Jerusalem: Clouds, Cactus, Color, Crowds, and Cats

With the end of the holiday season, some Israeli flags are slowly disappearing from the Jerusalem streets for the summer.

But flags still out were flying in the wind and wind is great for flag photos.

The week in Jerusalem began with clouds covering the Jerusalem streets, making for cooler days and even cooler nights.

Heavy and dark clouds appeared and some neighborhoods reported light rain. Facebook reminded me there were clouds last year this time also.

They continued at night for dramatic photos of the full moon. Who needs a Blue Moon or Blood Moon? Every full moon over Jerusalem is special.

Each construction crane seems to rise higher approaching those clouds.

Construction appears to be going slowly again at the Netanyahu house across from Yoni Netanyahu Plaza.

The new residence of the US Ambassador to Israeli has been revealed on Emek Refaim. It was hard to get a photo without the cars passing by.

An interesting complex that takes over a large corner of the street. Will be interesting to see if the bus stop there remains and what happens when construction of the light rail line begins. But still, no US flags to be seen.

It was the natural growth and beauty along the Jerusalem streets this week that I appreciated more than all the ongoing building and construction.

Not only the yellow cactus flowers but weeds bursting with color.

Color seems to burst out from the stones in the Old City.

Wonderful to see the tour groups were back in and around the Old City!

Tourists and crowds have returned after two too quiet years.

How long has it been since a friend from overseas made a Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel, the Western Wall? A very special occasion indeed.

But not the only one, as groups crowded in, I had to search for the right Bar Mitzvah boy and his family.

Wonder how many of those tourists will realize this is a new fountain at the new traffic circle on King David Street?

But back to what’s happening now in Jerusalem, signs Just for Youth.

Jerusalem College to give wings for more educational opportunities.

And for all who are interested, every Wednesday during the summer – there is a cinematic celebration with Maaleh films – dramas and documentaries – each week 3 short films by Maaleh Film School students will be featured.

The films have been screened in film festivals around the world and are now available at The First Station and admission is FREE.

Jerusalem Israel restaurant in old silos

On June 23 outside the Silo Café next to First Station, the Jerusalem Community Woodstock Festival returns featuring music from the 60s with live bands. This year my friend is partnering with the Emunah women’s organization, to help support their work with children and at-risk young women in Israel, while also featuring her promising young musicians.

And what would a report on what’s happening on the Jerusalem streets be without at least one photo of a Jerusalem cat posed on a royal throne?

Exciting times as the Jerusalem streets become alive again with tourists and events, and conferences return.

Stay well and hope to see you here soon for a Jerusalem Photo Walk.

Summer in Jerusalem: Building, Books, and Paisley

It’s feeling like summer on the Jerusalem streets.

The sun blazes down from a cloudless blue sky.

Walking during the day, shade can be hard to find.

Though with the new construction rising higher and higher above the Jerusalem streets that situation is changing.

Finding a parking space in Jerusalem is more of a challenge. These men had blocked off spots to save at their construction site on a busy street.

On our moving day, a big challenge was finding a spot for the truck to park to be loaded. Out early on the street, I was upset to see broken glass on the ground by the garbage dumpster probably from a discarded frame of ours.

But by 8:10 am, it was gone.

If I hadn’t been out before 8:00 am I would never have known that this man had cleaned up the area. Plus, he seemed surprised when I thanked him.

Cleaner Jerusalem streets and lots of construction will greet visitors to Jerusalem this summer.

The old ivy is long gone, as the Beit Hanasi entranceway gets renovated.

The President’s Residence visitor tours are back. The new red cord seems to be a physical reminder not to walk thru the president’s garden but stay on the path.

The WaterGen machine is a recent addition. I was able to drink 4 kinds of water – made from the air, from the old cooler, bottled water, and from the caterer’s ice-filled cooler. When it’s hot, water is good for you, right?

The garden stage area in the back of the Beit Hanasi garden was being set for ceremonies of awards to reservists soldiers this week, and the next day for three projects from the IDF, the Mossad, the Shin Bet, the Ministry of Defense, and the Israel Defense Industries. 

Reservist one is open to media, but the special Project Awards stay secret.

I went to Beit Hanasi for the swearing-in of the two new Supreme Court Judges. There were more than the usual number of photographers, but much less media coverage. I decided not to get on the floor with the guys.

So I was able to get the 5 newest judges’ reactions to President Herzog’s joke.

The ceremony itself is very brief. The new judge reads a short statement and receives his certificate from the President, the Minister of Justice, and the President of the Supreme Court.

It’s their speeches that fill the time, while their very proud families fill out the audience along with the Judicial selection committee.

