Simple and beautiful
in Yemin Moshe,
my favorite colors.
old and new,
There is a mosaic tile on Emek Refaim Street
which reads on the right side at the bottom,
“Prutah of the Jewish War against the Romans (68-69 C.E.)”
and with a Q code on the left for your smartphone.
Emek Refaim Street has been in the news lately
as the light rail system is planning to expand and be built on the street.
That is a red and yellow protest sign.
Will there be tracks just like those on Jaffa Road?
The whole area in southern Jerusalem is changing.
Many buildings in the area are of poor quality,
put up quickly when Jews came in large numbers,
in 1948 and again in 1967.
Tama 38 is an incentive for builders to redo existing buildings,
adding elevators, penthouses, enlarging apartments,
and strengthening structures to withstand earthquakes.
Restaurants come and go,
as do those ‘for rent’ signs.
Ten years ago,
this one building stood out,
tall and attractive and new above the Talpiot skyline.
Talpiot is an industrial area once known mostly for its garages.
This week another tech start-up initiative opened.
With music and a ribbon cutting,
places to sit and work,
with hi-fi and rechargers available – 24-7.
There is still much to work on with parking and driving,
but Talpiot is changing, as those garages of the past
are being replaced with modern office buildings and showrooms.
The Hadar Mall has expanded and improved.
AACI, the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel,
moved to Talpiot six years ago.
Many people were upset that it was so far away.
Now Talpiot is another example,
of the old and new in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem streets in the city center are covered
with this Brazilian flag being one of the most popular.
Prince of de Ligne of Belgium,
told RJS that his wife is from Brazil.
Brazil seemed to be everywhere last week.
The 2016 Olympics are to be held in Rio, Brazil,
from August 5-21.
Reuven Rivlin hosted a Presidential send off
at Beit Hanasi, the official residence.
The Ambassador from Brazil attended along with
members of the Israeli Olympic Teams.
The participants in the 2016 Paralympic Games
to be held in Rio from September 7-18
were also honored at the event.
Dignitaries posed and smiled around
Sports Minister Miri Regev.
The largest teams in Israel’s history are heading to Rio.
Each athlete has an impressive story to tell
of dedication and training to reach their goal.
Audience members rise when the President enters,
but not the Paralympic athletes confined to wheelchairs.
One woman had a special smile,
her look was beautiful, thoughtful, determined.
I wondered what her story was.
After the event I found out.
Pascale Bercovitch, at age 17, was living in France.
She slipped on ice rushing to school to take an exam
and a train ran over her, severing both her legs.
However, she made aliyah,
volunteered in the army,
married and started a family.
48 Israeli Olympic athletes are competing
in various sports in Rio 2016.
is competing in her third Paralympic games,
in her third sport, kayaking.
If that is not enough for a double amputee,
she was 40 years old at her first Paralympics Games.
Each athlete has an impressive story.
Each Para-athlete has a story.
I had wondered about the woman,
with a radiant face and huge smile,
but never could I have imagined such a story.
Her positive attitude shows us how one
can succeed in Olympic proportions.
All the best to to Pascale,
and all the other athletes off to Brazil.
Summer time in Jerusalem,
and for over 30 years,
the Jerusalem Film Festival
has screened thousands of films.
This year for the first time
there are films being shown in Gan Haatzmaut,
Independence Park, in the Wilf Garden.
Security was so strict,
this is as close as I could get without buying a ticket.
But the main events are usually
shown at the Cinematheque,
where finally for the first time
disabled movie goers can access without steps,
using this newly-built elevator.
I think it is worth going just for the view.
However, the opening night of the festival,
was held in the Sultan’s Pool.
Even the Tower of David, not so far away,
is dwarfed by the size of this outdoor screen.
Minister of Sports and Culture Miri Regev,
was one of the speakers.
Special guest movie director and film star,
Quentin Tarantino received a special award
from Mayor Nir Barkat before the film.
The star of the movie, Emma Suraez,
was on stage to accept flowers.
But as much as there were numerous Tarantino spottings,
I assume Emma could go around Jerusalem without being noticed.
Also on the same night,
Israeli singer Idan Raichel received a special honor
by the B’nai Brith World Center,
in recognition of advancing Israeli-Diaspora relations.
I have seen him surrounded by screaming fans,
anxious to get close enough to take a selfie,
but when Idan entered the hall,
I was the only one who came over.
At least after he was presented with his certificate,
there was more notice.
Different crowds, different reactions.
Miri Regev was booed during her speech
at the Sultan’s Pool by some of the audience.
But three days later,
at the Jerusalem Theater
for the official ceremony remembering
Miri Regev sat in the front row with the dignitaries.
When the program was over
she was surrounded by well wishers
who wanted to be in photos with her.
As the emotional and well-done program
neared the end,
I thought I saw the Prime Minister,
glance at his watch.
The Foreign Minister of Egypt was on his way
to have dinner with the Netanyahus.
While for some this week,
nothing could be bigger than the Euro 2016 football (soccer)
on the television.
There are free movies shown at night,
at First Station and in the Old City,
as the Film Festival comes to a close.
Maybe it’s me,
but just going for the view of the
Walls of the Old City at sunset is wonderful to see.