Jerusalem Film Festival Week

Summer time in Jerusalem,

and for over 30 years,

Jerusalem Film Festival sign

the Jerusalem Film Festival

has screened thousands of films.

This year for the first time

there are films being shown in Gan Haatzmaut,

Independence Park, in the Wilf Garden.

Independence Park for Jerusalem festival

Security was so strict,

this is as close as I could get without buying a ticket.

But the main events are usually

shown at the Cinematheque,

where finally for the first time

sign for Cinematheque

disabled movie goers can access without steps,

using this newly-built elevator.

Old City Sultan Pool from near Cinemathque

I think it is worth going just for the view.

However, the opening night of the festival,

was held in the Sultan’s Pool.

Even the Tower of David, not so far away,

Opening Jerusalem Film Festival

is dwarfed by the size of this outdoor screen.

Miri Regev speaking at Jerusalem Film Festival opening

Minister of Sports and Culture Miri Regev,

was one of the speakers.

Special guest movie director and film star,

Jerusalem Film Festival Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino received a special award

from Mayor Nir Barkat before the film.

The star of the movie, Emma Suraez,

Emma Suarze film star Jerusalem film festival

was on stage to accept flowers.

But as much as there were numerous Tarantino spottings,

I assume Emma could go around Jerusalem without being noticed.

Also on the same night,

Israeli singer Idan Raichel received a special honor

by the B’nai Brith World Center,

in recognition of advancing Israeli-Diaspora relations.

I have seen him surrounded by screaming fans,

anxious to get close enough to take a selfie,

but when Idan entered the hall,

Idan Raichal at award ceremony

I was the only one who came over.

At least after he was presented with his certificate,

ceremony and Idan Raichal

there was more notice.

Different crowds, different reactions.

Miri Regev was booed during her speech

 at the Sultan’s Pool by some of the audience.

But three days later,

at the Jerusalem Theater

stage at ceremony 40 years Entebbe

for the official ceremony remembering

40 years since Entebbe.

dignitaries at Jerusalem theater for Entebbe 40

Miri Regev sat in the front row with the dignitaries.

When the program was over

people taking photos with Miri Regev

she was surrounded by well wishers

who wanted to be in photos with her.

As the emotional and well-done program

neared the end,

Netanyahu looking at watch at ceremony

I thought I saw the Prime Minister,

glance at his watch.

The Foreign Minister of Egypt was on his way

to have dinner with the Netanyahus.

While for some this week,

Huge football in Mamilla Mall

nothing could be bigger than the Euro 2016 football (soccer)

on the television.

There are free movies shown at night,

at First Station and in the Old City,

as the Film Festival comes to a close.

view old city walls at sunset

Maybe it’s me,

but just going for the view of the

Walls of the Old City at sunset is wonderful to see.

Sounds of the Old City

Sounds of the Old City,

is an annual music festival

held at night in Jerusalem, Israel.

This year the weather was cold and wintry,

View of Tower of David at night lights on

but at least the heavy rain stopped for opening night.

Walking to the starting point at Jaffa Gate,

Arab man walking in Jerusalem Israel mall

Mamilla Mall was not busy as usual.

For the festival, musicians performed

View Old City Jerusalem Israel at night

on a large stage outside on Jaffa Gate Plaza,

musicians in Old City near Jaffa Gate

and inside along the Tower of David wall.

There are nine large stages with various performances.

music Tower of David sound festival

Traverna was inside the Tower of David – in the moat.

man playing mandolin in Tower of Davis moat at Music festival

The musical styles and instruments were varied,

from Kelzemer and religious music to DJs and pop songs.

Along the route through the Old City,

musician in alleyway of old city Jerusalem Israel

musicians played alone,

musicians on Jerusalem Old City street for Sounds of Old City Festival

or as a group.

The festival is free and open to the public,

woman playing harp in Old City at night

but this harpist was looking for donations.

As every year,

people in Cardo for music concert Old City Sounds of Night music

one of the most popular performance locations is the Cardo.

Yitzhak Meir singing in the Cardo Old City Jerusalem Israel music festival at night

Yitzhak Meir was singing

people watching music at Cardo for music festival in old city at night

to an enthusiastic crowd.

Who could imagine on those streets of old,

that one day Jews would be singing and dancing to Hebrew songs,

and the powerful Roman Empire would be ancient history?

Next on to the plaza

Hurva Synagogue at night in Old City Jerusalem

by the Hurva Synagogue,

this large stage was dark between shows,

Rova night of music festival stage near the Hurva

but I had to share with you the size of the crowd.

Thousands of people were out enjoying the music.

The sounds of music have now spread outside the walls of the Old City,

and for the first time a stage is located at Zion Square.

The festival runs from Monday to Thursday,

7:00 – 11:00 pm, so there is still time to see and hear.

As I went to leave, some streets were too quiet.

Though cold and damp weather and security concerns

may have kept some away,

empty street in Old City at night Jerusalem Israel

it was still a beautiful sight,

as the sounds of music filled the Jerusalem streets.

14 Favorite Hanukkah Lights

Hanukkah in Jerusalem, Israel, can be exhausting!

Candle lighting ceremonies seem to be everywhere,

with people arriving from all over the world.

On the first night of Hanukkah,

at the Kotel, Western Wall, at its large chanukiah,

after a lighting ceremony with dignitaries,

image menorah at Kosel

a man was covered in a white talit for the filming of a video.

image chanukiah

Chanukiot in Jerusalem restaurants are always a favorite.

image chanukiah from guitar

First night, first light in the Old City, this was most unusual,

image menorah

while simple can be beautiful.

image menorah lit at night Old City

This large electric-light covered chanukiah was near Jaffa Gate,

iamge Mamilla Mall chanukiah

and this fire-lit one in Mamilla Mall

image Mamilla Mall chanukah

that attracted a crowd below.

image Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem

The display of chanukiot in the Waldorf-Astoria lobby was new this year.

image unusual menorah

Candles were burning in the security booth outside the US consulate,

though I received permission to take this photo,

afterwards I was stopped by an over-anxious guard.

Thankfully, he did not try to delete my photos.

image chanukiah

A Chabad Chanukiah can be found on many corners,

but the one near Paris Fountain is a favorite.

image Gpo Hanukkah party

The holiday party for the international press

given by the Prime Minister was held at the Israel Museum this year.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu lit this 19th century brass chanukiah

which had been used in a synagogue in Central Europe.

image menorah in Israel Museum

Not as large as this one,

image israel museum

but also part of the Israel Museum’s extensive collection of chanukiot,

some centuries old and from around the world.

Though not a menorah

iamge old photo in Israel Museum

the lights in their eyes are certainly bright.

This photo of Natan and Avital Sharansky

with Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir

as they leave Ben Gurion airport after arriving in Israel

finally free from Soviet prison,

 is one of many in a new Israel Museum photography exhibit.

And from our source of the sukkah on a camel,

image making ice chanukiah

a menorah of ice.

image unusual menorah

It was coming along, but sorry, it was a long day and busy week.

 I did not stay to see what happened when it was lit.



no matter how you spell it,

iamge Hanukkah

a great miracle happened here,

eight days to celebrate,

iamge suffganitot

as those suffganiot keep so many colors and tastes.

image Hebrew sign Hanukkah

Happy Hannukah!