10 Favorites of Sukkot: Photo Essay

Over the Sukkot holiday, it was hard to keep up

with all that was happening in Jerusalem, Israel.

Every year the Sukkot holiday season is a busy time,

and this year was the same, yet very different.

With the ongoing terror attacks increasing drastically

it was hard to know what to post.

Staying true to my goal of sharing what is really happening,

means that life in Israel goes on.

So I have decided to share some favorites,

  the good things and best events

that did not make international headlines.

 1. The Jerusalem Biennale Contemporary Jewish Art,

hosted 10 exhibitions in 7 locations,

with 200 international artists.

 It alone could be several posts.

Contemporary Art Jewish

The new Polonsky Building at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute,

 was the site of the opening of two international exhibits,

and was a stand-out favorite as a new must-see venue.

2. The annual Kite Festival at the Israel Museum

was fun, but not as large as usual,

Jerusalem Kite Festival

 at least one kite had a “whale” of a time.

3. The Tower of David Museum,

is always wonderful at night,

actor welcomes visitors to Tower of David

and as an extra for the holidays,

guests were welcomed by costumed actors.

4. At the Kotel, the Western Wall,

Kossel plaza filled with people

tens of thousands of people came for Birchat Kohanim,

the Priestly Blessing, in the morning,

and again in evening for the Hakhel ceremony.

men dancing on sukkos at Kossel

Singing and dancing to the live music,

children dancing

these families were celebrating,

long after the bands stopped playing.

 5. Open Sukkah at Beit Hanassi,

Beit Hanasi Gardens for open sukkah

was colorful and casual this year,

Rivlin

as Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted the annual event.

inside Israel president sukkah

Inside the sukkah, decorations were simple,

four species for sukkot

and a lulav with etrog were available for the public to use.

sukkot 5776 at Beis Hanasi

Behind the permanent exhibit of the heads of former presidents,

large posters were hung with information about each one.

Nechama Rivlin

First Lady Nechama Rivlin stood to greet visitors.

What a shame,

no long line this year beit hanasi

this year there was shade, but no long line waiting to enter

the beautiful gardens that are usually off-limits to the public.

6. One very Special Chuppah

was near the Montefiore Windmill.

Often there are brides and grooms in this area,

so a white chuppah would not get my attention.

Make a Wish special princess for a day

A large throne under a pink chuppah with balloons

was fit for a princess, Princess Tamar.

special cake

Volunteers from Make-a-Wish Foundation spent hours

fixing every detail to delight a young girl with cancer,

and grant her wish to be a princess for a day.

7. The 60th Jerusalem Parade 

is an annual event on much larger scale.

Jerusalem parade

60,000 people participated,

with marchers from all over the world.

spectators at Jerusalem march

These people had great view along the new route

which went past the King David Hotel to First Station.

marchers in Jerusalem parade

Colorful costumes,

marching in parade

large flags,

smiles

smiling well-wishers,

singers and dancers

graceful dancers,

parade

all were happy to show support for Israel.

(To see Facebook photos: more here)

8. The Sukkah at Kikar Safra was open,

open sukka city hall

  Mayor Nir Barkat and wife Beverly,

greeted the public warmly,

large sukkah

in the over-sized, biggest sukkah.

But, the Yemin Moshe Synagogue wins for best windows in a sukkah.

special sukkah decorations

While many sukkot have posters of the Old City Walls hanging on the wall,

this one had spaces in one wall open for the view of the real thing.

9. After Sukkot celebrations:

community celebration

Shlomo Katz performed in one of the many community

Hakafot Shni’yot, this one at the German Colony community center.

#IsraeliLivesMatter

The rally near the Prime Minister’s residence,

felt and sounded more like an extended holiday celebration,

but it was a protest calling for better security.

protest Palestinian violence

I only found one poster at the rally,

baby at protest rally

but there were lots of cute babies,

in the crowd of thousands.

Meanwhile,

music at Kraft Stadium

Kraft Stadium was also the scene of hundreds of people

with live music and dancing.

10. Finally, the popular Umbrellas,

umbrellas

the hottest photo-op of this summer in Jerusalem,

were hung over Yoel Salomon Street.

But as the holiday ended and the rain started,

umbrellas down

the umbrellas were taken down,

end of summer

and piled on side of the road.

They were filthy and had holes,

but I took one home as a souvenir.

Finally,  it is “after the chagim”

the holidays are over, and it is now

time to get back to “normal” what ever that is.

With so much bad new news,

I would like to end with one piece of

 tech start-up nation good news

and from the Jerusalem streets  more sounds of music.

In Jerusalem, Tu BiShevat Traditional and New

Spring-like weather

warmed the Jerusalem, Israel, streets this week.

birds on minaret

Birds stopped to rest on their migrations.

almond flowers

The almond blossoms did indeed burst out,

white roses

and roses opened.

Jerusalem Israel gan Sacher park

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was the spot for school outings.

People could be found in the sunshine,

two men exercising in Gan Sacher on nice day

 upside down

Muslim man at prayer

and bowing down.

image girl taking photo in garden behind King David Hotel

It was perfect weather for a photo walk

new light bulb in old neighborhood of Yemin Moshe

to find the traditional mixed with new.

All perfect for Tu Bishevat,

the 15th day of Hebrew month of Shevat,

the Jewish New Year for agriculture,

the birthday of trees.

image fruit basket

At Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence,

the holiday fruit baskets overflowed,

with special Israeli treats.

Rivlin host seder

A seder hosted by President and First Lady Rivlin

 was set for students and farmers to celebrate.

two men taking selfie at Bat Hanasi

Early arrivals had time for a selfie.

man looking like Ray Charles

No, Stevie Wonder did not drop by to entertain,

but there were Hebrew songs by Israeli singers.

This photo was taken last month while waiting for

John Baird to arrive on his official visit.

US Senators led by John McCain were to come in the afternoon.

US flags were ready and we, well, just had fun doing this.

Even Shimon Peres was back at Beit Hanasi,

not for a Tu Bishevat seder,

image new bust of Shimon Peres in Presidential gardens

but his likeness is now on display in the gardens

image Israel president house garden

along with the other former Israeli presidents.

image man with hat over face

At least one of the men in this small old cemetery in town

did not want his photo taken,

man making sushi in cafe window

and it was sushi week at cafe in Mamilla Mall.

So while we were watching the snow scenes in US,

all this and more

was happening on the Jerusalem, Israel, streets.

Tu BShvat Beit Hanasi 014mc

Hope you enjoyed Tu BiShevat too.