Spring in Jerusalem

Spring in Jerusalem

It’s spring in Jerusalem, Israel.

Purim is over.

The Jerusalem Marathon is over.

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in China,

the streets were a bit quieter without his noisy PM motorcades.

Also last week, President Reuven Rivlin was in Vietnam.

But now we hear new, noisy motorcades:

Slovakian President Andrej Kiska is visiting Jerusalem,

Flag near Beit Hanasi for President of Slovakia

and flags marking the official visit are flying near Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s Residence.

Actually, thousands must be visiting Jerusalem,

judging by by the large number of buses on the streets.

Newspapers are filled with ads for everything from paper dishes

to electronics, before the Passover holiday.

Sales abound, but many cannot afford the holiday necessities.

Tuesday was the official Good Deeds Day,

and school children all over Israel participated.

But for some, everyday is good deed day.

For the third year, Rav Yitzchok Grossman of Migdal Ohr,

Passover food boxes

brought holiday provisions and volunteers to Beit Hanasi.

Boxes of Pesach food for poor packing at Beit Hanasi

President Rivlin joined in preparing packages

for Israelis who are in need of assistance for the holiday.

Another name for Passover is the Holiday of Spring.

Spring blossoms Jerusalem Israel

Blossoms are popping out on trees,

Pot of flowers at beit hanasi

not just in pretty planters

Pink flowers in garden at Beit Hanasi

and flower beds.

In honor of the spring planting again this year,

Nechama Rivlin at Beit Hanasi

First Lady Nechama Rivlin invited students,

Arab and Jewish girls, to help her plant

Children's corner garden at Beit Hanasi

in this corner of the President’s gardens.

For those of you who were not there today,

Orange and olive trees in Beit Hanasi gargen

this was one view of the gardens,

with olive and orange trees in the distance,

View of synagogue of Beit Hanasi Arden

and the synagogue across the lawn.

But my favorite

Garden table at BEit Hanasi

was just sitting here and enjoying the warm weather

while taking a photo on Instagram with my new phone.

Photos do not capture the beauty of spring in Jerusalem,

but will have to do,

as rain and cooler temperatures are forecast.

Now – what next?

For those of you who asked to be informed:

Beit Avi Chai has a Maghreb Festival going on,

celebrating North African Jewry, from March 27 – 30,

with a variety of programs, some with no entrance fee.

Kikar Safra again has matzah baking and activities,

on March 29-30 afternoons, and is also free.

Children are out of school for holidays starting soon,

and museums are gearing up and getting ready for them.

The Bible Lands Museum has special exhibits to learn about ancient Egypt.

The Tower of David is always a great place to visit,

Tower of David night time inside Jerusalem, Israel

day or night,

and now has new special programs in English.

Check them out HERE.

As always so many things happening in Jerusalem!

Favorites from Jerusalem Marathon

Favorites from Jerusalem Marathon

The International Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2017

was run on Friday morning, March 17.

The Jerusalem streets were closed and traffic was blocked

Jerusalem marathon runners

as 30,000 runners participated in the full marathon

and a number of other shorter races.

As the full marathon runners were going by

full marathon runners Jerusalem marathon

at least one man on the right wanted attention,

Jerusalem marathon full marathon runners

as did the two runners in tams and kilts.

Over 60 countries were represented,

Jerusalem marathon runners

but I only saw one French flag.

Jerusalem marathon runners 2017

Women were in the crowd running the full marathon.

Jerusalem marathon 2017

Tens of thousands ran through the streets,

as the route looped around and through the Old City.

Last year’s #1 was again #1 this year.

Jerusalem Marathon winner

After kissing the ground,

full marathon winner Shadrack Kipkogey was congratulated by

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who was dressed for a 10 K run.

I took 500 photos and it was hard to decide which ones to share.

Jerusalem marathon

But thousands of selfies were taken at the starting line

Jerusalem marathon 2017

and at the finish line.

One of my favorite photos and stories:

I posted a photo of a family from South Africa

dressed in red on Facebook at night after the race,

Jerusalem marathon runners from South Africa

and by morning all the names had been tagged.

Water stations were located along the route,

Bottles of water lined up for runners at Jerusalem marathon

plus this one where runners re-entered

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, after their race.

Gan Sacher for Jerusalem marathon

Tens of thousands were in the park

musicians at Gan Sacher for Jerusalem marathon

enjoying music

Gan Sacher for Jerusalem marathon

and the activities provided.

