Jerusalem, Israel, winter nights are cold, but some sites are as photo worthy as by day.
On the way home from the Jerusalem Winner Marathon launch, I passed through Teddy Park to Mitchell Park to see the new ice skating rink. This was the view. The Teddy Park fountain is not nearly as popular in winter as on hot summer days when it is filled with people, but still worth pausing to appreciate.
A special festive market near the New Gate began with loud and brightly colored fireworks exploding after Shabbat in the sky over Jerusalem.
PM Netanyahu repeated one of his favorite themes, “Israel is not isolated and improving relations with Arab neighbors” at the annual Government Press Office New Year toast for foreign journalists.
The event was held at the Shalva National Center to mark the International Day for Persons with Disabilities.
As usual there was entertainment. The Shalva Band was very warmly received after a wonderful performance.
However, everyone including the Prime Minister and his security had a surprise.
As the band received a standing ovation and took their final bow, the drummer went over to the end of the stage, bent down, and gave the Prime Minister a hug.
Shalva Center is an impressive complex providing multiple services and therapies to individuals with a wide range of disabilities.
While the GPO event at Shalva was by invitation only, involving many levels of security, the Art of Jazz event at the Israel Museum was open to the public.
After a delay because of rain during Hanukkah, Crossroads and Janglo held their 5th annual night run.
In this photo taken just before race began at the starting and finish line, you can see the winner wearing blue shorts. For the group selfie, he looks like he has already run, won and is celebrating.
AirBnB has been discussed and covered endlessly this week.
But did you hear about ArtBnB music in Jerusalem at the Maffil?
The 9th Jerusalem Hullegub Festival featuring Israeli-Ethiopian Arts is December 20 – 26.
President Reuven Rivlin hosted new mayors and heads of councils at Beit Hanasi, the President’s Residence. Of 100 newly elected community leaders, 60 attended. New Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion got in the last word, but it was noteworthy that many Arab, Muslim, and Christian mayors came to Jerusalem to attend and were asked to speak.
I heard music coming from the direction of Hansen House, so went to see what was happening. Not only is it a new center for arts and technology, but it has also become a popular and colorful gathering places for food, drink and events.
One Only in Jerusalem, Israel photo – taken at #7 Judah Maccabee Street ” WANTED ALIVE MASHIACH BEN DAVID Reward redeemed world. “
There you have it.
Only a bit of what was happening in Jerusalem.
Diversity, disability, culture, coexistence, up and down, always something new happening.
Miri Mesika’s song from performance at Shalva seemed like a beautiful way to conclude.
For those interested, more GPO at Shalva photos HERE
You never know what will appear next on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.
One thing people mention they miss most living in Israeli is Sunday.
In Israel it is a regular week day, with school and work beginning bright and early Sunday morning.
No more Monday morning blues in Israel, by Monday evening the week feels half over.
In Jerusalem on a Sunday we can enjoy special scenes like this one in Old City, but it’s not a day off.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018, was a national holiday, Election Day.
Elections for local governance and municipalities in Israel are held every 5 years.
Many olim joked that having this Tuesday off from work made it feel like Sunday.
Sadly in Jerusalem even though it was not a work day, the turnout was low.
Apathy with only a 30% voter turnout?
A runoff election is to be held in two weeks between Ofer Berkovitch and Moshe Lion.
Meanwhile, the future leadership of Jerusalem, Israel, is an unknown.
Nevertheless, tourists keep coming by the tens of thousands. One part of a group in this photo was heading into the Old City near the Jewish Quarter.
Seeing the grave stones on Har Hazetim, the Mount of Olives, with the Arab buildings up next to, and even on top of ancient Jewish graves, is another visual tourist experience.
Entering the Old City through Zion Gate, with its bullet-marked stone walls, is often the route for tourists and new IDF soldiers to learn history first hand.
The symbol of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is a sword wrapped by an olive branch.
Olives and olive oil have connection to Eretz Yisrael going back thousands of years.
While elections are every five years, harvesting olives has been an annual event for centuries.
There are 60 olive trees on the grounds of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence.
Among other things I learned this week, olive trees can live 2,000 years.
So important is the harvesting of olives there is a special word for it in Hebrew, מסיק, masik.
So this week after the first winter rain, President Rivlin invited olive growers to help him harvest the presidential olives.
President Rivlin and his wife Nechama came out to greet the invited guests, Arab, Jewish, religious, secular, of all ages, some seventh-generation farmers.
Those little orange rakes were good for official photographs.
But the serious harvesting was done by large electric tools.
And as usual in the Presidential gardens, the Presidential Cat was on guard supervising.
The fall season is not just for harvesting olives.
The annual Oud Festival is coming up soon.
And suffganiot, those Hanukkah donuts, are appearing and disappearing from bakery shelves.
And with all this happening, a shadow over this past week was cast by the unthinkable events in Pittsburgh which we learned about after Shabbat here in Jerusalem. As young people gathered Sunday night to sing Hebrew sad songs in Zion Square, this message of support was shown on the walls of the Old City.
Up-down, another roller coaster week, but if you want to end on a positive note, meet one of Israel’s proud olive growers.
Not everyone in Israel wants to go into hi-tech, some still believe in value of agriculture.
The sun is shining, the weather cooling, and it’s a great time to get out and walk around to see what else is happening in Jerusalem, but watch out for those black overripe olives that have fallen on sidewalks.