President Herzog had connections with not only the newest judge but her family also from their days in New York at Ramaz School. Surprise, the other judge he did not have connections to talk about, that could have been the first time a Herzog was not connected to an honoree.

Here are the women currently serving on the Israeli Supreme Court,

and the two newest Judges of the Israeli Supreme Court are Yechiel Meir Kasher and Ruth Ronnen.

Education and opportunities for women was an RJS feature last week.

This week the popular Hebrew Book Week is back from June 15 to 25.

It is hard to even give away some Hebrew books. Especially encyclopedias, no one will take them, so they get left out for the Jerusalem street cleaners.

The love of books starts with the young. Beit Avi Chai is having special programs for children and families this week. One story session is to be in English for the children’s Hebrew Book Festival.

But much more than books can be found on the Jerusalem streets.

Paisley: A Princely Pattern is the name of the new exhibit at the Museum for Islamic Art, with a purple paisley pattern now featured on their wall.

The 11th Jerusalem Design Week will be held on June 23-30, 2022, at the nearby Hansen House with installations on the street light pole already going up.

The Jerusalem Symphony and the Jerusalem Beer Fest are advertising for July events. Summer in Jerusalem, the holidays are over, but plenty to do.

Or just stroll and take time to notice the flowers in bloom, thriving in the hot summer sun. However, there was little time for that this short week.

After ordering two closets (for those who do not know Israeli apartments usually have bare walls and you need to get something to put your clothes in) I had to stop for a second and get the sign over the exit door.

It says in Hebrew – Go in Peace! under a view of the Kotel, Western Wall.

The end of the school year events and summer weather were mainly what was happening on the Jerusalem streets this after the holidays week.

Hope you can come soon and see for yourself, summer in Jerusalem.

Number One in Jerusalem – Education

The holiday season has come and gone, though Israeli flags and colorful flowers can still be seen along the Jerusalem streets.

Like every year, this small decorated porch rates as a favorite sight.

The Shavuot holiday started as Shabbat ended, making it a two-day holiday celebration for many Israelis. But outside of Israel, it was 3 days long, so no complaints. This all-time favorite image is from a wall mural when the Jerusalem Cinema City when newly opened.

We moved last week. With too much to do, packing, sorting and tossing (can you believe the strap on this bag was so old it disintegrated!) I had to pass up so many events that I will not try and list them all.

But if there is only one place to go in Jerusalem to take a break, the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens would be at the top of the list.

To see the brides posing for their wedding photos in the lush gardens,

and multiple groups attending workshops and meetings, it is hard to remember this was a Jerusalem garbage dump not so many years ago.

Go a bit further up the street (why do all Jerusalem streets appear to only go up?) from the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is the Hebrew University Givat Ram campus. On top of the hill is the Kfar HiTech, High Tech Village sign.

Across the Begin Highway from the Hebrew University campus is the ever-growing and expanding, Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem. Remember back in 2019 there were so many events it was hard to keep up?

And on the other side of the highway is the growing and expanding Lev Academic Center, Jerusalem College of Technology JCT.

For the one event I attended this week, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion was the featured guest and speaker.

It was the groundbreaking ceremony for the Machon Tal Campus of JCT.

Currently, Machon Tal serves over 2,100 women studying at JCT. 

How good to see the current President of Lev Academic Center Professor Chaim Sukenik and Professor Joseph Bodenheimer, JCT’s fourth president (1993-2009) that evening. 

Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon, the Rabbinic Head of the Jerusalem College of Technology was also at the groundbreaking, important event.

The Machon Tal Hackathon in 2019 was impressive, along with the other Israeli – Jerusalem – innovation labs and startups. The new women’s campus will be the permanent home of future academic excellence for up to 3,000 female students in nursing, computer science, industrial engineering, accounting, and management.

When he entered and the entire time Moshe Lion had a broad smile.

A happy and positive event, filled with smiles was the one piece of “work” I was able to manage this past week.

The new campus is poised to provide increased opportunities for religious women to pursue higher education and attain quality employment in scientific and high-tech industries.

It will enable the opening of an industrial engineering and management track as well as a new nursing program for Haredi women, and a brighter future. More photos HERE

I did not get to the Israeli Education Week events at the Jerusalem International Conference Center I had on my calendar.

Back to unpacking, but I wanted to share this one important education story you may have missed seeing.

Full disclosure, I have known Professor Sukenik and his wife, a long-time friend, for many years.

Who would guess we took Organic Chemistry in college at the same time, our paths diverged, and we would meet up again on the Jerusalem streets?

Hope to see you all on the Jerusalem streets – and for a happy occasion!