Jerusalem: Old and New

Jerusalem, Israel,

old and new,

changing  and improving.

There is a mosaic tile on Emek Refaim Street

Prutah Jewish War against Romans on sidewalk Jerusalem

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 view

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.

building being redone Tama 38

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,

for rent sign

 as do those ‘for rent’ signs.

Ten years ago,

Papagio building

this one building stood out,

tall and attractive and new above the Talpiot skyline.

building in Talpiot

Talpiot is an industrial area once known mostly for its garages.

opening of new biz center in Talpiot

This week another tech start-up initiative opened.

Yosef Abramowitz cutting ribbon

With music and a ribbon cutting,

places to sit and work,

with hi-fi and rechargers available – 24-7.

crowded street

There is still much to work on with parking and driving,

view of garage in Talpiot

but Talpiot is changing, as those garages of the past

building in talpiot

are being replaced with modern office buildings and showrooms.

Hadar Mall in Talpior from back,

The Hadar Mall has expanded and improved.

 AACI,  the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel,

Talpiot office building AACI

moved to Talpiot six years ago.

Many people were upset that it was so far away.

Now Talpiot is another example,

view from above of old and new Mekor Chaim

 of the old and new in Jerusalem.

Rio 2016 Israeli Olympic Champions

This summer

Jerusalem streets in the city center are covered

with displays from various countries,

Street decorated with flag of Brazil colors in Jerusalem Israel

with this Brazilian flag being one of the most popular.

 Prince of de Ligne of  Belgium,

Tourist of the Week,

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

Beit Hanasi sendoff for Israeli Olympic participants

members of the Israeli Olympic Teams.

Israel Olympic team at Beit Hanasi

The participants in the 2016 Paralympic Games

to be held in Rio from September 7-18

were also honored at the event.

Miri Regev at Bet Hanasi for sendoff of Israel Olympic teams to Rio

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.

Pascale Bercovitch at Beit Hanasi for official Olympic send off with President Reuven Rivlin

One woman had a special smile,

Athletes for Rio Olympics at official sendoff by President

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.

Israeli athletes pose for group photo in garden of Beit Hanasi

48 Israeli Olympic athletes are competing

in various sports in Rio 2016.

Pascale Bercovitch,

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.

Official sendoff photo Paralympic team from Israel

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.

Follow Team Israel 

Jerusalem Film Festival Week

Summer time in Jerusalem,

and for over 30 years,

Jerusalem Film Festival sign

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.

Independence Park for Jerusalem festival

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

sign for Cinematheque

disabled movie goers can access without steps,

using this newly-built elevator.

Old City Sultan Pool from near Cinemathque

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,

Opening Jerusalem Film Festival

is dwarfed by the size of this outdoor screen.

Miri Regev speaking at Jerusalem Film Festival opening

Minister of Sports and Culture Miri Regev,

was one of the speakers.

Special guest movie director and film star,

Jerusalem Film Festival Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino received a special award

from Mayor Nir Barkat before the film.

The star of the movie, Emma Suraez,

Emma Suarze film star Jerusalem film festival

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,

Idan Raichal at award ceremony

I was the only one who came over.

At least after he was presented with his certificate,

ceremony and Idan Raichal

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

stage at ceremony 40 years Entebbe

for the official ceremony remembering

40 years since Entebbe.

dignitaries at Jerusalem theater for Entebbe 40

Miri Regev sat in the front row with the dignitaries.

When the program was over

people taking photos with Miri Regev

she was surrounded by well wishers

who wanted to be in photos with her.

As the emotional and well-done program

neared the end,

Netanyahu looking at watch at ceremony

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,

Huge football in Mamilla Mall

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.

view old city walls at sunset

Maybe it’s me,

but just going for the view of the

Walls of the Old City at sunset is wonderful to see.

Shabbat Shalom

  As the sun sets, in Jerusalem, Israel,

the rays hit the walls of the Old City.

Yesterday the sky was clear and blue,

while the stones below looked like bricks of gold.

Shsbbat shalom as sun sets against walls of Old City

שבת שלום