18 Colors and Sounds: Summer in Jerusalem

Not the usual week on the Jerusalem, Israel, streets.

The period before Tisha B’Av is known as the Nine Days.

Each year RJS is here to share something new along with the old.

In Jerusalem, it is a time for a colorful sky in the evening as the sun sets.

Building construction is often halted during the Nine Days.

Street construction continued, and Ramban Street was closed for repaving.

Finally, the long-delayed Knesset Museum is showing some progress.

If taking out windows and putting up new signs are signs of progress.

photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

President Isaac Herzog held a diplomatic work meeting with President Ratu Wiliame M. Katonivere of the Republic of Fiji this week.

Wonder if the official motorcade noticed the colors of the Jerusalem streets?

The brilliant reds in the hot midday sun,

or the bright whites in the evening hours.

The flowers were blooming off of Ben Yehudah Street.

But I went out from my airconditioned space to see the new street installations off Ben Yehudah in town.

There were birds,

balloons,

and colorful clothing over the streets.

Some refrain from shopping for clothing during the Nine Days,

but tourists are here and the shops had signs to welcome the teen tourists.

The water was off from this installation but it has been painted in new pastel colors.

And then there were these big balloons over the street to entice youngsters.

The colorful lion at Kikar Safra stands across from the I Love JLM display.

Not all is as it appears at Safra Square, these colorful pillows are cement.

A reminder that not all coloring is considered a good idea.

The colorful crowds were back at Jaffa Gate of the Old City.

With a large family outing, matching colored tee shirts are a good idea.

And ice cream is a good idea any time in Jerusalem in the summer.

As Tisha B’Av ends, the end of summer festivals begin,

International Klezemer is 8-14, and Jerusalem Puppets at Train Theater,

the long-running Arts Festival with musical performances each night,

and the Dinosaurs at the Botanical Gardens.

The ads are up again for a variety of events,

including a Festival with books and music, and food in the neighborhoods.

The Summer marathon in Jerusalem is splashed at a Jerusalem bus stop.

The pomegranates are reminding us of summer’s end approaching.

But it is still hot enough during the day for Jerusalem cats to do nothing.

In Jerusalem, as the Nine Days and Tisha B’Av come to an end the crowds assemble at the Kotel, Western Wall. At night the scene can be a surprise. Thousands of people sing slow sad songs, while others appear to be at a massive party.

All prayers conclude with the blessing of peace in Jerusalem.

Multiple Views of Jerusalem

The views of Jerusalem are many and varied, nothing is simple or straight. Its politics is as complicated and twisted as its streets.

There is no grid or plan, but rather growth appears random.

The old and new mingle and mix.

The view from Hebrew University on Mount Scopus is familiar to many. The two towers in Arnona, are new on the horizon.

The view of the iconic Tower of David is a familiar one also. But even that well-known citadel is getting a facelift.

The view from Jerusalem to Jordan across the Dead Sea is less well-known but at sunset often dramatic and photo-worthy.

This week the sight of groups of young people touring again in Jerusalem was a pleasure to view. Unless you were trying to drive or walk as they crowded excitedly and noisily onto Jerusalem street corners trying to get across the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem panoramic view from Nefesh Benefesh porch

From the new Nefesh BeNefesh building at Cinema City, the panoramic view of the city includes the Israeli Supreme Court on the far right, well over Sacher Park and beyond, and toward the Nachlaot neighborhood.

Inside Cinema City, the center area was preparing for a summer indoor Ninja activity center

and the original fountain was gone.

This is a new view from The Valley of the Cross, the stone wall destroyed by flooding water four years ago near the Monastery is finally being repaired.

This is the summer of the food trucks – in Jerusalem again and areas around have proven to be a popular destination for families in the evening.

Jerusalem Food Truck Festival in Hinnon Valley at night with full moon

The views in the Hinnom Valley at night are captivating, as people try and decide which meal they will enjoy.

New to the Jerusalem streets is this green bike path. These old narrow streets are now less convenient for parking on the sidewalk with these lanes.

But it is where you look up, not down, that the most prominent difference is apparent.

These are not the familiar buildings in view of Jerusalem. The Vert Hotel on the far right started off as the Hilton and was the only tall building. Now with construction, the skyline is constantly changing as towers go higher.

And the Har Hamenuchot cemetery over the new Highway #1, grows up and out with new “residents” arriving regularly.

