Jerusalem Streets Summer Scenes

Summer is here in Jerusalem, Israel.

Love it when the weather person announces “hotter than usual.” It’s that time when it is good to stay off the Jerusalem streets during the day.

Some scenes are still consistently good like at Jaffa Gate.

Zahal Square is pretty much the same when the Light Rail trains are not going around the corner.

The new Superbuses are out and running a new route around the Old City. Egged green buses no longer have the monopoly on the Jerusalem streets.

There are bikes to rent at 25 docking stations at key Jerusalem locations –another new means of transportation, not all are blue, some are yellow.

The King David Street renovation goes on, constantly changing, and frustrates drivers, even those who thought they were familiar with the Jerusalem streets.

The residents near Paris Fountain who thought that with the anti-government protesters gone they would have some quiet now found out they were wrong.

The digging in France Square extended into the street, closing lanes and backing up traffic. This is always one of the noisy locations during the summer as visitors try to figure out which lane they should be in and the drivers behind are not patient.

Oh and the Gan HaSoos, Horse Park renovation!

The question this summer – “Is there one Jerusalem street not under construction?”

At least in some locations, you can get a history lesson as you sit in traffic.

New bus lines mean new bus station signs.

And new night bus lines are running late hours. Good – the city is planning ohel, late-night locations for teens to hang out.

Been out of Jerusalem to Gush Etzion lately?

The second tunnel is well underway to change and improve driving to and from Jerusalem on Route #60.

Tourists are here. Jerusalem hotels are back in business.

Some hotels have new names to learn and new owners.

Tourists will find new street installations, adding color over the streets off of Ben Yehuda.

Colorful kites are flying high nearby.

A major project by women of Jerusalem is to decorate all the trees in Zion Square, and it is attracting attention.

Two children were fortunate enough to find time to enjoy the cooling mist at the off Jaffa Road location.

On Ben Yehuda, stores are trying to attract roaming tour groups.

Kikar Safra, Safra Square, was setting up for the annual basketball event.

However, I found the new exhibition on the walls much more interesting.

The Lonka Project includes 360 survivors’ portraits from 35 countries. Each unique brilliantly done image is accompanied by a short biography. 

I was impressed to see a former neighbor and friend’s photo on the wall.

Oh, the stories! In 1942, Helen Brashatsky was born in Auschwitz. A Christian doctor sheltered her and her mother. After the war, they came to Mandatory Palestine, where she married Muhammed Jabarin, converted to Islam, and changed her name to Leila. Only after she registered as a Holocaust survivor did she tell her 8 children and 30 grandchildren.

Sonia Kam and her sister were born in Germany and separated during the war. Never could they have imagined that years later a close relative would be the Israeli ambassador to Germany.

Music from the Liberty Bell Park, the Israel Museum, and the Mekudeshet Festival on the Sherover Plaza on the Tayelet will fill the Jerusalem streets.

Also music at the Jerusalem Theater and Yellow Submarine, and Outline Festival is back again this week in Jerusalem.

The International Arts and Crafts Fair is to return to Mitchell Garden and the Sultan’s Pool with have major musical performers each night.

Going almost 24/7, Shabbat-friendly activities for kids at First Station to Shakespeare in the Park in August, day or night, something is happening on the Jerusalem streets this summer.

And if it gets too hot outside, it’s a good time to stay inside and watch the Israelis perform at the Olympics.

Watch Out Katy Perry and Justin Bieber

 I am often asked how I decide what to write about.

Some weeks it is easy.

 Last week was the funeral of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

The public is seldom invited into the Knesset Building,

so if you missed the last post check it out.

The problem is there is too much to do in the summer.

It is the Season of Culture in Jerusalem.

 The Israel Museum’s popular new exhibit, 

"sign picture", "museum sign photo", "image black and white"

Chasidim, not all black and white’, has attracted thousands of visitors.

"sign Jerusalem film festival", "photo film festival" , "Jerusalem film festival image"

The Jerusalem Film Festival opened with a big event at the Sultan’s Pool.

Plus there were several professional music events held

in outdoor locations around Jerusalem that attracted thousands of fans.

But if you look around the Jerusalem streets as the summer starts,

you will find colorful hand-made signs.

They welcome crowds to end-of-school year events organized by                                                             

various Youth movements.

One group in the Talpiot neighborhood, after opening speeches,

featured a girls’ act with colorful hats and ties.

Of course, there were plenty of cameras on hand to record the show.

This Snif Ezra (chapter of the Ezra movement) was celebrating its 30th year,

 and there were even more cameras poised for the boys’ turn to perform.

Boys on bicycles showed some of their dare-devil moves.

Mandatory at such an extravaganza are loud music,

a burning sign,

 a power-point presentation,

and Israeli flags.

Countless hours of preparation went into this and other such evenings.

The choreography, costumes and music were suitable

for this far, far, far off-Broadway production.

One has to be impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication

of the youth group leaders and their young members.

Ok,  Katy Perry and Justin Bieber do not have to worry

about any competition from here yet,

but from the energy and ideas of these young people and others

like Tzofim, Israeli scouts, will come future leaders.