Jerusalem Moving Outside: Summer in Sacher Park

Jerusalem Moving Outside: Summer in Sacher Park

Jerusalem, Israel.

The sun is shining. The hot days of summer are here.

Many people on my street went away for a holiday weekend.

Life appeared to be normal, except for a few masks.

Moving outside is now the “in” thing to do.

Signs for summer outside in Jerusalem Israel during coronavirus

New signs were posted for summer under the stars at the Kahn Theater and the Jerusalem Theater.

Cultural events were stopped and theaters have been shut for months.

However, construction and road work accelerated under corona closings.

Gardner planting new roses in Jerusalem Israel

The Jerusalem municipality gardening crews planted new roses.

Jerusalem Sacher Park entrance

One of Jerusalem’s largest public outside green spaces is Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

Sovereignty sign posted in Jerusalem Gan Sacher Park

One entrance to the park has a protest sign against building in the “White Ridge,” west of the city, proposed much needed new housing in the green Jerusalem hills.

This is one location that has greatly improved over the past few years.

Jerusalem Israel Savher Park entrance before marathon days.

The entrance before renovations often had signs posted. But oh that path!

Valley of Cross path toward Gan Sacher Park

This was the way the path looked before,

Walking and bike path Jerusalem Israel Valley of Cross

and this is the same path now divided for walkers and cyclists.

Jerusalem Sacher Park couple exercising

Gan Sacher is being well-watered and the grass is green.

Couple doing yoga moves in Jerusalem Park Gan Sacher

Enough space for almost private exercise under the trees.

Jerusalem Israel park Gan Sacher

Even this rock near an entrance was cleaned up!

Jerusalem Israel Gan Sacher Park

I went back to find a photo of before, yes it was that sad looking.

Jerusalem Israel two Muslim women walking in Gan Sacher Park

I passed two Arab women wearing masks on the walking path.

Masks are not required for exercise.

But police are giving out fines for those not wearing masks in public.

View of Sacher Park above the restaurant

The restaurant in the Gan Sacher was busy. People were eating in the open covered area and a few couples were sitting outside. Seems those seats and steps which were hard to understand in the past are brilliant for our new reality.

Sacher Park in Jerusalem play are with steps before renovation

At this time of year, the playground would be filled with children.

Lately, the play equipment in Gan Sacher stands empty.

Jerusalem Israel playground in Jerusalem Park

Notice the steps are gone. It will be interesting to see the results when completed.

Jerusalem park Gan Sacher Park

Lights on were on in the building with restrooms, but no landscaping around.

Jerusalem Gan Sacher 2019 sign for Passover

Passover 2019 there was green planted all around.

I stopped going inside to check, as every time I found it clean.

Restroom in Sacher Park under construction

I remember how thrilled to see when this was being built.

Jerusalem Israel old restrooms before renovations

The situation before was Outrageous!

Progress and changes in Gan Sacher over the years, included the picnic area.

Jerusalem Israel Gan Sacher Park cement tables i

February 2018 this was a new picnic area near the play equipment.

Those tables and benches looked sturdy. However, those round things near fields?

Guess I was not the only one confused. Were they to be used as seats or BBQ grills?

Truck in Sacher Park in Jerusalem Israel

But now those benches and tables and round things are gone.

Jerusalem Israel new picnic tables in Sacher Park

There are even newer picnic tables

Jerusalem Israel Sacher Park new eating areas

in several locations along the path inside Gan Sacher. 

Jerusalem Israel Sacher Park renovation

One area in front of the trees that border the Knesset has also been developed.

Old view of Gan Sacher when trees fell down

Remembering in March 2014, after storms, many of the old trees in that spot were down.

Some trees were marked to be saved. Some were removed.

Trees trimmed have come back to provide shade again.

Two Muslim women stopping in Sacher Park to take selfies

By the time I came around the park, the women had reached the same spot and were taking selfies.

It was time to walk home.

Road work along path in Valley of Cross in Jerusalem Israel

Not too long ago serious fire here had endangered homes on the streets above.

A few days ago the dried weeds were cut, the area was being replanted.

Jerusalem Rechavia view from Valley of the Cross

Today you can see the results of the new landscaping.

Jerusalem Israel Sacher Park

In spite of the summer heat, and in spite of the coronavirus pandemic, the Jerusalem park spaces are being upgraded and green.

