Race for the Cure

On October 28, 2010,

the first Susan G. Komen Israel Race for the Cure

in Israel was held in Jerusalem.

White tents and pink balloons filled Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

White t-shirts were given out at registration,

with about 200 special pink ones going to breast cancer survivors.

Participants came from all over Israel and from all around the world,

 men and women participated,



and little babies.

 In spite of the blazing sun, at least 5,000 people were in the park at noon.

Remax was one sponsor and had a special tent, and the only red, white and blue.

 Na’amat was one of 15 organizations that partnered in the race;

their members made an impressive entrance,

walking together as a large group under white umbrellas.

Leaving the park, walkers grabbed bottles of water which were appreciated in the heat.

The 3.5 kilometer walk/run began under a pink and white balloons on Bezalel Street.

Buses blocked the traffic, and even they looked pink.

The Hadassah group began walking as pink and white balloons filled the skies.

 VIP leaders including, Hadassah President Nancy Falchuk,

Nancy G Brinker, sister of Susan G Komen,

and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and his wife Beverly led the way.

   Hadassah Lieberman and Senator Joseph Lieberman seemed to enjoy the day.

 The march turned at the corner of King George Street, towards the Old City.

King George Street was not closed to traffic, but traffic backed up anyway,

while the marchers had to walk in the sun on the sidewalk.

The route went along the sidewalk across from the walls of the Old City

and ended at the finish line which was near the Sultan’s Pool.

Groups of participants rested in the shade,


 listening to the music and speeches,

 and just enjoying the amazing day. While pink was the color of the day,

 not everyone wore pink and white.

 Shaare Zedek Hospital opted for black t-shirts.


Also, wearing black t-shirts was Jennifer’s Team.

 Jennifer Griffin of Fox News and a breast cancer survivor,

came with a whole camera crew to record the event.

Similar fundraising events have been held throughout the US and in 11 other countries,

but only in Jerusalem… a box to put notes in the Kotel, the Western Wall.

 Many people walked with a pink note pinned to the back of a shirt

with names of  friends or family members

who have breast cancer or who have died from the disease.

Even though this kind of fund-raising is new to Israel,

million of dollars were pledged to cancer research to find a cure.

 But October 29, 2010…

 RivkA bat Tirzel z”l ran out of time waiting for that cure.

Good Days

This week’s international visitors included former US president Jimmy Carter and his group of Elders;

delegates to the annual convention of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, JPPI; and

 the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, who met in Jerusalem to discuss the Agency’s  future.

Also, this week the government announced that housing in Jerusalem is a priority.

Around the world the real estate market continues to suffer,

while in Jerusalem real estate prices just keep going up and up.

If you would like to buy here, it helps to have lots of money.

You could have spent 40.2 million shekel  to buy a large apartment in the Mamilla project.








However, any property in Jerusalem,









no matter what its appearance, is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, euros, or shekels.


Luxury construction goes on in Jerusalem,










and construction equipment can be found on many streets.










Cranes and workers can be seen if you look up,       









and rubble if you look down.


With space so limited, new building is often on top of the old.







Beautiful rooftop gardens can be the result,

however,  many of these luxury buildings stand empty much of the year.



For the real Jerusalem streets these good days are not so good,

as the average Israeli salary is around 6000 shekel per month.

A new housing project for secular young people is now being planned for Costa Rica Street,

with the announced bargain price of 1.2 to 1.7 million shekels per apartment.


The dry weather has provided many good days for the construction business.


A much-appreciated break in the heat wave made it possible to sit outside


                                                 and walk more comfortably.                                      

   This man stopped his painting, smiled and said  “Good days.”

There may be too much rain from Indonesia to Chicago, but in Jerusalem,

as seen in the Valley of the Cross, it is DRY.

Now what is needed are some good WET days.


Too many buildings, too much stone and not enough color this week?

The walls of the Old City have been illuminated pink at night as thousands of people are preparing for

  the Susan G. Komen Israel Race for the Cure, Thursday, October 28th in Jerusalem.

