Jerusalem Getting Ready for New Season and New Year

So many Israelis have already been to Dubai and Europe, and now they are booked to go to Japan.

While Israelis plan to travel during the holiday season, tourists are arriving to fill the Jerusalem streets.

New decorative lights add color to welcome all to the Jerusalem streets for the holiday season.

A quiet evening visit to the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens was a great way to start a busy week.

Seeing people dining and admiring the lily pond with its change of season never gets old.

This year’s attraction of inflatables was a great source for a fun seasonal image.

Nefesh B’Nefesh hosted a “Shuk Olim” an event for new immigrant businesses to share their wares.

Businesses were happy about the opportunity. One friend said she sold out in the first hour!

The added attraction at this second Shuk Olim was a performance by Shlomo Katz.

The mostly English-speaking crowd, also immigrants, enjoyed his music and the food on the NBN roof with the view of Jerusalem a bonus. For many the summer started at another Nefesh BeNefesh Shuk Olim.

Bright and early the next morning, back to Nefesh B’Nefesh for the 2nd Jerusalem Business Conference. Along with AACI, Lesley Kaplan (center), and crew hosted a full-day program for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Former Ambassador Michael Oren and Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum were opening speakers for an entire day of expert advice for advancing business in Israel.

Over 200 people attended, not only from Jerusalem, but from all around Israel, and at least one friend from Australia. It was a great day to be back with live networking and the opportunity to photograph a conference again.

As always, it feels as if Jerusalem is one big building site. While people complain, and buildings go down, at least the trees are protected from construction as much as possible.

This new bike trail attracted a lot of comments on Facebook.

Also this week, before the holiday season, was a time for weddings.

This young bride had the most interesting footwear seen in a long time.

But of it all, the most exciting time was spent seeing the new National Library of Israel.

It is not finished yet and not open to the public yet. But what a tour inside! More on it next time.

I was too tired and did not get to the pro-reform rally on Thursday night to see thousands of people.

I saw the loud anti-government protest Saturday night but decided to spare you the sound.

I was on my way to see the Selihot at various locations – there were hundreds of choices.

Better to share a bit of the impressive sound of Chazan Weiss and the Choir of the Great Synagogue.

Tens of thousands more packed the Kotel, Western Wall Plaza for late-night Selihot.

Today the bee keepers made their annual appearance at Beit Hanasi, the President’s Residence for the traditional apples and honey.

Wishing everyone a sweet and healthy new year!

Sounds of Selihot fill Jerusalem Streets

This past week was a very busy one for most everyone, with annual fall events returning and new ones planned after two too quiet years.

While driving north we admired the beauty of the land of Israel.

At times it was hard to distinguish between the blue of the sky and the sea.

In the land of milk and honey, natural beauty abounds.

We learned about honey for the Rosh Hashana holiday

and also about bees at Neshikha in Kfar Hananya.

After we returned to Jerusalem, I made time to get to Takhana Rishona, First Station, on Thursday night,

where Silo, located off the parking lot, was hosting an event.

The Woodstock Revival crowd seemed pleased with the music.

Now hoping the crowds come back for the September 29th Ethiopian-Israel Festival for families that start at 4:30 pm.

However, this week’s highlight in Jerusalem was the annual Selihot service, very late at night after Shabbat.

Remembering back in 2015, Ohel Nechama Synagogue was so crowded with Yitzhak Meir leading a musical Selihot that I could not enter.

The Jerusalem Great Synagogue was where I ended up that year before going to the Old City for a memorable night of beautiful and inspirational music that filled the Jerusalem streets.

Thousands were back at the Great Synagogue this year, after two years of being closed for corona, for Selihot 5782, with an impressive choir and amazing acoustics.

I featured the impressive sound of the Great Synagogue with a series of short clips of other places I visited.

It was hard to leave, but the biggest show in town was still to come.

Deputy Mayor Arieh King introduced the Jerusalem municipality’s Selihot held in the large auditorium of the Jerusalem International Conference Center.

Idit Silman was one of several politicians running for the next Knesset at Jerusalem Selihot but she did not go after the media attention as did others.

Yitzhak Meir was the star attraction, drawing thousands, with those without tickets disappointed and frustrated outside the building trying to gain entry.

Meir was on stage accompanied by a group of musicians. His beard was longer and his tallis bigger than it was the past.

In 2015, then-President Reuven Rivlin had Yitzhak Meir lead the Selihot in the President’s Synagogue on the Beit Hanasi grounds.

Sephardi Jews started saying Selihot at the beginning of the month of Elul, and continue every morning for the entire month prior to Rosh Hashana. The first night of Ashkenasi Selihot began after Shabbat, with some in Jerusalem starting as early as 10:00 pm. Selihot with Yitzchak Meir began at 12:30 am.

The full 2 hours of Yitzhak Meir is available on YouTube HERE

Nights of public Selihot continue until Yom Kippur, one at Kikar Safra.

Selihot are held not only at synagogues but even at Jerusalem community parks.

As I walked home, one group was just finishing and more sessions are scheduled at the public park space near the major intersection.

The sounds of Selihot and music filled the Jerusalem streets.

Happy New Year! Chag Sameach!