As July begins, the days in Jerusalem do not feel shorter but are warmer.
The seemingly endless end-of-school-year events, when every grandparent, cousin, and neighborhood friend is called on to help watch the siblings who are not allowed to attend the nighttime extravaganzas, are ending.
The streets are getting more crowded as international visitors arrive.
Tour groups abound inside Jaffa Gate,
and near Zion Gate.
Mamilla Mall has new artwork ready, here my friend was tipping his hat to the new Einstein piece. If you missed the story of Einstein coming to Jerusalem check out Einstein House here.
There is still work to do on the new entrance at the Tower of David.
New shops opened in the Old City.
And this “temporarily” closed entrance to the Kotel Plaza is still closed.
But with the thousands of bar mitzvahs and other celebrations,
the main entrance can be very crowded, and to get there
can be quite the experience with the sidewalk dug up.
There were bar mitzvah parties,
and more bar mitzvah parties,
all day long on Thursday, so busy from early morning.
I could not find the two families I was looking for,
and I did not go down to the shaded egalitarian section.
Walking out I marveled at the new go-to cars, going nowhere.
The salesman at the Armenian tourist store agreed it has been a long time since we have seen so much traffic and so many people in Jerusalem.
What else was happening?
The Shavuah Hasfer, Hebrew Book Week extended into Reading Month.
Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence hosted a special event sponsored by Beit Avi Chai on the 150th birthday of Hebrew poet/writer Nachman Bialik.
President Isaac Herzog spoke as did Beit Avi Chai’s David Rozenman.
Beit Hanasi has invested in new barriers – as the protests continue.
The Menachem Begin Heritage Center was the site of the First Pulse of Israel Conference. Itamar Marcus gave his presentation by video, as he was in the US speaking to Congressional committees on the antisemitism and Holocaust denial found in Arab media.
One slide was of journalist Muhammad al Burni, from Jordan, “I want to note a very important point regarding the fabricated Holocaust, truly fabricated” was the quote.
The mostly older audience heard from a new generation of pro-Israel success on Tik Tok and other social media to reach young users with the truth about Israel.
Journalist Sara Haetzni-Cohen, with a child on each side, received an award for her leadership role after the protests and destruction in Lod.
Going home that night I walked thru the Hansen House to see Design Week.
As usual, I marvel at the creativity and use of tech in the old leper hospital.
The Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha was also last week, and thousands of families came to the Old City of Jerusalem to celebrate and pray.
In July the festivals do not end – the Jazz Festival and Film Festival, and more,
and a new exhibit on food at the Islamic Museum in July.
Plus, the Machane Yehudah Market, the Shuk is celebrating its 100th year – with music and food to fill the narrow streets in and around with people and parties – more than usual.
Time to come and see the Jerusalem streets, constantly changing.