Jerusalem: Diversity, Disability, Culture and Coexistence

What’s new and happening now that Hanukkah is over?

Some chanukkiot are still around on Jerusalem streets, but for many it feels like the holiday was long ago.

Hanukkah on walls in Old City Jerusalem Israel

Projections for Hanukkah like this one over the moat wall of the Tower of David,

Hanukkah show on walls of Tower of David Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah

and this one inside of Jaffa Gate are no longer.

Hanukkah greetings projected on Jerusalem Old City Walls for Hanukkah

But these on the walls of the Old City were still up last night.

Reindeer lights in Old City Jerusalem Israel

The reindeer which were up since Hanukkah also burn brightly.

Jerusalem Israel Christmas decorations

The Christian Quarter of the Old City is only one location with holiday lights.

The Jerusalem Municipality continues its annual tradition of distributing complimentary Christmas trees to Jerusalem’s residents in celebration of the holiday. Two hundred and fifty trees will be distributed to residents on December 20, outside of Jaffa Gate.

A special festive market near the New Gate began with loud and brightly colored fireworks exploding after Shabbat in the sky over Jerusalem.

Israel not isolate Netanyahu to foreign press

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.

Jerusalem Israel Art and Jazz Festival at Israel Museum

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.

Selfie of starting line for Crossroads Janglo night run

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.

Jerusalem Israel sign for ArtBnB festival

AirBnB has been discussed and covered endlessly this week.

But did you hear about ArtBnB music in Jerusalem at the Maffil?

Jerusalem Israel Hullegeb Festival Israeli Ethiopian Arts

The 9th Jerusalem Hullegub Festival featuring Israeli-Ethiopian Arts is December 20 – 26.

Beit Hanasi reception for new mayors and heads of Israel council Moshe Lion speaking

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.

Jerusalem, Israel, Hansen House at night lit up Ester wooden structure

As I walked home one night in the Hansen House garden,  Ester was lit, resembling a spaceship. 

Hansen House at night venue for events

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.

Jerusalem graffiti on Judah Mamacabi Street waiting for Messiah

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

Singer sewing machine for sale on Jerusalem street

You never know what will appear next on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Jerusalem Hanukkah New Favorites in 24 Photos

Jerusalem Hanukkah New Favorites in 24 Photos

Hanukkah.

Eight days of Hanukkah in Jerusalem, Israel, are not enough.

With so many things happening, one has to make a list and organize the time carefully.

Lighting the large hanukkiah by the Kotel, the Western Wall, is a popular annual evening event.

New this year, the Prime Minister and US Ambassador conducted a special lighting ceremony,

but it was a very private event on a different hanukkiah, shielded from the heavy rain and curious spectators.

As usual, a large electric hanukkiah was lit each night of Hanukkah over the Knesset.

Hanukia on top of Hadar Mall for sixth night of Hanukkah

New this year was the hanukkiah erected on top of the Hadar Mall in Talpiot.

Advertised as one of the world’s biggest Hanukkah menorahs, it measured 11 meters tall and 56 meters wide.

Man lighting candles at home photo projected on Old City Wall in Jerusalem Israel for Hanukkah

But Hanukkah candles are best lit in the home, as illustrated in this new projection on the Old City walls near Jaffa Gate.

German Menorah from famous photo in Nazi Germany at Yad Vashem in jerusalem

One of the most famous of photos of a Hanukkah menorah hangs on the wall at Yad Vashem, next to the real one displayed in a glass case. It shows a hanukkiah in the city of Kiel, Germany in 1932, with the Nazi flag flying across the street. This hanukkiah is lit each year by members of the family that owned it, its lights burning on after the fall of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Jerusalem street Hanukkah menorahs for sale

Before Hanukkah shops featured selections to satisfy every fashion and taste.

Hanukia outside lit for fourth night

On Jerusalem streets one could find a lone hanukkiah lit outside a home,

Yeshiva in Jerusalem with Hanukkah menorahs lit outside

or dozens shining brightly outside a yeshiva dormitory.

Jerusalem Old City man sitting watching Hanukkah lights

The idea is to show, share, and enjoy the lights in celebration of the miracle of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah menorah lit on last night

With a simple hanukkiah at home,

Hanukia at Beit Hanasi preparing for lighting

or a large hanukkiah at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, Hanukkah was a special time.

The President hosted multiple groups over Hanukkah, morning and night, to join in lighting ceremonies, including groups of Holocaust survivors and children.

Paralympics at Beit Hanasi for Hanukkah ceremony 50 years since Tel Aviv

This Paralympic athlete who was honored to light at one ceremony had a favorite smile.

Jerusalem Israel Yehudah HaMaccabi Street

Did you know Jerusalem has a street named for Judah the Maccabee?

Number 7 Yehuda Hamacabi Street in Jerusalem Israel

On the building at #7 Judah Maccabee Street was this holiday themed graffiti.

Chabad menorah in Mamilla Mall with music and dancing and donuts

Large crowds were found in Mamilla Mall for candle lighting, with music, singing and dancing.

Lighting a large menorah on last night of Chanuka in Jerusalem Israel

The last night of Hanukkah there was a glorious sky at sunset. You see a glimpse of it to the left. We were on our way to one last Hanukkah party in heavy traffic, and slowed to take this photo. Seems like this cyclist stopped as well, along with the cars slowing to watch.

Michael Oren Hanukkah candlelight at Hub Etzion

Missed a great sunset photo, but in spite of traffic made it to Hub Etzion in time for Michael Oren to light the hanukkiah and celebrate at the last Hanukkah party for this year.