Jerusalem summer activities for children in the city parks in summer 2020

New activities for young children are planned in the Jerusalem parks.

Broadway shows in New York City are closed until January.

Things may not be coming up roses everywhere but in Jerusalem,

there are new roses on the streets and people are moving on and outside.

Israeli Scouts Masada center open after COVID-10 closing

After months closed, the door to the Israeli Scouts Moadon was open.

The sounds of children’s voices could be heard again filling the Jerusalem streets.

 

Jerusalem Old and New in Sacher Park on Passover

Jerusalem Old and New in Sacher Park on Passover

Jerusalem, Israel.

So many extremes, highs and lows, and contrasts of old and new.

Monastery in Valley of Cross on Passover and Easter in Jerusalem

The ancient stone monastery in the Valley of the Cross is surrounded by new spring wild flowers and a sea of green after a winter of significant rain.

Valley of Cross bike path in Jerusalem Israel near Sacher Park

The new biking/walking path leading to Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, from the monastery not only has new benches, but also a shaded area to rest in the midday sun.

Sacher Park in Jerusalem on Pesach, family in matching outfits

It is nothing new that on Passover, families in Gan Sacher could be seen walking in matching spring outfits. On outings with five young children in a busy public area, it is a good idea to let everyone know to which family they belong.

Gan Sacher picnickers on Pesach in Jerusalem park

As usual, family and friends reunited for picnics in the park.

In 2011, the situation in Gan Sacher was outrageous.

The lack of proper public facilities was shocking.

Sacher Park holiday sign on public toilet building Jerusalem Israel park

This building with proper toilets has been in use for a few years.

Clean and ready bathroom for disabled and place to change babies in Jerusalem park

While it is not new, the toilets and the handicapped facilities were clean and stocked with supplies.

This baby changing area is also near the entrance on the women’s side.

It was midday and crowds were still not large, but such a drastic improvement in the situation must be noted and complimented.

Jerusalem Sacher Park new stairs to fitness equipment park improvement

New stairs lead up to the fitness exercise equipment area.

Sacher Park children's play area with people picnicking.

Nothing new with many families near the play area.

Two Jerusalem gardeners in Sacher Park on Pesach

Remember those yellow vests on the new gardening staff before Passover?

This clean up team with those vests was a new sight in Gan Sacher.

Sacher Park on Passover Jerusalem Israel

Little children running in the park is not new.

Sacher Park new paths for disabled access

However, wheelchair access is new.

Finally there are easy access routes into and through the main areas of the park.

Sacher Park walking path and new shaded area

Young couples meeting and walking around is not new.

But notice the new benches and sun shade they are passing.

Sacher Park on Pesach with men watching for fire hazzard

Also new, quality control workers were wearing those black tee shirts with identification in white on the back. This pair had just instructed a family to move their grill to a safer spot.

Friends said the smoke from grills got so strong later in the day, they are thinking not to return next year.

Mangal on Pesach in Gan Sacher

Not everyone was an expert at grilling, but no worries. One man stopped to help another get his fire going to cook his hot dogs.

Gan Sacher on Passover Jerusalem Israel

Families were filling the park with tables, tents, and chairs,

Boy with big box of matza on Peasach in Jerusalem Israel park

and at least one big box of matzah.

Notice the warning sign in the distance. Large areas were fenced in and off limits to park visitors. Renovations are still ongoing. The Jerusalem Marathon crowds walking on the muddy grounds was not good for the grass.

Sacher Park on Pesach afternoon

But the new paths were marked and the smooth red area is perfect surface for wheelchairs and baby strollers.

Man walks down stairs to Sacher Park

New steps lead down from the street corner.

Gan Sacher on Pesach afternoon

However, some people like to enter Gan Sacher the old way.

More and more people were arriving to celebrate the spring holiday.

Near Sacher Park flowers in shape of butterly

New construction can be seen in the distance over the butterfly flowers located outside the park.

Valley of Cross, Jerusalem, Israel Easter time with spring flowers

Walking home, I went back past the old monastery again.

With Passover, Easter and Orthodox Easter, and Druze Nabi Shu’eib, Baha’i Ridvan, Muslim Lailat al Bara’ah, this was a very busy spring holiday season on the Jerusalem streets. Hotels were near capacity with tens of thousands of visitors.

