Ten years ago we made aliyah
and moved to Jerusalem, Israel.
Seven years ago I started taking photos of
what I saw on Jerusalem streets and posting them,
photos of everyday scenes,
the ones the mainstream media never seemed to share.
I am still amazed to see white roses blooming in November.
While a few trees do turn colors,
most winter vegetation will now turn green.
I am getting used to the Oud Festival signs,
as Arab music is growing in popularity,
these festivals are growing each year.
I could do a post each week about Arab girls
and Arab women shopping on Jaffa Road.
Construction sites are another regular sight.
The Hebrew language is another story.
I guess I am not alone,
as this poster went viral
twice when posted on Facebook.
Why the sudden nostalgia?
Because yesterday was Aliyah Day,
the first national celebration of immigrants to Israel.
The Jerusalem International Conference Center
was filled with thousands of olim.
One of my favorites was
this man proudly displaying his Russian medals,
and on the other lapel, a white Aliyah Day sticker.
Many Ethiopian-Israelis attended.
Men posed waving Israeli flags.
Soldiers and young people came to fill the upper level
and listen to the performances on the main stage,
attended by the Prime Minister and his wife and a list of dignitaries.
But I left early
to attend a special Kristallnacht program.
Aliyah Day is to be celebrated every year on the 7th of Heshvan,
marking the week when the Biblical portion
describing Abraham’s journey to the the Promised Land
is read in the synagogue,
and this year it fell out on November 8.
November 9 is the traditional commemoration
of the “night of shattered glass.”
In Berlin, 78 years ago,
it marked the end of Jewish life in Germany,
as Jewish hopes, homes and lives were destroyed.
Miriam was sent by her parents on a Kindertransport to England,
and she and her brother were the only family members who survived.
Miriam retold her remembrances of that horrible night,
the morning after and its destruction.
It is important for witnesses to retell their stories.
Meanwhile, thousands of olim from around the world
were listening, singing and dancing to music
in celebration of Aliyah Day.
Another day in Jerusalem, Israel,
with highs and lows,
celebrating and remembering.