It has been a while since I was on the way out of Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

The towers and skyline of Tel Aviv constantly amaze.

I went to attend the Jerusalem Post Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit led by Tamar Uriel-Beeri Managing Editor, and by Maayan Hoffman, Head of Conferences for Jerusalem Post.

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan Nahoum was the opening speaker.

It was exciting to attend a live event again after so long, to see friends and meet new people.

There were multiple panels and fireside chats, and speakers.

The legendary Israeli entrepreneur Yossi Vardi said he has been involved in startups since 1969, but judged by body language, Vardi was not used to being the only male on a long program with a list of female participants.

Tel Aviv was warmer and humid, and a different venue than usual.

However, the view at night of the lights was impressive.

Back to Jerusalem and the start of the Hebrew month of Av and the Nine Days. Time to remember the destruction in the past leading up to Tisha b’Av.

The view of the Temple stones remains as a physical reminder.

As Jerusalem grows higher and larger and more modern, the connection to the past and history of the old is constantly in our minds, even if our views are from different angles and lenses.

Hope you can come and see for yourself what’s new and the old in Jerusalem and on the Jerusalem streets on a photo walk.

Jerusalem Celebrates Sports and More

The Maccabiah 2022 started with lights, sounds, and fireworks on July 14th.

On Sunday, July 24th the final medal events are being held at the YMCA and in the Malha stadiums. It’s been another Jerusalem Celebrates Sports week.

Over 30,000 people participated in the opening Maccabiah 2022 ceremony held in Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, Israel, on the summer day of July 14th, as Jerusalem cooled in the evening as the sunset.

I remembered that 5 years ago, the Maccabiah joined Jerusalem for a Night Run. That 2017 event began at Jerusalem’s Takhana Rishona, First Station.

This time the Jerusalem Night Run started and ended in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park with three distance routes – half marathon, 10 K, and 5 K.

Not quite the Jerusalem International Marathon, as the finish line for all the runners was in the park. The helium-filled finish was installed shortly before the race times.

The last meters to the finish line were plain grass, not the ramp which has been a feature for the full marathon after the first muddy year in 2011.

Arriving early before dark, I was able to meet the head of the US track team

and a junior runner from Hong Kong.

The starting line was up in time for the race starts – but just barely. There were drums and music as the runners took their positions.

One Ukrainian flag was displayed at the start of the half marathon,

and a proposal marked and delayed the start of the second race.

I went early as it is hard to get good photos of Night Run participants.

It is much easier when runners pose before the start.

And much more fun when you see people you know running again.

The night air cooled the park, which was filled with colors and lights.

Oh yes, Jerusalem streets were blocked again and closed for the Night Run.

As I walked home, both international and local runners kept coming,

seemingly enjoying racing thru the Jerusalem streets to the finish line.

The Night Run was not the only event the Jerusalem public could observe. For the Maccabiah 2022, an ice hockey rink was constructed in the Pais Arena. After Shabbat, the stadium was opened for the final game, Canada vs. the US.

Oh, how different from the 2013 Maccabiah games, also held in Israel,

when we had to travel all the way to the ice rink in Metula, in the far north.

Not exactly the same scale by any measure!

The closing ceremony of the 21st Maccabiah will take place July 25th at the Live Park in Rishon LeTzion. 

It will be interesting to see the changes the next time the international Jewish athletes from World Maccabiah return to the Jerusalem streets.

However, not just sports filled the Jerusalem streets this past week.

The Sultan’s Pool, across from the walls of the Old City was full of thousands

of excited baby boomers for the Paul Anka concert on Wednesday night,

and on Thursday night there were 5,000 on hand for the opening of the 39th Jerusalem Film Festival, which goes until the end of July and includes more than 200 films from more than 50 countries and outdoor shows.

Rehearsals for Theater in Motion – Shakespeare in Bloomfield Park in August, went on in spite of the US Presidential visit, street closings, and runners on the roads.

Jerusalem Train Theater, original train under renovation

And preparations are well underway at the new Train Theater to host the 31st International Jerusalem Puppet Festival in August.

Jerusalem new Train Theater near Liberty Bell Park

From that old train car, the new state-of-the-art facility at Liberty Bell Park will host international puppeteers and a long list of family events.

Original Train Theater in Jerusalem

Yes, the Train Theater, the sports and culture, and the facilities have come a long way – and much more.

View of Har Habayit from the Rova

Isn’t it time you came to see them yourself?