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!

President Time in Jerusalem

President Time in Jerusalem

If it’s February,

it’s time for Presidents again.

In the United States, February means a long holiday weekend

Jerusalem street sign for US President Abraham Lincoln

in honor of the birthdays of President George Washington

US President Abraham Lincoln street sign Jerusalem

and President Abraham Lincoln.

Since I have used these Jerusalem streets signs often,

I went to find something new.

I went looking for the sign where the two streets meet,

image of Presidents Where Washington and Lincoln Streets meet in Jerusalem

only to find, there is no sign on that Jerusalem corner.

Over 6,000 people came from around the world

Binyunei Hauma for #OCsummit2017

for the OurCrowd Global Summit last week.

with Elli Q, one of hundreds of amazing Israeli innovations.

Presidents of companies and leaders of the Startup Nation

networked and shared their ideas and talents.

At another venue, the annual Conference of Presidents

of Major American Jewish Organizations met again this year

in Jerusalem, Israel, after a kosher dinner in the royal palace in Morocco

and a stopover in Cairo to meet President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Reuven Rivlin and Malcolm Hoenlein at Inbal Hotel

President Reuven Rivlin was the first speaker,

and no, the President was not so excited to see me.

Romanian former President Rosen Plevneliev

The former President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev

was in the banquet hall for the opening dinner.

 He really is a friendly person.

Bulgaria President at Beit Hanasi

On his way to visit President Rivlin at Beit Hanasi,

the official residence of the Israeli President,

the former President of Bulgaria and his team,

 stopped, said hello, smiled and posed for photos.

But as usual in February,

 most people are not thinking about all these Presidents,

Candy in the shuk before Purim

they are busy thinking about

costumes, candy for gifts, and meals fit for a king,

Machane Yehudah Market, the shuk, has been ready for weeks.

No matter the weather,

Rainy day with fabric out on street for Purim costumes

colorful fabric for costumes lines the sidewalks on Jaffa Road.

 Purim is coming.

Rio 2016 Israeli Olympic Champions

This summer

Jerusalem streets in the city center are covered

with displays from various countries,

Street decorated with flag of Brazil colors in Jerusalem Israel

with this Brazilian flag being one of the most popular.

 Prince of de Ligne of  Belgium,

Tourist of the Week,

told RJS that his wife is from Brazil.

Brazil seemed to be everywhere last week.

The 2016 Olympics are to be held in Rio, Brazil,

from August 5-21.

Reuven Rivlin hosted a Presidential send off

at Beit Hanasi, the official residence.

The Ambassador from Brazil attended along with

Beit Hanasi sendoff for Israeli Olympic participants

members of the Israeli Olympic Teams.

Israel Olympic team at Beit Hanasi

The participants in the 2016 Paralympic Games

to be held in Rio from September 7-18

were also honored at the event.

Miri Regev at Bet Hanasi for sendoff of Israel Olympic teams to Rio

Dignitaries posed and smiled around

Sports Minister Miri Regev.

The largest teams in Israel’s history are heading to Rio.

Each athlete has an impressive story to tell

of dedication and training to reach their goal.

Audience members rise when the President enters,

but not the Paralympic athletes confined to wheelchairs.

Pascale Bercovitch at Beit Hanasi for official Olympic send off with President Reuven Rivlin

One woman had a special smile,

Athletes for Rio Olympics at official sendoff by President

her look was beautiful, thoughtful, determined.

I wondered what her story was.

After the event I found out.

Pascale Bercovitch, at age 17, was living in France.

She slipped on ice rushing to school to take an exam

and a train ran over her, severing both her legs.

However, she made aliyah,

volunteered in the army,

married and started a family.

Israeli athletes pose for group photo in garden of Beit Hanasi

48 Israeli Olympic athletes are competing

in various sports in Rio 2016.

Pascale Bercovitch,

is competing in her third Paralympic games,

in her third sport, kayaking.

If that is not enough for a double amputee,

she was 40 years old at her first Paralympics Games.

Official sendoff photo Paralympic team from Israel

Each athlete has an impressive story.

Each Para-athlete has a story.

I had wondered about the woman,

with a radiant face and huge smile,

but never could I have imagined such a story.

Her positive attitude shows us how one

can succeed in Olympic proportions.

All the best to to Pascale,

and all the other athletes off to Brazil.

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