March Madness Jerusalem Style

March Madness Jerusalem Style

In the United States March Madness means the college basketball championship playoffs.

In Jerusalem, Israel, March Madness has a very different meaning.

First there is the weather, which is constantly changing and so hard to predict.

Water after heavy Israel rainy season

This year with heavy rainfalls, low lying areas are full of water days after a storm.

Outdoor activities have to be re-planned. One rainy afternoon we went to the Israel Museum.

Jerusalem sunset time view from Israel Museum

Loved the sunset view from inside the museum.

March madness means Purim is coming, with costumes, treats of sweets, and parties galore.

Megilat Esther in Israel Museum

Special Megillot Esther, scrolls with the story of Purim, are on display in the museum.

Megilas Esther in Israel Museum

Of many sizes, from small to this large illuminated one, both of these stand out in the collection.

Israeli Museum display of Purim noisemakers - groggers

This case contains special noise makers that are used to block out the name of Haman as Megillat Esther is read at night and again in the morning of Purim.

Across the corridor from these noise makers and the Jewish holiday collections is a special exhibit on Rambam, Maimonides.

Rambam Germany 1355-56 maimonides at Israel Museum

Thirteen handwritten, works of the Rambam are displayed in a dark room, in special cases, including this one from Germany, from 1355-56, written in ink, with tempre and gold leaf.

Maimonides Guide of the Perplexed

From the early 1300’s, a handwritten Guide of the Perplexed, also illustrated.

Maimonides Mishnah Torah at Israel Museum Kaufmann 1295-96

The Kaufmann Mishnah Torah, dated 1295-96, is also in the impressive collection.

From the calm of the Israel Museum, back to madness.

It  is impossible to keep up with the number of international conferences.

Jerusalem International Conference Center stairs for Our Crowd.

Over 18,000 people from 183 countries were registered for Jerusalem innovation conference Our Crowd. The crowded halls and spaces of the Jerusalem International Conference Center were at times packed with people moving from speaker to event. The room for the panel on cannabis was closed after capacity was reached. The lines for Beyond Burger, a plant meat substitute, were  just mad, hard to believe how long people waited while other food stations had no lines. I ate waffles, never got a bite of burger. More photos HERE 

Man in garden of Israeli President looking at statue of herzl

State  Comptrollers from Europe and Asia are meeting at an official gathering this week in Jerusalem. A delegation visited Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence and received a brief tour of the gardens and its history before meeting with President Rivlin.

intv and DIGITELL19 conference check in at YMCA

The Innovative TV Conference (intv) brought television executives from around the world to Jerusalem for two days at the YMCA on King David Street.

YMCA Jerusalem view outside day of TV and digital events

Overlapping for its first day with intv, the DIGITELL19, also was at the YMCA, before taking off to Mitzpe Ramon in the south, and then going to Tel Aviv.

Digitell 19 conference at YMCA

One of the sessions at YMCA for DIGITELL19 was ‘Xtream Marketing’ presented by SodaStream’s Matti Yahav, Chief Marketing Officer. The conference sponsored by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs brought an international group of pro-Israel social activists together. I only took a few photos. The “secret sauce” for SodaStream, the 4 ‘Ps’ is here, but some of participants were also a secret, so I only posted a few on Facebook HERE.

Logistic center for israeli elections in Shoham

Most of the conferences do not involve the real streets. However, the upcoming Israeli election is hard to avoid.  A visit to the Israeli Elections Committee Logistic Center was interesting.

As messages from various political parties invade our phones and homes, in this building in Modiin Industrial Park in Shoham, the boxes for election polling stations are being packed.

Logistic center for Israel elections

Each box has everything down to the paper clips counted out and sealed. Work goes on 24/6 to be ready to deliver before the April election day.

Sample voting booth for Israel elections

Notice the new boxes being made to accommodate the 46 political parties, plus one blank ballot for a write-in option.

After the election 250 tons of paper will be recycled. No politics here, just posting the logistical madness.

If you are interested in knowing more about the various parties, their names, ages and positions.. check out a clever voting guide – HERE

But, before Purim, before elections….

Hanging banners for jerusalem marathon

The Jerusalem Winner Marathon is running on March 15th!

Runners on new paths for Jerusalem marathon

Runners are training on the streets. Landscaping and paving along route is going at a mad pace to finish before the 40,000 runners from 80 countries start to line up at 6:45 am.

Jerusalem schools are closed. Museums in the area are closed on Friday, as they are near the starting point of the marathon.

The Bloomfield Science Museum is closed on Friday for marathon, but in honor of PI day, on Thursday afternoon, is open and free.

Signs for Jerusalem marathon

Marathon direction signs are posted along the routes where Jerusalem streets will be closed from 5:00 am until after 1:00 pm.

March Madness Jerusalem style gets really going after the marathon.

Photo of family in costume on Jerusalem Israel street on Purim

For Purim one never knows what or who one will find on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

This year the city has a long list of events planned all week.

The day Purim is over, the Passover marathon begins, from March Madness to Passover Panic.

Where to go and what to do with so much happening Jerusalem streets!?

 

Out of this World: Israeli Space Week and More in Jerusalem

Out of this World: Israeli Space Week and More in Jerusalem

It is Israeli Space Week.

Conferences for researchers and 100 educational events for over 100,000 children were planned throughout the country.

The Jerusalem Bloomfield Science Museum had free entrance times with special exhibits.

Those who have seen the Ramon Crater will nod their heads at this announcement: The Israeli Space Agency and the Austrian Space Forum signed an agreement to simulate a manned Mars expedition in the Mars-like Ramon Crater in the heart of the Negev Desert in Israel.