Jerusalem Israel Old City walls lit for Hanukkah

In recent years the walls of the Old City were lit up with projections for Hanukkah.

Hanukkah greetings projected on Jerusalem Old City Walls for Hanukkah

This year again a favorite with Hanukkah greetings in multiple languages.

Wall decorated for Hanukkah in Old City near Jaffa Gate jerusalem Israel

Inside the walls by Jaffa Gate, the Old City was the site of a Hanukkalayim Festival.

Hanukkah night festival in Old City

Live performances, music and more lights for Hanukkah.

Glad I went on Wednesday night.

On Thursday it started raining, pouring, and raining some more.

The Bloomfield Science Museum had special Hanukkah fire exhibits and was packed.

Other museums were filled as a day at the zoo was not good option.

Israel Museum with ancient menorahs from synagogues

Going to the Israel Museum had been our original plan.  Viewing menorahs from 4th – 5th century CE in Tiberias, from the Susiya synagogue in the Hebron hills. and from Beit Shean in 5th – 7th century CE, our visit fit the Hanukkah spirit perfectly.

Float in Jerusalem Hanukkah parade with basketball players

Thankfully the weather was perfect for the first Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade as it went down King David Street.

Famous balloons did not include Spider-Man, Kung Fu Panda, Anna and Elsa from “Frozen,” Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and Pokemons, but included “others” and Jerusalem basketball players.

Dreydl played by tow boys on the floor on Hanukkah

Rain was no problem for a serious game of Hanukkah dreidel.

Donuts for Hanukkah

Tons of suffganiot were consumed.

Donuts for Hanukkah in bright colors

These colorful ones were not a favorite, I prefer a fresh, simple glazed donut.

Pomegranate open in Jerusalem market

For those wanting a healthier Hanukkah option, there were these any time favorite pomegranates in Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

The hanukkiah on top of Hadar Mall, changed colors in this short video.

The projections on the walls of Old City near Jaffa Gate also need a video presentation to appreciate why it was favorite.

Hanukkah menorah made out of Gaza missiles which land in Sderot on roof of Yeshiva

 

A final favorite hanukkiah is found on top of the Sderot Yeshivat Hesder.

This hanukkiah is made of projectiles fired from Gaza into southern Israel.

Hanukkah lights shone in the dark, from Sderot, from Jerusalem, from Israel,

tens of thousands of burning, shining lights in the night.

Jerusalem Getting Ready for Hanukkah

Jerusalem Getting Ready for Hanukkah

It’s the week before  חנוכה  and spellcheck has decided Hanukkah is the correct spelling in English.

At least one thing should be easier this year, with that problem decided.

In Jerusalem, Israel, before we began preparing for Hanukkah, international visitors took priority.

The President of Chad Idriss Deby dropped by for a quick visit.

Seems it went well, as our Israeli PM is planning a trip to Chad soon to set up diplomatic relations which were severed in 1972.

Czech flag for President in jerusalem Israel

The President of Czech Republic Milos Zeman and his wife were here on a state visit.

The Czech delegation got the presidential treatment with flags flying and state dinners and lunch. Zeman brought along a large entourage, making for long motorcades on the Jerusalem streets.

reduced GPO photo by Mark Neiman

The third Jewish Media Summit was held in Jerusalem, with over 100 people coming to join us from 30 countries. It included days of intense sessions, listening, talking, travelling and eating.  I found it interesting how new social media has been accepted and promoted along with conventional journalism, so very different from the past Jewish Media Summits. For a change I decided to sit at Beit Hanasi with President Rivlin and our group and use this GPO photo.

Jerusalem is going digital sign

I am not sure how many in Jerusalem noticed those visitors. But as more of these signs have popped up, Jerusalem residents will notice the city is going digital. Quick and easy service, no standing in line for municipal services. Sounds good, we will have to see how that goes.

Jerusalem Kikar Zion in morning after renovation

The renovation in Kikar Tzion, Zion Square, after being a construction site all summer, seems to have gone well.

Cofizz on Ben Yehuda closed

The copycat five shekel coffee and food place on Ben Yehuda Street seems not to be doing well. This one was closed midday, as the original 5 shekel Cofix announced joining with Rami Levy for future projects.

It was time to prepare for Hanukkah in Jerusalem.

Thousands of big people were sitting on little chairs and watching hours of Hanukkah song and dance performances by young children.

Did you get your Hanukkah stamps? The Israel- US joint venture was launched earlier this month.

Chanukah in Israel supermarket

Jerusalem supermarkets have displays with hanukkiot, Hanukkah menorahs.

Ready for Chanukah

Shop windows are ready with Hanukkah gift suggestions.

JErusalem Waldorf Astoria menorah ready for Hanuka

The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem readied their large hanukkia last week,

Window display at Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria menorah

and a gold and silver hanukkia was on display in this window.

Chanukah Lights on poles for Hanuka

Electric hanuikkot are lining some busy Jerusalem intersections.

Jerusalem, Israel on Hanukkah 5778

The hanukkia is up and ready for another year at the Kotel, Western Wall.

Chanuka sign for neighborhood events.

Hanukkah celebrations are planned for the week in various Jerusalem neighborhoods.

The Chabad hanukkiot have been placed on corners all around Jerusalem.

JErusalem for Chanuka donuts

And donuts, almost everywhere suffganiot of all types can be found.

I am looking forward to something new this year for Hanukkah. The Jerusalem Hanukkah Parade is to include 8 giant balloons like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Hard to imagine a Golden Dragon with over 200 people holding it as it proceeds down Jerusalem streets. That is a sight I want to see and share.

And we had two weddings this week.

With all the good, the crazy, the busy, so much happening in Jerusalem.