The Jerusalem streets were starting to fill up with holiday visitors. English speakers were asking for directions again. “Back to normal” was in the air.
And then – Omicron –
the latest reported corona variant and Israel’s borders are set to close again to tourists in a few hours. Returning Israelis will have to go into isolation.
The future is out of my control, but, I can share what’s new in the present.
The lights are on at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens for Hanukkah. The decorated trail is not a long one, but the classical music is lovely, and this display you see over the pond is a real winner.
Thanksgiving night the new Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah Center was lit up for a special Thanksgiving dinner for lone soldiers and b’not sherut (volunteers). You could see the festive balloons in the window from the street.
Even the light of the night sky was impressive, but there is much more.
Here at the old Shaare Zedek Hospital on Jaffa Road is the art installation of Yehudis Barmatz-Harris. Notice the mobile on top of the photo – it is made of dryer lint. The artist takes materials others would throw away and uses them in her new media installations. Here she uses light to form the shadow of a woman by the rocking chair – a piece called Hush.
Only one bit the of 5th Jerusalem Biennale going on this month is titled “Four Cubits.” As we again ponder going back to our homes and isolations, 300 artists have created unique expressions from their time spent at home.
The old hospital is the proposed location of Canada Israel’s future building.
But meanwhile for the next four years, until they get all the necessary permits, the halls are to be filled with art and artists.
With the Biennale App, you could have your favorite piece of contemporary art hang in your home, as this woman uses the code on the wall.
The Jerusalem Biennale artists were so impressive I plan to write up as many of them as possible individually to highlight their creativity.
Here Motta Brim is showing one of his books – want to take a guess? The designs are baking papers from challah! And I throw mine out each week?
As you have heard many times, I love the night lights at the Tower of David.
In one of the recently renovated rooms is another Biennale exhibition, this one curated by Ariel Lavian.
Turkish and Israeli designers joined during the pandemic to create a contemporary jewelry exhibition in a guardroom of the Ottoman-built citadel at the Tower of David.
The Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2020, finally took place on October 29, 2021. The excitement was high, though this time it was not an international marathon. There are plans for the International Jerusalem Marathon to return in March 2022.
Few people remember the last Jerusalem half marathon in 2010. Those were smaller events, with only a few thousand runners. The race caught most drivers by surprise with random street closings.
Last year, the launch for the 10th Jerusalem Marathon was held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on the evening of January 20, 2020.