Ramon Crater on way to Eilat Israel

If anything looks like the surface of Mars, it is the Ramon Crater.

Columbia was NASA’s first space shuttle, the first reusable crewed spacecraft in history. It carried out 28 missions and flew 160 astronauts. On February 1, 2003, after a 16-day mission in space, the shuttle broke up upon reentry to the earth’s atmosphere with seven astronauts on board, including Col. Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut. (No relationship to crater)

Israeli Space Week was an initiative of Rona Ramon and led by the Israeli Space Agency and the Ministry of Science.

For Israeli Space Week, the families of the ill-fated US astronauts came to Israel and met with President and Mrs. Rivlin at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.

Uniforms from members of Ramon Flight crew

The families presented the president with a copy of this NASA photograph taken at the training compound in 2002, several months before the disaster. The image shows the astronauts’ space suits hanging next to each other with American flags on their sleeves, and the Israeli flag on the sleeve of Ilan Ramon.

The latest news is that Israeli and German companies announced a joint moon venture.

Back on the ground, for thousands of years focus has been on Jerusalem.

David Breuer-Weil sculpture in Teddy Park jerusalem Israel

Since 2013, the sculpture “Centre of the World” by David Breuer-Weil has been in Teddy Park.

Look closely and you will see the Tower of David in reflection – and me upside down.

Jerusalem Light rail on Jaffa Road near King George Street

Jerusalem of old and new, is seen on Jaffa Road with crowds of shoppers and the light rail train.

New buildings near Independence Park in Jerusalem Israel

Jerusalem streets are filling with modern buildings.

Jerusalem biomed community JLMBIOCity startups

While Tel Aviv gets most of attention, there is a growing tech center also in Jerusalem.

In the rapidly growing Azriella College of Engineering, a JLMBioCity meeting was held this week.

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Hahoum had this to say (apologies for this screen shot).

Advise for biomed tech startups

Advice was shared along with presentations of 6 of the 13 life saving companies highlighted.

Slide from Brainsway treatment for depression

The interested audience heard of new treatments in mental health, monitoring kidney function,

Special treatment to fabric to repel bacteria

and of treating cotton to make fabrics that not only reduce infection, but reduce wrinkles.

Some of the Jerusalem technology really sounds out of this world.

More photos from JLMBioCity evening   HERE

Jerusalem Israel street sign for Winter Noise Festival

Get ready, signs are up  for שאון חורף Shaon Horef, Winter Noise, the cultural street festival in a different location each Monday night in February. Jaffa Gate is planned for the 18th.

One never knows what in the world will be found at these annual winter “cultural” performances.

Tu Bishvat is over. The almond trees have bloomed.

And what in the world?

Purim costumes on display in Jerusalem Israel mall

Purim costumes were out at this Jerusalem shopping site near the main bus station. Early bird shoppers will find the best selection of Israeli policemen and IDF soldiers for boys and fancy dresses for girls.

Hamentashen in bakery display in Jerusalem Israel in January

Hamentashen. Ready. Set. Go.

No blast off here yet. Not ready to get ready for Purim.

In Jerusalem, Shushan Purim is to be celebrated on Friday, March 22.

There is still very much to do and happening on the Jerusalem streets.

 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27th.

The annual commemoration is held on the day Auschwitz was liberated.

Auschwitz 2001 view outside

This photograph was taken on March of Living trip in 2001 to Poland.

Memorial in Poland for Shoah

From around the world, thousands of young people came to learn and remember.

Poland Holocaust memorial

Communities wiped out. Six million remembered by stone memorials.

Today in Jerusalem, President Rivlin said, “There can never be forgiveness for the crimes of the Nazis against the Jewish people. There can never be forgiveness for the terror and suffering of Jewish children during the dark years of the Second World War. But there can be reconciliation between the German people and the Jewish people today…Reconciliation must be based on truth. As the Holocaust fades from living memory, we must all work together to keep the memory alive.”

Display Yad Vashem children exhibit

In Jerusalem, Yad Vashem is trying to give names and faces to the victims.

Dolls from Holocaust on exhibit at Yad Vashem

Donated dolls are displayed in children’s memorial room which is dedicated to the one million Jewish children murdered.

Yad Vashem Yom Hashoah 5778

The national Israeli Holocaust Memorial Day, called Yom HaShoah, is in the spring.

It begins with a televised ceremony at Yad Vashem at night.

IDF honor guard at Yad Vashem for Yom HaShoah

An Israeli Defense Force honor guard is an annual feature.

Romania Lions supporting Ten Commandments

Artifacts from destroyed Eastern European synagogues are displayed in the Yad Vashem synagogue.

Romanian Aron Kodesh

Lights that were crushed out in Europe, shine today as a memorial in Jerusalem.

Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett presented the 2018 Global Antisemitism Report with details of worldwide trends, and highlights key initiatives of the Ministry to combat and monitor antisemitism. Unlike previous years, antisemitic violence in 2018 was led by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.  The Holocaust memorial at the Jewish cemetery of Salonika in Greece was violated a second time, this time by neo-Nazis.

 “The State of Israel is a strong and secure country…The year 2018 saw record highs of antisemitism in the streets, online, and in the political arena, around the world. It is a year that saw the highest number of Jews murdered in antisemitic attacks since the 1990s (bombing in Argentina), in three separate attacks. The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs will continue to work to build bridges with Jews around the world, and to eradicate antisemitism through legal, diplomatic and public diplomacy channels.”

Yesterday, on Shabbat, it felt like spring and Jerusalem, Israel was at its best.

The streets were filled with people enjoying the sunshine.

The parks were filled with families and children at play.

The Nazis failed.

#WeRemember

#NeverAgain

The memorial prayer El Maleh Rahamim: