Prime Minister Modi in Israel: Warm Hugs and Agreements

Prime Minister Modi in Israel: Warm Hugs and Agreements

The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi

was in Israel from July 4- 7, 2017.

 The royal warm greetings and government attention was unprecedented,

starting with a large airport reception

with hugs and flags and music and lots of officials.

President Reuven Rivlin hugs PM Modi at Beit Hanasi

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin greeted Modi

outside Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

breaking protocol with a hug instead of handshake.

Walking red carpet into Beit Hanasi PM Modi of Indie

Both men then walked the red carpet to the residence,

Modi signing guest book with President Reuven Rivlin watching

and Prime Minister Modi signed the guest book.

President Rivlin and PM Modi shake hands after signing guest book in Jerusalem Israel

Time for another warm handshake moment,

In Jerusalem Israel India Prime Minister Modi signed official guest book

after the warm message.

Official meeting of Israel President Rivlin and PM India Modi in Jerusalem, Israel

Media crowded into the official reception room.

Most of the press left for the next stop on the full itinerary,

President Reuven Rivlin introduces head of Israeli Army to PM Modi of India in Jerusalem, Israel

and missed the commander-in-chief of the Israeli Army

Gadi Eizenkot, arriving to shake hands with Modi.

Then at the King David Hotel,

Lunch table at King David Hotel for PM Modi of India and those officials signing agreements.

the table was set for a lunch meeting between

the Prime Ministers and delegation officials.

Media ready for speeches of Israel and India Prime Ministers at King David Hotel i

The lunch went longer than scheduled

but the cameras were ready

Israeli government MK Kara and Stelinlitz at King David Hotel for India Israel press conference

while Israeli Ministers chatted and also waited.

PM Modi and Netanyahu enter room for press conference at King David Hotel Jerusalem Israel

The Prime Ministers made their entrance,

Prime Ministers Israel and India at press conference

and gave their speeches

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Prime Minister Modi of India hug in Jerusalem after signing of agreements

followed by more hugs.

There were numerous jokes,

of this warm and hugging visit,Sign for Modi in Israel

and of Modi in Israel.

Photos of the Prime Ministers wading into the sea,

signing agreements, hugging, and

meeting terror survivor Moishe Holtzman

made some news reports.

They also went to see the Cochin Synagogue exhibit in the Israel Museum.

The attention showered on the Indian Prime Minister,

was more than I have seen for any recent international visitor.

 Israel’s Prime Minister acted as host and tour guide.

The love, respect, and worship, that the Indian visitors

showed for their Prime Minister was impressive.

The extensive agreements that were signed have great potential

for both countries and beyond,

Globe photo shopped over bald head in photo of important press conference

 the whole world should be applauding.

(Thanks to my friend Ron for photo-shopping the globe here.)

After all the waiting for the official ceremonies,

the tallest man in the room was seated in the front row,

and his bald head blocked my camera view.

Jokes, hugs and smiles,

the potential of this visit must be acknowledged.

Additional photos: King David Hotel  and Beit Hanasi.

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.