Visitors and a Regular Friday Morning


Tourism in Jerusalem reached record numbers over the holidays.

Some locations like Rachel Imenu Street were so crowded with visitors,

that the bus traffic was often hard to believe.

The Greek Consulate is located on this beautiful, tree-lined street, and with the Monday visit of the

Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas, there were more diplomatic cars parked outside than usual.

Did everyone else go home so he was the only visitor in Jerusalem?

No, on Friday in the Old City, the crowds were at times overwhelming.

While school boys in the Jewish Quarter played at recess,

thousands of international tourists shopped nearby in the Christian Quarter,

and tried to stay cool and hydrated in the heat.

Busloads of people came to see famous tourist sites, like the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

There was no media or security visible at the entrance to the Arab shuk.






Muslims, old and young, went to prayers

moving swiftly through the crowded path.


The roof tops

and basketball court in the Muslim Quarter were quiet,

while below, yeshiva students were inside learning.

Some signs welcomed all,

while others might not be so welcoming.

Many locations in the Old City were pleasant,

well-known and familiar,

but only a cat might want to hang out in a tree.

Many Israelis headed for the beach as temperatures rose to summer time heat wave levels,

but mid-day at Jaffa Gate people were coming and

going freely in spite of the heat.


Tuesday was the Second Annual Interfaith Ethics & Tolerance Symposium at the Jerusalem Ethics Center,

at the Konrad Adenauer Conference Center at Mishkenot Sha’ananim.










Director of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman was one of many speakers.

He told the crowded room that the world needs tolerance or as he prefers, respect for all religions…

Too bad he wasn’t one of the visitors last Friday in the Old City,

he would have seen the real Jerusalem streets on a regular Friday morning.



Houses From Within


Houses from Within was not just open houses in Jerusalem,

 but the event also opened gates that are usually closed to the public.

One of the most popular of dozens of free tours was at the Hansen Hospital,

located on Marcus Street.

In the large, walled compound is a two-story structure built

by the Protestant community in 1887.

It became known as The Leper’s Home 

and was an asylum for up to 60 leprosy patients.

The once ‘luxury’ structure, it was built with a bridge

so patients could easily reach the toilets,

outhouses located on the right side of the main building.

The grounds had gardens and enough livestock  to be self sufficient.

One interior room is now on display.

While patients were always free to come and go,

the last patient left in 2000; the gates were sealed during the intifada.

Not far away in the German Colony,

the Houses from Within event included

 #41 Emek Refaim Street, the Alliance Church International Cemetery.

Thousands of people walk by each day,

but most have never seen the mural inside.

Next to it, is the Templer Cemetery which was established in 1878.

Located in one of the most popular parts of Jerusalem,

the vast size and beauty of these three hidden properties often goes unseen.

 But, there is one spot in Jerusalem that has become an international

 ‘must-be-seen’ venue.

Visitors are now bringing their own film crews to record their visits 

within the Shalit family tent.

 Hamas has refused to deliver a letter to Gilad Shalit 

through the International Red Cross. 

  With all that was going on this week,

there was one issue that united evreyone in Jerusalem,

it was not security, but

 the price of tomatoes!

From within every home, there was disbelief …

tomatoes cost more than chicken!

‘Jerusalem Knights’ First Night

Who could imagine that the Crusades could be so much fun?

Actors and musicians were dressed in medieval costumes.

The weather was perfect Thursday evening, October 7 in the Old City.

People had gathered in the plaza near Jaffa Gate, the unimaginable happened–

the Jerusalem Knights program started ten minutes early.

A map of 21 street performances in the Christian Quarter

was projected on a large screen near Jaffa Gate.

Visitors received a paper copy of the map with explanations in Hebrew and English.

The first performance, the Royal Reception, took place outside the walls

and just inside the walls, The Leper, was a scary sight.

The Greek Muse, hard to believe she was a real person.

