Jerusalem Marathon: Ready, Set, Go

Jerusalem Marathon: Ready, Set, Go

The Jerusalem Marathon for 2017 was on March 17th.

One finish line has been up for days,

Jerusalem Marathon 2017 finish line

but there are at least three of these massive arches,

two over the street and another one inside Gan Sacher, Sacher Park

for the full marathon runners.

confusing signs for Jerusalem Marathon

Signs and more signs are posted,

but it is not always entirely clear which way to go.

However,

one outside Beit Hanasi, the Israel President’s house

Hebrew sign for Marathon wishing runners well

wishing runners well is very clear.

International participants have arrived.

At a press conference the day before the race

Jerusalem marathon international runners

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was introduced to Milind Soman.

I do not follow Bollywood stars

Bollywood star in Jerusalem Israel

but now I am now a fan of Milind.

Soman spoke so emotionally about his first visit to Jerusalem.

Maybe we here take too much for granted,

and need a visitor to remind us how special these streets are.

Jerusalem marathon 2017 #irunjem

International marathon runners posed with the Mayor,

with the Old City and Tower of David in the background.

Some of them looked familiar from past marathons.

For seven years, I have tried to catch the Mayor running,

and on this warm up day I finally succeeded,

running before Jerusalem marathon

though the guy in red jacket got a much closer shot.

And while they were running,

Tower of David actors on wall

these fellows were standing on the walls at the Tower of David.

Never know who or what you will see in Jerusalem!

Jerusalem Marathon warm up

The Mayor led a group of international runners

through Mamilla Mall.

Using cell phone man does not look up

I wonder if this guy ever looked up and noticed.

The streets were filled with 30,000 runners,

and some streets were closed all Friday morning,

but you have to stop texting to see them as they whiz by.

Running in Jerusalem has come along way in seven years. 

The Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2017 was great,

best photos in next post.

 This time I got the Mayor at the starting line and finish!

If you missed being in Jerusalem, Israel,

put it on your calendar for next year,

it is truly a special experience.

March 9, 2018.

שבת שלום

 Shabbat shalom

Future Israeli Leaders in the Negev

Future Israeli Leaders in the Negev

The southern Israeli desert called the Negev

has been in the news this week.

Sadly, two lives were lost there,

and the details are still emerging.

On a recent trip to the Negev 

we passed dozens of Bedouin encampments

Beoudin along road in Negev

like this one along the roadside.

Thousands of Bedouins live in hundreds of homes like these

that just “popped up” along side the Negev roads.

But I would rather share a new, special “village” with you,

Army base in southern Israel Kiryat Ariel Sharon

an elite army training base named for Ariel Sharon.

Entering the grounds, a large

Kiryat Ariel Sharon negev

outdoor stadium is on the right side of road.

Near the entrance,

Negev army base shul

 one of three synagogues sits on the main square.

IDF base commanders

The commander of the base, Colonel Avi Motola,

says he feels more like a mayor, with a budget and services

for 10,000 soldiers who are on the training base.

Map of Negev army training base

A map of the base, larger than some Israeli cities.

Different army units training at Negev base

This slide shows the governing structure of the IDF and its branches

on this state-of-the-art consolidated training campus.

A convention center, pool, library and more are planned.

There are six dining rooms with huge kitchens to serve up meals.

New army base in Negev

This view from one central location

IDF Training base in negev

and another show the barren desert in background.

Desert lands take up a third of the country.

New infrastructure, such as roads, were built to benefit everyone.

Civilians work on the base, which helps the local economy.

The plan is for families to come and further develop

the surrounding Negev cities.

Inside the training center,

Room to train medics under conditions of battlefield

simulator rooms have sound and smoke

to prepare young soldiers for action.

Especially impressive are the areas to train medics.

Room to train medics in IDF Negev base

On the ground covered by a “blood” stained blanket

is a dummy with equipment around the walls.

The window on right lets medical teams be supervised.

Room to train medics

There are multiple rooms, reflecting the various terrains.

Training with artificial bodies and body parts

Medics training at new base in NEgev

helps prepare efficient medical response teams.

With the shorter attention-spans of new recruits,

plus shorter terms of service,

new means of more effective education are crucial.

Basic training is three weeks,

the special courses can last from 3 weeks to 14 months.

Simulators to teach driving in Negev army base

Young soldiers learn to drive on these simulators.

The large truck dashboard and weather conditions

are two factors which can be programmed.

New planted tress in army base in Negev

Outside were new plantings to landscape the campus.

IDF soldiers lying on ground relaxing in Negev base

One journalist on our trip commented on the relaxed

atmosphere of the base, so different to army life in China.

Soldier talking on phone in Negv

This is a perfect spot to sit in the shade and talk on phone.

Female IDF soldiers walking in army base with backpacks

As more young women are serving in IDF,

it was impressive to see their presence on the base.

Hope you enjoyed this brief look

Field in name of Ariel Sharon in Negev

into the training of new officers for the IDF.

Oh, the last words as you exit,

Go in Peace says sign at exit of new army base Ariel Sharon

Go in peace.

Jerusalem after Another Terror Attack

Jerusalem after Another Terror Attack

 There is a spot in Jerusalem, Israel,

with so majestic a view

that tourists from around the world

are brought by the busload to appreciate the sight.

Sherover Promenade Tayelet sign

The Sherover Promenade which leads to the Haas Promenade

has a view of the Old City of ancient Jerusalem surrounded by its walls

Old City Jerusalem Israel from Tayelet

and all the neighborhoods adjacent to it.

Parties, reunions, weddings and more,

are held along these promenades, called the Tayelet.

Tayelet Haas Promenade empty on Friday after terror attack

On Friday, January 13, 2017,

they were almost deserted.

Metal fencing after terror attack on tayelet

The lawns by the road were now lined with metal barriers.

Ironically, as I approached,

a large white truck was pulling away.

Truck with learner symbol Jerusalem tayelet

It was on Sunday,  just a few days before,

that a terrorist had rammed his large white truck into a crowd

of young Israeli soldiers on an outing to appreciate the view.

Four were killed and more injured.

On Friday afternoon,

Community event at Tayelet security Jerusalem

local residents gathered at the spot,

Candles and lights on tayelet for 4 murdered Israeli soldiers

to mourn, to remember.

Boy lighting memorial candle site 4 young Israelis killed

and to light a candle

Memorial candles lit for 4 victims of terror Jerusalem

at the make-shift memorials.

They also sang songs of peace and hope,

and melodies to welcome the Shabbat.

Artists4Israel on Friday at Tayelet

While community members joined together

to take back their valued space,

Artists4Israel worked on a mural.

One of the organizers shared her thoughts,
“Our neighborhood has been hit
by several terrorist attacks over this past year,
but we continue to rise again and again,
because this is what we do.”

Mural by Artists4Israel posted on Tayelet

“There should be peace within your borders,

serenity in your palaces.”

What else is there to say?

AMEN.