How was your week?
I found following the news, this past week has been more challenging than usual. It is hard to figure out what is real and what is fake news. Old images from video games were posted as current events in Ukraine, plus not knowing what will happen next. It is just so unbelievable.
Last week RJS shared the photo of the former Putin Pub a few hours after the name Putin was removed from the popular Russian bar on Jaffa Road.
Today, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the third conversation between the two leaders in the past day. Bennett took a flight to Russia on Shabbat to meet with Putin and took Zeev Elkin along to translate.
No way I would dream to predict what will happen next, but I will share what happened last week in Jerusalem, Israel, that you probably missed due to the world situation taking over our hearts and minds.
The new lights on the Jerusalem Great Synagogue brighten it at night.
I was on my way to the Yeshurun Synagogue where a special service was being held in memory of Esther Pollard z”l.
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion was one of a long list of speakers. The entire program was broadcast live and available on YouTube. It was in Hebrew, but Jonathan Pollard spoke at the end in English.
Jonathan Pollard rose from his seat to shake hands with the Mayor.
The synagogue main hall is one of the larger venues in Jerusalem.
The same night, also off of King George Street, was the second week of this year’s Shaon Horef.
The Winter Noise street festival was held on Shatz Street this week.
Again with video animations on buildings and live music, food and drink.
But what was special this winter night was the grand opening of the renovated Gerard Behar Centre and Beit Ha’Am.
There was a silver-studded doorman on the red carpet.
And a golden ballerina inside where invited guests were munching on fancy hors d’overves being passed around on platters in the lobby.
A very exciting event for Jerusalemites and visitors, there’s now a well lit parking lot on the adjacent Menora Street. How long was this street off of Ussishkin Street impassable as a construction site?
Also, this week at the Isrotel Orient Hotel, was the renewed regular meeting of
The Jewish Agency Board of Governors. In the past I had always attended at least one session. The Jewish Agency staff in Eastern Europe is working overtime with the Ukrainian/Russian crisis. This year the Jewish Agency governors were too busy to have meetings open to the media. They still have not selected a successor to Isaac Herzog to be the new Chairperson.
The visit of the new Chancellor in Germany to Jerusalem was a much more public event. Most of his short visit was spent at the King David Hotel on King David Street.
When Bennett met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the hotel for a press conference and lunch, security was very high.
After Scholz left, the German flags were still lining the Jerusalem streets, but the armed security personnel were no longer posted on the street corners along the route of the motorcade.
As I mentioned last week, it was good to see people out along the walls of the Old City and tourists back on the Jerusalem streets.
Paris Fountain came back this week, but construction is far from over.
The Jerusalem Marathon signs for the March 25, 2022 races are hard to miss. Runners can be seen training for the Friday morning run all over town. Should be interesting to see what happens as March 25 is also the day when the clocks change.
The weather is also up and down, cold and wet, hot and sunny. But a new Spring Festival in Jerusalem, Eat & Show, has been announced on Jerusalem street signs.
Of course, if it’s after Rosh Chodesh Adar, Purim preparations are well underway. Purim for families in Jerusalem is a list too long for now.
Celebrating Purim on Friday again is not my favorite thing.
However, I did put a few favorites together in a short video to share some of the highlights of this past week, from quiet parks by day and dynamic music and dance by night.
The skies are finally open again.
Take care and hope to see you soon on the Jerusalem streets.