It was hard to see the Fire Knight with such a large crowd around him.

The Wishing Fountain was easy to photograph, as like the Muse, she did not move.

In the Slave Market, even the slaves seemed to be having a good time.

Musicians performed in many locations along the route.

While some of the market was open,

near the end of the route, most of the shops were closed,

providing a perfect setting for peddlers


and be careful.. more peddlers and beggars.

At the end, Muristan Square was filled with color and dancers.

Jerusalem Knights  was held October 7, 14, 21 & 28.

The Jerusalem Development Authority, along with a list of other groups,

is sponsoring the performances;  there is no charge.

It takes about an hour to walk the route.

It is not good for the handicapped or baby strollers.

Holiday Leftovers


After the holidays is a perfect time to use up leftovers,

so this week there will be a bit more of Sukkot in Jerusalem.

The garden at the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem was beautiful.

While the Independence Park,

was the scene of a large musical event for children,

many small parks hosted free musical programs.

A  boy’s choir entertained on the plaza outside the Jaffa Gate.

A constant stream of holiday visitors came through Jaffa Gate and many religions were represented.








Holiday time was



family time.


The Rova, the Jewish Quarter, was the scene of many events

and the Kotel, the Western Wall, was often very crowded.

This view shows the area on the right which is set for a much-needed renovation to help relieve crowding.

While thousands of visitors marched in the Jerusalem Parade,

not everyone stood the entire time.

At the parade there were a variety of flags and banners,

but were any flags really left over?

A band entertaining before the parade on Jaffa Road had to watch its step because of horse ‘left overs’.

There were unusual sukkot,

but who knew that camels had such long necks and were so hard to photograph?


As soon as Simhat Torah was over the Hakafot Sheniot began around the city.

At one celebration in Gan Hapa’amon, The Liberty Bell Park,









Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Metzger and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Amar addressed the large crowd.

Mayor Nir Barkat joined the band in singing  Im Eshkachaich Yerushalyim, If I forget thee, O’ Jerusalem.

Even after a brief power outage,

those standing and dancing in the back seemed to be enjoying the music and socializing.


As usual, there were protests and protest signs.






Some signs were up for a short time,


but a sign near the Prime Minister’s Residence


for the release of Gilad Shalit


may be up for a while.





Signs posted in Mea Shaerim asking for modest dress have been around for years, but

last week a court ruled that the streets cannot be physically divided for men and women.


The weather has finally cooled off,  most of the visitors have gone home, and the children are back in school;

with the holidays over, it’s time to get back to ‘normal’.

On Tuesday, municipal workers went on strike in all cities, except Jerusalem.


even with city workers collecting them

it could be sometime

until the all holiday leftovers are gone from the Jerusalem streets.

Enough Sukkot, until next year in Jerusalem

Jerusalem Parade Day

While many people went North or overseas for the holiday week,

  on Wednesday, September 28, Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, filled with thousands of people.

Large crowds enjoyed the children’s entertainment,

as groups waited for hours in the heat to march in the Jerusalem Parade.

  Banners and flags were everywhere.

The  park was a busy place,

and so was the parade route, with enthusiastic crowds waving flags and singing.

Firetrucks with balloons

and police dogs were among the first of many service and military groups that led the parade.

 The new light rail train was on display on Jaffa Street, in contrast to

modes of transportation from old

and even older eras.

International groups

from Australia to

 the United States,

from Papua New Guinea

and Russia,


and Taiwan, were among those that marched.

Many groups were singing, haveinu shalom aleichem,  bringing greetings of peace,

  women from the Philippines were dancing.

After groups with colorful flags and I Love Israel tee shirts,

still many more were waiting in the park to join the parade.

There was extra security and roads were closed,

but there was more than one way

to get around.

Despite the oppressive heat, the positive energy and party atmosphere was impressive.

 Sukkot celebrations in Jerusalem returned to the city center,

 but as usual, the resulting massive traffic tie-ups were the topic of conversation for days.