Jerusalem. Israel. In August.
When the evening temperatures cool and the sun is setting, and people venture outside.
As the setting sun reflects off the Old City walls, it lights up a ‘Jerusalem of Gold.’
Inside Beit Shmuel, at the MassChallenge Finale, ten start-up winners were announced to go to Boston to present their business ideas with the hope of obtaining funding.
But first on stage was Mayor Nir Barkat to receive a special award from MC director Israel Ganot. Barkat co-founded a very successful early cyber-tech startup called CheckPoint.
Having attended one of Barkat’s early meetings where he shared his vision for Jerusalem to be a bio-technology world center, as I stood in the international crowd of hundreds of startup initiators, mentors and eager funders, I marveled how far the Jerusalem biotech and startup scene has grown.
Jerusalem is no Tel Aviv, but watch out. To come so far in 10 years is amazing.
During the summer in Jerusalem, what is on many minds is keeping their children busy.
I love that there is an annual International Puppet Festival.
The Nature Museum has musical programs for children and special Shabbat programs.
The concerts in the Sultan’s Pool giant outdoor stage are too many to list.
First Station has free musical entertainment most nights.
This summer public parks not only have music, but some are encouraging families to camp out in tents.
The annual end of summer biggie, the International Arts and Crafts Festival, is on. Construction of the booths for dozens of countries to showcase their wares has been going on for over a week.
A line-up of various popular Israel performers are to be on the giant stage each night.
The small JTown Theater stage at AACI in Talpiot has a new production.
“Free to Be You and Me” is performed and scheduled for children, with shows in the afternoon and Friday mornings in August.
This production of Marlo Thomas’ gender-bias-breaking work is very timely.
On other stages and screens, the Jerusalem Film Festival has announced its awards.
“The Unorthodox” did not win a prize, though it was selected to be featured on the Jerusalem Film Festival opening night at Sultan’s Pool.
I saw the movie at Lev Smadar on Monday, with director Eliran Malka answering questions from audience after the screening.
All movies in the film festival have English subtitles. This trailer is in Hebrew, but I am sharing, that even if you do not understand the language, you can get a feel for the intensity of Shuli Rand’s performance. Rand plays a father whose daughter was expelled from school for being Sephardi, and goes on to initiate the Shas political party.
The docudrama keeps the audience on edge as it unfolds, even though we already know that Shas went on to be successful beyond every early projection.
Malka is a graduate of Maaleh. In case you are not familiar with this Jerusalem school, here is a link, as Maaleh’s film library is available to the public on the Maaleh website.
In honor of Israel@70, Maaleh has opened a special YouTube channel, where viewers have access to 70 Maaleh short films for free, and firstname.lastname@example.org is happy to email you the link.
After months of preparation and advertising Mekudeshet is running from August 8- 28.
How does one describe this out-of-box culture festival, where some events are free and in the middle of the night?
One performance is at the YMCA pool, and the audience is to come in bathing suits and participate.
Never know what you will find on the Jerusalem streets, or in the Y, or yes, up on the roof tops too.
Another week with so much happening in Jerusalem.
There is more, but I will leave you with part of a song from the versatile, talented Shuli Rand.
Rand performed in June, at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s residence.