Jerusalem marathon entertainment

There was new entertainment at the starting line,

Jerusalem Marathon shalva

but many participants were so excited they hardly noticed.

Jerusalem marathon

Just getting to the starting line took a long time,

because of security and  crowds

walking anywhere took longer than usual.

The 10 K race had 3 different starting times and groups

Jerusalem marathon start 10 K race

for the thousands who participated.

Jerusalem marathon 2017

Brightly colored shirts from dozens of charity organizations

were worn by thousands of runners,

Woman who walks for Shalva in Jerusalem Marathon

and this woman who walks for Shalva,

 was back again this  year.

Remembe I commented how I never saw the mayor running?

Jerusalem marathon Nir Barkat starting at 10 K

Well, this year I saw him at the start

Jerusalem Marathon Mayor Nir Barkat at 10 K finish

and again at the end of the race at the finish line.

Jerusalem marathon Moshe Lion

I even spotted the man who wants to be the next mayor

at both the starting and finish lines.

The numbers attending the Jerusalem Marathon

have grown so large it is hard to find family or friends.

One of the reasons the numbers have grown

Family run starting line in Jerusalem marathon

is the participation in a special Family Race.

 At 10:30 am, 6000 were waiting to start the last race of the day.

I did not stay for the starting gun,

as I was racing back to the 10 K finish line.

But the family members I was looking for?

I did not see any of them!

While walking home, I passed those taking

Three girls completing 10 K walk in Jerusalem marathon

  a slower pace nearing the finish line.

Some streets opened early to traffic this year.

Barefoot Rick running Jerusalem marathon without shoes

And there was Barefoot Rick,

still smiling as he finished up another marathon.

Not sure if this was 84 or 85, of the over 100 marathons

 he has run without shoes to raise money for charity.

Tens of thousands ran through the Jerusalem streets,

millions of dollars were raised for charity.

There are people who still hate it,

but look for an even bigger and better one next year.

 The date is set for the next Jerusalem Marathon:

March 9, 2018.

By then I had better get an app for my phone

so I can know how many kilometers I walked.

It could be way more than a full marathon.

To see more Jerusalem Marathon photos,

which were posted on Facebook,

please click HERE.

Jerusalem Marathon: Ready, Set, Go

Jerusalem Marathon: Ready, Set, Go

The Jerusalem Marathon for 2017 was on March 17th.

One finish line has been up for days,

Jerusalem Marathon 2017 finish line

but there are at least three of these massive arches,

two over the street and another one inside Gan Sacher, Sacher Park

for the full marathon runners.

confusing signs for Jerusalem Marathon

Signs and more signs are posted,

but it is not always entirely clear which way to go.

However,

one outside Beit Hanasi, the Israel President’s house

Hebrew sign for Marathon wishing runners well

wishing runners well is very clear.

International participants have arrived.

At a press conference the day before the race

Jerusalem marathon international runners

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was introduced to Milind Soman.

I do not follow Bollywood stars

Bollywood star in Jerusalem Israel

but now I am now a fan of Milind.

Soman spoke so emotionally about his first visit to Jerusalem.

Maybe we here take too much for granted,

and need a visitor to remind us how special these streets are.

Jerusalem marathon 2017 #irunjem

International marathon runners posed with the Mayor,

with the Old City and Tower of David in the background.

Some of them looked familiar from past marathons.

For seven years, I have tried to catch the Mayor running,

and on this warm up day I finally succeeded,

running before Jerusalem marathon

though the guy in red jacket got a much closer shot.

And while they were running,

Tower of David actors on wall

these fellows were standing on the walls at the Tower of David.

Never know who or what you will see in Jerusalem!

Jerusalem Marathon warm up

The Mayor led a group of international runners

through Mamilla Mall.

Using cell phone man does not look up

I wonder if this guy ever looked up and noticed.

The streets were filled with 30,000 runners,

and some streets were closed all Friday morning,

but you have to stop texting to see them as they whiz by.

Running in Jerusalem has come along way in seven years. 

The Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2017 was great,

best photos in next post.

 This time I got the Mayor at the starting line and finish!

If you missed being in Jerusalem, Israel,

put it on your calendar for next year,

it is truly a special experience.

March 9, 2018.

שבת שלום

 Shabbat shalom