Large flags on Jerusalem municipal building.

Before the ‘Happy Spring Holiday’ signs come down, the flags are already being put up for the Yoms.

Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Yom HaZikaron, Remembrance Day for Israel’s Fallen.

Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day.

No down time in Jerusalem, Israel, on these busy streets..

Global Forum For Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem: Inside and Outside

Global Forum For Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem: Inside and Outside

Antisemitism is not a thing of the past.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, here in Jerusalem,  said “I would really like to make it clear that the struggle against racism and anti-Semitism is important to me.”

Also this week French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian while in Jerusalem said, “There is a friendship between France and Israel that is deep and enduring, and expresses itself in many, many ways. I wish to send through you my best regards to President Macron.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Affairs hosted The 6th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem, Israel, from March 19-21.

Global Forum against antisemitism in Jerusalem opening plenary

Together we can fight online hate speech was the opening plenary of the first day. The night before a large gathering listened to US Ambassador David Friedman.

Man from Australia wearing kippa with Aboriginal designs

People came from around the world, with 87 countries represented. This friend as you might guess came from Australia, but I also met a man from Trinidad, and several people from South African countries.

Global Forum Justice Ministers Israel, Germany, Greece and Italy

Ministers of Justice from Germany, Greece, and Italy joined Israel Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked in signing a joint statement confronting online hate.

Facebook regional director of policy at Global Forum in Jerusalem, Israel

Delphine Reyre, Facebook regional director of policy in southern Europe, told of Facebook efforts to curb terror sites.

This week it was reported that Facebook closed down a Hamas page.

However, Twitter has not closed even one hate site.

Former Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls speaking at Global Forum in Jerusalem Israel for Combating Antisemitism

Near the end of the Global Forum, the former Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls, speaking in French, received applause for stating anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

Bulgarians with Presidential visit to Jerusalem Israel

The Israeli Foreign Ministry spent plenty of shekels on this event. Here the delegation with the President of Bulgaria arrived and waited politely to be seated at lunch.

Abe Foxman introducing President of Bulgaria at Global Forum in Jerusalem Israel

Abe Foxman was given the honor of introducing Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.

Radev remarks were in English. Not only is his English excellent, he showed amazing patience while being stopped for selfies during his visit.

Bulgarian Ambassador, President Rumen Radev, and Ron Yaakoby

Here Radev (center) posed with the Bulgarian Ambassador to Israel on the left and Ran Yaakoby,  Chairman of the Global Forum (right) of MFA.

Dessert tray at Global Forum in Jerusalem Israel

With lavish food and desserts, oh how very sweet the Global Forum was. Facebook photos HERE

But will it make a global difference to curb antisemitism?

Celebrity guests like Mayim Bialik got media coverage. Anti-Zionism, manifested in Israel Apartheid Week, has spread to India for the first time this year.

Meanwhile, for most locals what was happening to the streets was of more immediate concern.

Jerusalem new center under construction

Outside the International Convention Center where the Global Forum was held the streets change daily due to construction.

New roads in Jerusalem, Israel

This road expansion was open after weeks, or months, of work.

Jerusalem street construction fixing crossings.

I had to wait to cross until this small earth mover moved out of my way.

Jerusalem Israel new housing near future fast train to Tel Aviv

This is one of the new neighborhoods near those streets reaching completion.

Bridge for Tel Aviv to Jerusalem fast train outside of Jerusalem as seen from highway

The fast train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv will not open this month.

Train station in Jerusalem for fast train to Tell Aviv

But when it does, those apartment dwellers are near the fast train station, and can be in Tel Aviv in half an hour.

Coming soon Gan Sacher

Coming soon?

Whatever they are doing in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, is to be completed soon.

Gan Sacher trees in bloom on spring day with blue sky

Meanwhile, as I walked along Gan Sacher on my way home from the Global Forum, I saw something which all can appreciate now.

With spring weather and trees in bloom, we can appreciate what we have today and hope for a better future.

Spring is in the air. This year all Easter celebrations coincide with Passover, so tens of thousands of visitors are arriving daily.

Street sign Happy spring holiday

Happy Holiday of Spring in Jerusalem.

חג שמח

Chag Sameach.