Jerusalem, Israel: Climate Change

Jerusalem, Israel: Climate Change

What changes more dramatically than the winter weather in Jerusalem, Israel?

String Bridge top against blue sky

Though some do not love the Chord (or String) Bridge towering over the entrance to Jerusalem,  I think it’s an impressive image against a blue sky.

Jerusalem fog

But the winter fog was so thick on the way into the Jerusalem International Convention Center, the bridge was invisible.

Those construction fences for Jerusalem Gateway Project are constantly changing and spreading.

CEOs of Sodastream Daniel Birnbaum and Pepsico in Jerusalem

Inside the ICC on the main stage of the second day of the Globes Business Conference, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum and Pepsico CEO Roman Laguarta appeared the best of buddies complimenting each other in their remarks. Their plans to change the business climate are impressive.

Men watching video at Globes Conference

Outside in the main hall, food and networking were available on both days. The room only became quiet when Sodastream commercials were shown. Dozens of speakers, experts on business and government leaders presented on the stage in the Teddy Auditorium and smaller venues in the convention center.

Except for the SodaStream – Pepsico segment, most of the business conference was held in Hebrew.

Arab woman speaking at Globes Business Conference

This panel dealt with the topic of disadvantages and challenges faced by women and what needs to change.

Globes Business Conference Tourism in future with Yariv Levin

MK Yariv Levin, Minister of Tourism, spoke at a session on the future of tourism.

Tourism in Jerusalem was rated number one in future growth in a new Bloomberg report. Positive change, with the trend of more tourists is felt daily on the Jerusalem streets and at locations such as Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

Prime Minister and President enter hall for new Governor of Bank of Israel

The Israeli economy has been stable and is viewed as positive.  The Prime Minister joined President Rivlin for the appointment of the new Governor of the Bank of Israel on Monday.

Ceremony for Bank of Israel new head Amir Yaron at Beit Hanasi

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon joined the President and Prime Minister to welcome Amir Yaron.

All smiles for the cameras in the morning.

By afternoon this was old news, and then not news, as the government folded.

Talk about change affecting the news cycle!

But at least this one appointment is for 5 years, and is not affected by April elections.

Pesach afternoon and egalitarian space at Western Wall was empty

This egalitarian area at the Western Wall, the Kotel, has gotten media attention, as part of Israel and Diaspora relations.

Area for media at Beit Hanasi for Gesher Fellows

Not as many cameras filled the photographers platform at Beit Hanasi for the Gesher Community Fellows as they did for the packed house of the Bank of Israel appointment.

Ruvi Rivlin and Asaf Liberman at Beit Hanasi for Gesher

President Rivlin was interviewed by Israeli radio’s Asaf Liberman, one of the first round of Israelis selected as a Gesher Fellow.

Gesher Fellows include Miriam Peretz at Beit Hanasi

Israeli Prize winner Miriam Peretz (seated on left) was another Gesher Fellow.

Israelis, of many fields, including the media, once chosen as Fellows, attend sessions, and travel to the US  in an attempt to bridge the gap with Diaspora Jewry, and improve the climate and mutual relations by understanding, with first-hand knowledge.

As Miriam Peretz urged that Israelis learn English, the Hebrew University, closed on December 25th, is contemplating switching instruction to English.

Jerusalem streets ads with one for December 31 music at Tower of David

Hebrew signs line the Jerusalem streets. One in the center announces the Tower of David celebration of the end of tax year.

Jerusalem street sign for Rambam exhibit at Israel Museum sign for Baka family run on top

The Israel Museum has a special new exhibit on the writings of the Rambam, Maimonides.

Someone posted a sign over the ad, for a Baka family run for the evening of December 26, as seen on the top right corner.

Jerusalem Theater

The Jerusalem Theater signs, plays, and performances are in Hebrew.

Jerusalem Israel milk cartoon with Hebrew language lesson

A Hebrew lesson on the milk carton? It is proper to say “Seehuhah” instead of “chat.”

Hebrew Language Day poster in Jerusalem Israel

Ha, ha, we will see how that works, even if December 27, is Hebrew Language Day.

Hebrew sign on sidewalk to clean up after dog

Yes, Hebrew on signs and on the Jerusalem, Israel sidewalks.

Are the winds for Hebrew language change strong enough to take effect?

As I sit here waiting for the winter weather to change again, I will end with two short videos from this past week.

