Jerusalem Festival Season in Full Swing

  The end of August, Tisha B’Av is over,

and Jerusalem festival season is in full swing.

While the Festival Ha’ira is still popular,

 there is an annual Klezemer Festival,

sign in Hebrew in Jerusalem

and this sign is for new arts festival.

Walking by the Liberty Bell Park,

Jerusalem park actor in costume J

I was not only one scratching my head.

What was that thing in the park?

Train Theater has its annual Puppet Festival.

Jerusalem festival puppet festival

People were lined up to enter,

but something new lined the fence.

Inspired by the Prague Zoo,

man looks at poster Gan Paamon

posters by Michal Cihlar, a Czech Republic artist,

“Zoooo – You Wouldn’t have a clue?”

included a hoopoe, Israeli’s national bird.

While across the road in Bloomfield Gardens,

near the Montefiore Windmill,

Macbeth in motion Jerusalem

was “Macbeth in Motion.”

Over the next two weeks,

Macbeth in motion in Bloomfield Park Jerusalem Israel audience

audiences in the park can appreciate Shakespeare,

but be warned do not get too comfortable,

the audience changes locations 5 times.

Yemin Moshe view of Tower of David Jerusalem

Where else can you hear the Bard of Avon with this backdrop?

Nearby, also these last two weeks of August,

Khutsot Hayotser Jeusalem international arts and crafts festival

is Khutsot Hayotser,

the annual international arts and crafts fair,

international arts and crafts festival

with its concerts in Sultan’s Pool.

It is so huge,

 I will save those photos for another time.

Since it opened and all summer long.

fountain in Teddy Park sound and light show at night

families have come to Teddy Park.

Lights on at night near Old City Teddy Fountain

Children love to run in the fountain.

Light and music in fountain at night Jerusalem Teddy Park

Lights and music at night,

with the water pressure changing,

what a way to cool off and have fun, and its free.

people in water at Teddy Fountain

With the walls of the Old City in the background,

location is a bonus also.

The Beer and Wine Festivals are still to come.

But meanwhile with Tu B’Av parties and weddings,

it is hard to keep up with all the good things

happening on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Jerusalem: Parades, Runners and New High Flyers

Many were worried that the three-day (Saturday night through Monday)

Lag B’Omer celebrations with their smoky medurot, large bonfires,

would cause worse air quality than the usual holiday pollution.

But thanks to Israeli basketball team Maccabi Tel Aviv 

 playing in the Euroleague Championship basketball final,

photo Israel basketball winners

so many people came inside to watch the exciting game

that there seemed to be a lot less smoke this year.

Maccabi Tel Aviv won in overtime!

The team has already been to the Prime Minister’s office 

and is invited for a special reception today in the President’s House.

Lag B’Omer and International Museum Day were celebrated on Monday.

Thousands of school children on school holiday filled museums

which had no entrance fees in honor of Museum Day.

image Palestinian, photo Israel occupation, picture Israel oppresion

We had a great time in the Bloomfield Science Museum as always,

with lots of new exhibits and activities.

image large torah, man dressed in costume,

 Lag B’Omer gatherings and parades Sunday in the Rechavia neighborhood

image old city, view Teddy Park on Lag BOmer, photo people in park

and Monday in Teddy Park near the Old City were just two of many events.

There was one unique event on Monday afternoon.

In a first-ever Run for Peace, 

image Pat Farmer, photo runners near Jaffa Gate,

Australian ultra-marathon runner Pat Farmer (in the blue shirt)

and a few of his supporters arrived at the end of his 1500-kilometer run from Lebanon.

image Pat Farmer, photo old city, image Pat Farmer Peace Runner

After running around 80 kilometers a day,

athlete Pat Farmer’s advice was to “put one foot in front of the other.”

Following a small press conference at Jaffa Gate,

image Australian ambassador,

Australian Ambassador Dave Sharma told another gathering in honor

of Farmer at the King David Hotel how proud Australia is

to support sports and all efforts for peace.

All was not sports and parades.

image Jerusalem Writers festival

The week-long International Writers Festival opened in Mishkenot Sha’ananim.

But the real action was found outside,

just down the road from these two venues.

image skate boarder, new skate park in Israel photo, picture Jerusalem skate park

People were in the air, flying high

image Jerusalem skate park opening,

after Mayor Nir Barkat cut the ribbon of the new Skate Park Jerusalem.

image new skate park, photo large skate board rink,  jJrusalem skate park

The large rink is located in a section of the Liberty Bell Park.

Though some may not think of this as popular sport,

hundreds of people from all over Israel came for the opening,

image skate park, photo children watching skaters, skate park at night

children with skate boards tucked under their arms,

image Jerusalem skate park

and others watched as the best riders from all over Israeli showed their moves.

While the runners raced along the Jerusalem streets without getting a second glance,

and the parades stopped traffic for a bit,

 this Skate Rink is really something!

Additional photos: Peace Run and Skate Park

Inspiration for 2014 in Jerusalem

Inspiration for 2014 in Jerusalem

I was having trouble finding something positive to share,

as the clock ticked to the end of 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.

Everyone has heard enough kvetching about the snow

and the massive clean up which is still going on.

image protest Jerusalem, Photo Israel protest, picture protest signs.

The protest against prisoner releases was sad enough,

picture protest at night, image Israel protets, photo protest banners.

but the “March with Umbrellasin the cold, wet dark night,

found many depressed by this “gesture of good will.”

The next morning the sun was shining,

image Bell Park , Jerusalem park photo, picture Jerusalem Bell Park

 and the fresh blue paint in the Liberty Bell Park looked good. 

It was interesting to see how 100 years after

 Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Halevi Herzog z”l  wrote on his dissertation 

about Tekhelet, that maybe a “student of chemistry may be interested”

that a conference filled the auditorium at The Begin Heritage Center.

But it was still not what I wanted for an inspiring blog to end the year.

However, I was back at The Begin Center the next day,

for another conference with another long list of impressive speakers.

And then,

photo inspirtational speaker, picture Noam Gershony, image Olympic gold medal winner

 Noam Gershony stood at the podium and started to tell his story.

How he was so close to death the doctors held little hope for him.

How he lost his leg and almost his life in Second Lebanon War.

How his friend Dov next to him was killed.

How he slowly came back to life, 

to play tennis, 

image skiing one leg, photo Noam Grshony, picture disabled skier

 to ski on Mount Hermon,

image disables biker, Noam Gershony riding a bike, photo bike rider with one leg

and to ride a bike.

By the time he finished his story of winning a gold medal

at the 2012 Olympics in London with the music of Hatikvah  playing,

there was hardly a dry eye in the room.

image Noam Gershony, picture Noam Gershony, photo standing ovatiion

After he finished and received a standing ovation,

image Noam Gerhsony, photo man walking with one leg, photo Noam Gershony

Noam walked to the elevator surrounded by admirers.

That was it,

what I want to share,

what the world must see.

Certainly not everyone can win a gold medal in the Olympics,

but Noam Gershony exemplifies the Israeli spirit.

After what happened to him, 

he did not become a suicide bomber,

but he does blow people away.

He inspires them to get up and get going,

no more excuses, too tired, too busy.

Now let’s make 2014 a good and positive year for all.