With summer coming and the pandemic officially over, the crowds and tourists are returning to the Jerusalem, Israel streets.
So many good things are happening.
You will see blue and white flags flying.
Buildings rise higher and higher.
Road works seem to be everywhere in Jerusalem.
A first this week – the security guard insisted on escorting me safely past the heavy equipment working on the road.
A bit of surprise June rain and the grounds were still green.
Yemin Moshe, as always a great location to stop and snap a photo.
The fountain in Teddy Park is back on for summer fun near the Old City.
The old dragon in Liberty Bell Park is big and bright blue,
and purple flowers abound around the Jerusalem streets.
However, this week I want to share 5 events you may not have heard about, not on the Jerusalem streets, but held inside involving thousands of people.
- The Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) held a quiz competition at the Jerusalem International Conference Center.
Throughout Israel, 5th and 6th-grade students competed on their knowledge of Israeli topics. The winning groups were set for a final round.
With a panel of judges, this was a more modest version of the youth Bible Quiz on Independence Day with the Prime Minister and Jerusalem Mayor.
Mostly enthusiastic young supporters from the various nine schools in the final quiz filled the auditorium.
I was so happy I was not a school chaperon as the questioning went on.
Also happy I did not have to answer the questions posed to the teams.
The competition included an impressive speed round.
In first place was Orot Etzion – Neve Daniel from Gush Etzion, and in second place was Jerusalem’s Yehuda Halevi School.
But at this event – all involved were winners!
The two young men who received the best score stayed afterward with their proud mothers to do a video for KKL-JNF.
2. The Jerusalem Prize for Israeli Unity was born as a social initiative on behalf of the families of the boys Yifrach, Shaar, and Fraenkel and the former mayor of Jerusalem MK Nir Barkat, after the kidnapping of Iyal, Gil-Ed, and Naftali z”l in the summer of 2014.
The prize was established in memory of the teens and the appreciation of the unity that enveloped Israeli society and Diaspora Jewry at the time.
At the ninth award ceremony held at Beit Hanasi, the only prize winner I was familiar with this year was Lori Palatnlk, founder of Momentum.
But Jerusalem, always a small world, I arrived home at the same time as my neighbor – who had been in the audience.
3. President Herzog was at the NBN Campus to open the day for the World Jewish Congress Jewish Leadership Bridge for the Future initiative.
International delegates sat with Israeli leaders at tables to meet and discuss the future.
4. This week started with volunteers from the past year Sherut Leumi honored, starting in the morning at the Beit Hanasi, President’s Residence.
Followed by an evening event in the Mitchell Garden for thousands.
The park was filled with food and activity options under a perfect blue sky.
The United Hatzalah volunteers are easy to spot in their orange vests.
Later, the Sultan’s Pool was the scene of entertainment for the volunteers who did their National Service in a vast variety of positions around Israel.
The week honoring volunteers ended at International Conference Center.
Unity was the theme, and Magen David Adom and United Hatzalah shared the space, but it was a men-only event with a musical program inside.
5. For this favorite annual event, you will have to wait until next week,
but here’s a clue about who were the sponsors.
Wonderful things are happening on and off Jerusalem streets.
Now you know about last week’s events with promises for the future.