Jerusalem, Israel, Rain or Shine is Home

The year 2018 got off to a wet start.

Prayers for rain in Jerusalem, Israel,

were answered.

Rain poured down, the streets flooded,

and the cold and wet winter arrived.

Wet sidewalks outside Ramada Hotel as man walks away without coat.

It was a good to be in and not outside.

Oh and the fog!

Fog covering Jerusalem buildings.

When fog sets in it can be so thick

Sunset, lights go on and fog clears Jerusalem Israel rainy day

you cannot see large buildings nearby.

I know we need rain desperately,

but I prefer to be out when the sun is shining.

Mincha minyin in Mamilla Mall street

I like to see those impromptu prayer services,

anytime of the afternoon, anywhere,

in parks and here in Mamilla Mall.

People walking in Jerusalem Israel Mamilla Mall past Arab women sitting in cafe

I like to watch people walking in Mamilla Mall,

Jerusalem Israel two nuns walking along street near Kikar Safra

or on any Jerusalem, Israel street.

One can see a bit of every fashion,

Man smoking on Ben Yehuda wearing red Santa helper hat

though I am not sure what fashion statement

this man sitting and smoking on Ben Yehuda

was making by wearing a red Santa helper hat.

Street graffiti in Jerusalem Israel near city center

I like to find new street graffiti.

Jerusalem WeWork building construction

And I like to see work progressing

on the future home of Jerusalem WeWork.

Entrance to major Jerusalem construction at city entrance

We will have to wait to see how much we like

the massive construction project near the entrance to Jerusalem.

You can see here how far it is going down

before the buildings start to go up and up.

This week across the highway, the Ramada Hotel hosted the

WZO’s International Conference for Rabbis and Communal leaders.

There were dozens of speakers

and representatives from 40 countries.

With unrest all around the Middle East

Rabbis and community leaders at Ramada Hotel for WZO conference in Jerusalem Israel

it is easy to overlook the wonder that

this conference was held in Hebrew.

So many are learning Torah in Hebrew in Israel today.

The population is approaching 9 million.

Walk on along Jerusalem streets you will hear

English, French, Russian and Spanish along with Hebrew.

With corruption and strikes and strife,

incredible things have developed in 70 years.

With all those negative headlines around the world,

Israel is growing.

This past week I saw this traditional blessing for a home,

Traditional blessing for new home in Hebrew and English

“May this home be a place of happiness and health,

of contentment, generosity, and hope. A home of 

creativity and kindness. May those who visit and

those who live here know only blessing and peace.”

It was hanging near the front door on a new home

for female lone soldiers in Jerusalem.

7,000 young people, from around the world,

are in Israel, serving in the defense forces,

30% of them young women.

Female lone soldiers in special residence in Jerusalem group hug "Mom" counselor in charge

After the opening day dedication program,

six of the young soldiers surrounded

and hugged their “Mom.”

Rachel, the counselor is on duty 24/7 to help and advise

these young women without parents around to support them.

Head of the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin,

Josh Flaster looks on with pride.

Sign of Home, love, memories, friends and laughter

Jerusalem, Israel, rain or shine is home.

Aliyah: 10 Years, 7 Years, and Today in Israel

 Ten years ago we made aliyah

and moved to Jerusalem, Israel.

Seven years ago I started taking photos of

 what I saw on Jerusalem streets and posting them,

photos of everyday scenes,

the ones the mainstream media never seemed to share.

Jerusalem Israel winter scene at park with white flowers blooming

I am still amazed to see white roses blooming in November.

While a few trees do turn colors,

most winter vegetation will now turn green.

Oud Festival sign in Jerusalem Israel

I am getting used to the Oud Festival signs,

as Arab music is growing in popularity,

these festivals are growing each year.

I could do a post each week about Arab girls

Muslim women shopping on Yaffo in Jerusalem Israel

and Arab women shopping on Jaffa Road.

Construction sites are another regular sight.

Old Mashbir building construction for We Work space

Work is progressing slowly at WeWork at the old Mashbir building.

