Station. I appreciated the cooler temperature inside the tented area one warm evening. However, it has gotten mixed reviews. The intense heat was not good for the ice. So go early before you find unwanted pools of water.

More of those bikes to rent are ready at stands, but no helmets.

I have not seen any on the road, but I have seen plenty of rental cars. Beware this time of year when drivers new to Jerusalem streets are making dangerous U-turns after making a wrong turn.

Want to get a view above and over the Jerusalem streets?

The Tower of David has the new option to fly high from the Citadel.

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The Jerusalem campaign to lure Israelis to Jerusalem for the summer holiday days features Miriam Peretz in video and print ads, here she is smiling on a Jerusalem street ad sign.

Not sure where to go and what to do? Tour guides are waiting to help you explore attractions.

The Jerusalem Film Festival will be back later in August. The municipality will show outdoor movie screenings in the city center. The Moonlight Cinema Project is to run all August on weeknights…and there’s more – it would be too long to add all the musical events for youth.

But it’s time to start training for the Night Run, August 29, 2021.

I hope we are finally returning to life in Jerusalem, Israel.

Shakespeare is back in Bloomfield Gardens! Friends at Theater in the Rough are performing – Henry IV in Motion. You have 9 chances to share in the fun and adventure – August 11, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, and 24, 2021.

Will we see you all soon on the Jerusalem streets for these events?

Shavuah Tov and Chodesh Tov wherever you are, take care and say well.