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.

Follow Team Israel 

US Vice-President Biden Returns to Jerusalem

US Vice-President Joe Biden was in town this week.

When he visited five years ago,

it was a blog-worthy occasion, a very no-frills visit,

as compared to a US Presidential visit to Jerusalem, Israel.

But this visit was not like last time.

no parking near Beit Hanasi for Biden visit

The big red no-parking signs were not warnings for the

upcoming Jerusalem Marathon street closings,

but for Vice-President Biden’s visit to

President Reuven Rivlin at Beit Hanasi,

the official residence of the Israeli President.

red carpet out for Joe Biden visit and shade up

The red carpet was unfurled,

and for an extra layer of security, this blue tarp was erected.

Beit Hanasi set for Biden

Flags, flowers and podiums were arranged.

food for press at beit hanasi for Biden visit

Hamentashen were among the sweets served to munch.

There was a long delay and wait,

because the VP stayed longer than planned

 with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Finally, it was show time.

Rivlin waits for Biden to arrive

Key players were in their positions.

The motorcade arrived.

A huge US vehicle with DC license plates

and adorned with US and Israeli flags

Biden in special DC car at beit hanasi

 pulled up along the carpet with swarms of security,

VP Biden greeted by Reuven Rivlin

and the United States Vice-President.

International press lined the way ready to report.

Such coordination,

Rivlin and Bedin walk into Beit Hanasi

 even their ties matched.

I was late for a meeting and left after the speeches,

Biden and Rivlin shake hands

right after the official hand shake.

US cars of motorcade Biden

The waiting cars of the motorcade filled the driveway,

Beit hanasi security screen

while security shades blocked the view.

This was a full scale production,

everyone knew that Joe Biden was here this time.

And don’t you know it,

as soon as I turned around to leave there she was–

another one of those Arab girls!

Arab girl driving lesson

Crazy layers of security, a street lined with police cars,

bomb squads whose photos I cannot share,

and there was an Arab girl having a driving lesson.

One Day to the Next in Jerusalem

In this crazy, sometimes upside-down place called Jerusalem, Israel,

one day can be so different to the next.

Yesterday, it was cold and wet and rainy.

The President of Kenya came for an official visit,

Kenya President in Jerusalem at Beit Hanasi

stood on a red carpet next to the President of Israel,

outside at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli president’s official residence,

  as the morning rain was falling.

The national anthems were played.

It was cold and wet, but

Honor guard at Beit Hanasi

 the honor guard stood at attention with raindrops falling off them.

Yesterday I was under my umbrella trying to stay dry,

the sky was foggy and grey.

Then the next morning it was hot and sunny.

park Israel

A beautiful day to be outside,

Jerusalem Israel Independence Park

it was like summer in Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park.

Ben Yehuda Street

People were eating outside in Ben Yehuda cafes

 and strolling along Jaffa Road,

Jerusalem Israel Mashbir department store

with the new Mashbir rising above Zion Square.

Renovation is under way on the old Mashbir building on King George Street,

after a serious fire around Sukkot time.

Old Mashbir to be WeWork

WeWork is coming to this site in Jerusalem, Israel,

so stay tuned for more innovation for the start up nation

sure to come from this venture.

Jerusalem street art

While this art display is not as popular as the umbrellas of last year,

 people were out on Yoel Salomon Street today.

As I walked home,

construction on Museum of Tolerance

I passed the work at the future Museum of Tolerance,

flowers Jerusalem Israel

and the flowers lining the Horse Park.

Not sure what will happen tomorrow,

but next week,

Ice skating at Cinema City Jerusalem

an ice skating rink will open in Cinema City.

One day to the next,

you can never sure what you will find on the streets

of Jerusalem, Israel.