The Hebrew language is another story.

I guess I am not alone,

Sign about learning to speak Hebrew

as this poster went viral

twice when posted on Facebook.

Why the sudden nostalgia?

Because yesterday was Aliyah Day,

the first national celebration of immigrants to Israel.

Binunei Hauma main hall on Aliyah Day

The Jerusalem International Conference Center

was filled with thousands of olim.

One of my favorites was

Russian man wearing medals on Aliyah Day in Jerusalem Israel

this man proudly displaying his Russian medals,

and on the other lapel, a white Aliyah Day sticker.

Jerusalem ICC Ethiopian Israelis in main hall

Many Ethiopian-Israelis attended.

Three men posing for photos with Israeli flag on aliyah Day

Men posed waving Israeli flags.

Teens arriving to fill upper level at Jerusalem International Conference Center

Soldiers and young people came to fill the upper level

Performance at binunei Hauma for Aliyah Day

and listen to the performances on the main stage,

attended by the Prime Minister and his wife and a list of dignitaries.

But I left early

to attend a special Kristallnacht program.

Aliyah Day is to be celebrated every year on the 7th of Heshvan,

marking the week when the Biblical portion

describing Abraham’s journey to the the Promised Land

is read in the synagogue,

and this year it fell out on November 8.

November 9 is the traditional commemoration

of the “night of shattered glass.”

In Berlin, 78 years ago,

it marked the end of Jewish life in Germany,

as Jewish hopes, homes and lives were destroyed.

Miriam was sent by her parents on a Kindertransport to England,

Miriam Litke speaking at OU Israel Center for Kristalnacht

and she and her brother were the only family members who survived.

 Miriam retold her remembrances of that horrible night,

the morning after and its destruction.

It is important for witnesses to retell their stories.

Meanwhile, thousands of olim from around the world

were listening, singing and dancing to music

in celebration of Aliyah Day.

Another day in Jerusalem, Israel,

  with highs and lows,

celebrating and remembering.

Have You Seen Jerusalem’s New Colors?

When was the last time you walked

through the Jerusalem, Israel streets?

Bigger than life,

Old Knesset building new museum

former Prime Ministers Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir

tower over King George Street.

Behind these decorated tarps,

New Knesett Museum in old building site

the old Knesset Building is getting a make-over.

Until two years ago it housed the Rabbinical Courts,

now it is to become a new Knesset Museum.

Across the street,

the Old Mashbir is also getting a total make-over,

Old Mashbir new WeWork in Jerusalem

and will be the new WeWork office space.

The colors pop out when you turn

to go up Ben Yehuda Street,

not exactly coming up daisies.

Decorated street Ben Yehuda

But with sunflowers and babushkas.

street art Jerusalem Israel Ben Yehdah

plus, colored banners

providing shade on Histadrut Street.

Street decorations Jerusalem Ben Yehuda

Bright Oriental lanterns and a dragon

hover over

Ben Yehuda Street Jerusalem Israel

Ben Yehuda and Ben Hillel Streets.

Mexican sombreros,

Sombreros on Jerusalem Street

are the next great photo op,

Color street art over Ben Yehuda streets

followed by even more color around the next corner.

Yaffo Street Jerusalem Israel

Yaffo Road has the light rail lines,

so no overhead decorations there.

Tourists are around,

tee shirt with pro Israel saying , heart is in Jerusalem

but not in the numbers the shops would like.

If you keep walking.

Umbrellas over Jerusalem street

over to Yoel Salomon Street,

Umbrellas over Yoel Salomon Street

you will find new umbrellas for summer shade.

Pink flowers,

Jerusalem street decoration

cover Shim’on Ben Shetach Street.

While nearby, the Gan Haaztzmaut,

Independence Park, is green.

Independence Park for Jerusalem Film Festival

The grounds are mowed and getting ready for

special new children’s program added this year to

the Jerusalem Film Festival.

With so many new colors on the Jerusalem, Israel streets,

when are you coming to see them?