At the Western Wall, the Kotel, after a special prayer service for recovery on seriously injured IDF soldier  Netanel Ilan ben Shaina Tzipora.

Singing slow Hebrew songs, they ended with Am Yisrael Chai. 

With government elections set for April, with jets flying over head last night to parts north, with enemies on and under our borders,

at the conclusion of the Bank of Israel program, all rose for singing of Hatikvah, The Hope.

 

SIGD Celebrated in Jerusalem

SIGD Celebrated in Jerusalem

Sigd is one of the most photo worthy, special annual events held in Jerusalem, Israel.

Tens of thousands Ethiopian-Israelis and others gathered at the Tayelet, Armon Hanatziv promenade, for the annual Sigd Festival gathering today. Prayers went from early morning through to breaking a fast at 2:00 pm.

Sigd in Jerusalem Israel

Crowds lined the path and filled gardens of the Tayelet with the Old City in view.

Men around Ethiopian holy book at Sigd in tayelet

Besides the main ceremony, men were gathered around their holy books.

View on Old City on Sigd with figures dressed as in time to Beit Hamikdash

These cutout figures were dressed as in Temple times.

Ethiopian Israeli man and woman with view of Jerusalem in background

Generations of Ethiopian-Israelis come together on Sigd.

Sigd Ethiopian festival in Jerusalem Israel

For thousands of years in Ethiopia, they dreamed of returning to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Israel women in costume for Sigd

For Sigd, smiles and colorful costumes were abundant.

Ethiopian Sigd holiday and women praying.

White clothing was worn by women dressed in old traditional outfits prayering.

Sigd prayers in Jerusalem Israel

These women were probably all born in Ethiopia, each must have a story of how they and families arrived in Israel.

Crowds were huge. Security was especially tight.

Jerusalem Israel Ethiopian Israeli rabbi Rav Shaul

But at least I got to see Rav Shaul and others arrive and enter, as I impatiently waited entry.

Kessim on stage for Sigd at Haas Promenade

Once in the very restricted area, this was view of the main stage with the Kessim under colorful umbrellas.

Ethiopian religious leaders Kessim in Jerusalem for Sigd

The prayers were still being chanted around noon.

Kessim at Sigd Jerusalem Israel

One man near the stage raised his hands in prayer.

Kessim shaking hands with President Rivlin at Sigd

President Rivlin reached up to shake hands with the Kessim as he proceeded to the stage to speak.

Ethiopian Israeli women walking to find bus home from Sigd

So many buses, from all over Israel were lined up, it was a long walk for these women to find their bus home. One was complaining in Hebrew about the distance, but I thought how much longer and difficult was the journey from Ethiopia to Israel.

Sigd was celebrated 50 days after Yom Kippur by Ethiopian Jews going to the mountains yearning to return to Zion. On the top of the mountain, the faithful would pray and fast. At the conclusion of the prayers, the Kessim would break bread known as Dabu which symbolized the bread served in the Temple. Today in Jerusalem, Israel, Sigd was remembered looking toward the Old City and site of the Temple.

Here is a short video near the end of the prayer service.

More Sigd photos on Facebook HERE 

Tuesday or Sunday, Election and Harvest Week in Jerusalem, Israel

Tuesday or Sunday, Election and Harvest Week in Jerusalem, Israel

Sunday.

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.

View of Kotel and Har Habayit from Rova Jerusalem Israel

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?

Ofer Berkovitch for Jerusalem Mayor

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.

Line of tourists going into Jewish Quarter Old City Jerusalem Israel

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.

Har Hazetim and view from Old City Jerusalem Israel

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.

Soldiers and tourist near Zion Gate in Jerusalem Israel entrance to Old City

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.

Jerusalem Israel President House Olive tree in back ground

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.

Jerusalem Israel olive harvest

So this week after the first winter rain, President Rivlin invited olive growers to help him harvest the presidential olives.

Israel President at Biet Hanasi

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.

Cat in garden of Israeli President in Jerusalem Israel

And as usual in the Presidential gardens, the Presidential Cat was on guard supervising.

The fall season is not just for harvesting olives.

post for annual Oud Festival in Jerusalem Israel

The annual Oud Festival is coming up soon.

Sugganiot ready for Hanukah

And suffganiot, those Hanukkah donuts, are appearing and disappearing from bakery shelves.

Jerusalem Israel message of support with Pittsburgh on walls of Old City

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.