Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, What Next?

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, What Next?

Yom Yerushalayim. Jerusalem Day.

Another fabulous day of celebrations has passed, celebrating 52 years of reunification in Jerusalem, Israel.

Remembering the divided city and nineteen years under Jordanian occupation is more important than ever as anti-Israel groups spread their narratives.

Yom Yerushalayim posters Jerusalem Day

Celebrating Jerusalem 52 signs lined Jerusalem streets.

On Yom Yerushalayim a large morning prayer service was held at the Kotel, Western Wall, and another with music on the Tayelet Promenade, with the Temple Mount in view.

The official memorial ceremony for Ethiopian Jews who perished on their way to Israel is held in the morning at Har Herzl Military Cemetery.

Israeli Ethiopian memorial in cemetery on Mount Herzl

A government minister and a representative of the bereaved families spoke at the event along with President Rivlin near the memorial for those who died during the treacherous journey from Ethiopia to the promised land.

Then there was another Har Herzl official memorial ceremony for the fallen of the Six-Day War and the War of Attrition.

The list of municipality events is too long to mention, and it was certainly impossible to attend them all. There were free tours, including the reopening of the sifting project, plus musical events and parades.

King George Street Yom Yerushalayim

The long-established parade dancing with flags went through the Old City. While a family-friendly parade begun four years ago was held elsewhere.

Roads were closed. Cyclists rode in from Gush Etzion.

To end the day, there was an official ceremony marking the 52nd anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, with the President, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion in attendance, at Ammunition Hill.   At the Kotel, the singing and dancing went on until well after dark.

Flags along Jaffa Road for Yom Yerushalayim

Flags lined major routes, such as Jaffa Road along the light rail line. The trains did not run Yom Yerushalayim in the afternoon as thousands walked this way to Jaffa Gate and the Kotel. 

Jerusalem street repair on Yoel Salomon Street

Construction somewhere in Jerusalem is a given, as here on Yoel Salomon Street.

Repairs and painting were slower as this has been the month of Ramadan.

Muslims fast by day and break their fast at sunset meal called Iftar.

President Rivlin hosted iftar meal at Beit Hanasi

President Rivlin hosted an annual Iftar meal in the gardens of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence, for 200 guests, including the Ambassadors of Egypt and Jordan and Muslim leaders.

Ben Yehuda Street Muslim women shopping during Ramadan

There is less shopping in Jerusalem by Muslim women during the heat of the day on Ramadan. However, these women were out on Ben Yehudah Street.

Jews were allowed on Temple Mount in the early morning Yom Yerushalayim. Police had to control the Arabs who rioted, screaming and throwing chairs.

Sheikh Jabari and Avi Zimmerman pose after press conference at Media Central

However, this past week Sheikh Ashraf Al Jabari from Hebron joined Avi Zimmerman from Ariel at Media Central for a press conference to discuss the Judea-Shomron Chamber of Commerce, economic cooperation and plans to go to Bahrain.

US Rep Eliot Engel in Jerusalem Israel with IDI and Brookings Institute

Also this week, US Rep Eliot Engel was at the Israel Democracy Institute to discuss his views on US and Israeli relations.

Signs for Israel Festival on Jerusalem Theater

While across the street, the Jerusalem Theater was being readied for the two-week Israel Festival opening night musical event.

Jerusalem Theater stage on Sherover Plaza for Israel Festival

A huge stage was erected in the plaza for bands to play at night.

Jerkily exhibit at Islamic Museum

The Islamic Museum has a new exhibit on jewelry, where old pieces are given a new look by new artisans.

Street sign for Bear Sound

Not just art and design, but the music of Beat/Second filled the Jerusalem streets.

If that is not cultural enough, opera is coming back to Jerusalem.

Opera in Jerusalem Israel in Sultan's Pool

Nabucco, “the beloved opera with the Hebrew slaves choir” is to be performed in the Sultan’s Pool, on June 20.

President Rivlin opened his Yom Yerushalayim evening remarks:

“My brothers and sisters, lovers of Jerusalem, 52 years ago this city was liberated, 52 years since the hearts of millions of Jews, Israel and the world heard the ‘Temple Mount in our hands’…52 years since we stood on the summit of Mount Scopus, touching a dream, a united Jerusalem.”

After dark,  Yom Yerushalayim did not ebb away quietly. Near the Kotel, music, and dancing continued. as tens of thousands of people filled the plaza.

Jerusalem Old City Walls for Yom Yerushalayim

On the walls of the Old City, Facebook comments were projected.

White night for Jerusalem Day

White Night in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, with live loud music continued all night long.  People as far away as Baka and Arnona said they were kept awake by the music.

But not to worry, no downtime in Jerusalem!

Design Week and Shavuot Hebrew signs in Jerusalem Israel

Another Jerusalem Design Week is coming.

But first, the holiday of Shavuot begins as soon as Shabbat is over.

Again people plan to stay up all night, this time learning Torah.

 

 

Shabbat Shalom – Jerusalem Day

Shabbat Shalom – Jerusalem Day

In Jerusalem, Israel the temperature is rising.

The sun is blazing down as we turn the calendar from May to June.

Approaching Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, which this year begins after Shabbat.

Blue and white flags for Shabbat shalom

Blue and white flags are flying over Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Old City Walls

Remember from 1948 to 1967, Jews could only see the Old City from afar.

View of Western Wall, Kotel, Shabbat shalom poster

Shabbat Shalom.

Chag Sameach.  Happy Holiday.

It’s time to celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem.

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..