Favorite Sukkot of Sukkot

The Sukkot holiday is over and as the tourists are heading home,

 I would like share a few favorite Sukkot from this year.

warning sign

In some neighborhoods there were so many visitors

that warning signs were posted asking for quiet.

In the Nachlaot neighborhood, 

Sukka

I found this tiny sukkah down a narrow lane

Sukka

and another one almost hidden up on a roof top.

sukkah

At the Kotel, the Western Wall Plaza, where there was a large sukkah 

as well as smaller ones for the huge crowds of visitors.

peres

The public was invited one morning to visit the sukkah at Beit Hanasi,

the official residence of Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Arriving inside the building after a long wait outside,

Israel president

 many stopped to peak in 

to the President’s Official State receiving room,

sukkah

before passing through to the sukkah.

sukka

As usual the President’s sukkah was not designed for eating,

but rather for showcasing the fruit and agricultural wonders of Israel. 

sukka

Many hotels had large sukkot, where thousands of visitors ate.

large sukkah

The large sukkah at Kikar Safra, Safra Square,

looked the same as in recent years, but

sukkah decoration

inside it was decorated with unique decorations using recycled plastic.

sukka

Sukkot ranged from the most simple,

sukka

to a ‘political’ sukkah on poles,

sukka

to this colorful beer bottle decorated bar sukkah.

Perhaps the biggest difference from last year was Jaffa Road.

Jaffa Street

Jaffa Road was lined with sukkot and crowded.

The Jerusalem light rail trains were running and filled with people,

last year they were going, but filled with sand bags on trial runs.

Jaffa Road

The city center was busy day and night.

sukkah

Our sukkah was a busy place too, I just wish it hadn’t rained

so hard during the main course at dinner the first night. 

sukkah

It was indeed a very happy Sukkot holiday in Jerusalem, Israel.

If you missed it perhaps, next year in Jerusalem?

Jerusalem, Past and Future

The spring holiday season has just ended with

Shavuot and Pentecost falling on the same Sunday.

Hundreds of thousands of people came from around the world

to celebrate peacefully in Jerusalem.

"picture Wailing Wall","photo Jerusalem", "image birds"

Something was making the birds crazy,

but otherwise it was a quiet, beautiful day,

  so there was hardly a mention in the mainstream media.

What image comes to mind when you hear the word Jerusalem?

"picture Jerusalem", "image Jerusalem, "photo J Street"

Perhaps it is the ancient walls of the Old City?

"picture Jerusalem","image flags", "photo Israeli flag"

But Jerusalem is a place of contrast and diversity, and is constantly changing.

"picture Safra Square", "image flags" , "photo J Street"

Just before the holiday weekend, I went to Kikar Safra, Safra Square

"sign image","photo Jerusalem", "Jerusalem picture"

 to the City Council meeting room for an exciting event.

The Jerusalem Business Network Forum Bio-Med  a group

formed to bring science industry to Jerusalem,

 launched the Burrill Israel Fund.

"picture Nir Barkat","photo Jerusalem mayor","image mayor Jerusalem"

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat welcomed Jeff Miller,

special advisor to Burrill & Co, who announced a $200,000,000

“super angel”  fund for Jerusalem Bio-Med development. 

The fund is backed by Steve Burrill, an US investor

who loves Jerusalem and invests in health care,

which he prefers to call “sickness and wellness.”

"picture Jerusalem deputy mayor", "photo Jerusalem", "image deputy mayor"

Deputy Mayors Naomi Tsur and Yitzchak Pindrus addressed the crowd

that included scientists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers.

Before entering politics, Mayor Barkat

was involved with development of the first internet firewalls

 and has worked to bring hi-tech and bio-tech industry to Jerusalem.

 Jerusalem is  known for science study and research.

  HUB (Hebrew University Biotech) has lab space for start-ups,

but until now Jerusalem 

has not been associated with the “Start Up Nation” image.

One fascinating innovation that was discussed was a device

enabling doctors to see under the skin before making surgical incisions.

"image Jerusalem", "photo city hall", "picture people talking"

People stayed for hours talking at the end of the meeting.  

The Mayor’s wish to see Jerusalem as a future center of  bio-tech

and to take “talent to the next step”

is  a step closer to becoming a reality.

Snow, Ice and Ethnic Profiling

With the massive disaster in Japan, the brutal murder in Itamar,

and the Israeli navy seizing a ship full of weapons on the way to Gaza,

it is possible you did not see anything about the snow and ice in Jerusalem.

It seemed totally absurd,

the trees are blooming and the weather is warm,

but the skies and weather often change in a day or a minute.

Even though the aloe plants are in bloom

and there was a rose in the Old City,

and lemons

and oranges look ready to pick…snow was predicted for Jerusalem.

A major storm did not happen…too bad,

snow pictures of Jerusalem are really popular, but

in Kikar Safra , Safra Square, there was enough snow to shovel,

enough ice to skate

and get the skates out of storage.

The city’s new ice skating rink was quickly gaining in popularity,

attracting

many visitors

 to check it out

and to take pictures.

It has also become the scene of an unusually high level of ethnic profiling.

Observers are picking out the Canadians in the center of the rink,

who look comfortable on the ice,

as opposed to the beginners holding on to the sides.

The days leading up to Purim holiday are meant to be festive,

children can be seen in the street wearing crowns, costumes and face paint.

Mourning for the murdered Fogel family goes on,

as does the holiday preparations,

and five minutes of silence for five years of captivity of Gilad Shalit.

Quite a week in Jerusalem.

Updated Rosh Chodesh Adar 5773, 2013