Giving Thanks in Jerusalem

It is easy to forget about the Thanksgiving Holiday

when living in Israel.

Except for social media posts about the difficulty

of obtaining a whole turkey in a country

where so much turkey is consumed,

regular Israelis have no idea it is a holiday.

What is consuming everyone’s attention is that for

three days, arson-ignited forest fires are spreading,

forcing people from their homes,

with the latest fires raging in Haifa.

Thankfully,

I have not heard of any deaths,

but the destruction is massive.

Israel’s  working poor have a difficult time,

their basic monthly salaries are too low.

One set back with a sick family member

could tip the balance and set debts soaring,

causing families to lose their homes.

If you take the light rail train to the end of line

Pisgat Zev light rail trains street view

all the way to Pisgat Zev,

View street in Pisgat Zev

the northern Jerusalem neighborhood

with tens of thousands of residents

New construction in Pisgat Zev

you will see new construction projects underway.

Since it is further from the city center,

 rentals are more reasonably priced,

and therefore, it is home to some of Jerusalem’s poorest families.

This week I was inside several of their apartments:

religious, not religious, Ethiopian,

down-on-your-luck poverty does not discriminate.

an apartment in Pisgat Zev needing help

This kitchen with its wood trim looks lovely,

but it is a six-floor walk-up with no elevator,

makes it a lower rental property.

Israeli rentals, most often, do not come with appliances.

Oven in apartment that is broken

The oven was broken, and

 the tenant did not have money to buy a new one.

On the real Jerusalem streets,

not all is beautiful or perfect.

Thankfully, there are people trying to help.

as you will see at the end of this blog.

Meanwhile, if you have the time and money,

you could eat and drink every night in a different location.

Jerusalem winter festivals Hebrew signs

Hamshushalim in Jerusalem,

 special hotel deals and offers each December weekend,

has been going strong for years.

Open Restaurant is Jerusalem’s newest food festival.

From November 22-26,

tours, food, classes and more,

will be happening on the Jerusalem streets.

One event at the Hansen House has robots

serving as waiters for 3D printed food.

What a contrast to those struggling to get along.

There is so much to be thankful for every day.

This is first year in a long time,

I did not actively participate in a Thanksgiving Dinner for lone soldiers.

Hard to do it all, time is short,

I won’t keep you any longer today.

But if you are thankful for what you have,

consider helping those who are not so fortunate.

Here are links to three worthy organizations

I was involved with this week:

Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin

OneFamily

Give a Fridge Project 

Take a look and see what you can do

to make the world a better place.

Thanks from Jerusalem, Israel.