New Jerusalem Favorites Before Rosh Hashannah

All around Israel glasses are being “raised”

as Rosh Hashannah, the new Jewish year 5777

is rapidly approaching.

My favorite was at Beit Hanasi,

the official Israeli President’s residence,

where 90 foreign countries were represented

by their ambassadors or head of mission in Israel.

Ambassadors from Jordan and Egypt were present,

President Reuven Rivlin l'cham to new year at Beit Hanasi

as President Reuven and Nechama Rivlin

made l’chaim outside in garden reception,

Wine. Lots of wine.

Wall of wine bottles Yayin B shuk

Walls of wine, kosher wine,

line the walls of יין בשוק, Yayin B’Shuk.

Since 1870, the Teperberg family has been making kosher wine,

and we tasted some new favorites on a tour Sunday night.

Before Rosh Hashannah wine for gifts

Gift baskets for holiday Rosh Hashanna

and gift baskets with wine seem to be everywhere.

Chalahs will be piled high by the end of week,

Berman Bakery in shuk with honey cake display for Rosh Hasahanna

but holiday cakes were ready and on display early.

Did you know Berman Bakery been baking since 1875?

Machane Yehuda market, the shuk, 

not as old as the winery or bakery,

Display of unusual fruits for Rosh Hashana in shuk, Mahane Yehuda market

has piles of varieties of new fruits out for the holiday.

The shuk has changed greatly.

Machane Yehuda market

The familiar looking stalls with tea,

Machane Yehudah market stall

shops with nuts, oil and spices by day,

Night is coming at shuk, Machane Yehuda market

at night close their shutters.

Then this happened.

Art on closed shutters in Machane Yehuda market

Graffiti appeared on the drab grey screens.

Solomon Souza art in shuk

At first shop owners were not pleased.

Solomon Souza art in shuk Machane Yehuda

But the works of spray painted art,

Solomon Souza art in shuk Machane Yehuda

 have become a favorite night attraction.

Solomon Souza in shuk ready with spray paint

Solomon was ready to fix his Matisyahu portrait.

Since he asked not to show the old one before the do-over,

we will have to get back to the shuk at night

after the holidays to check it out.

Matisyahu is to perform again in Jerusalem on October 13th.

But Solomon Souza is not the only artist busy at night.

Machane Yehuda artist at work painting

 We found this man painting on Agrippas Street.

The night life in the area,

Market Machane Yehuda set for night life Jerusalem

has continued to grow this past year,

crowds of people will fill the tables,

 which fill the lanes when the shop keepers go home.

Even more popular than last year,

Selihot, special prayers leading up to Rosh Hashannah

Musical services begin late and go early.

Tours are offered for those wanting to see selihot 

around the Old City and parts of Jerusalem.

Also again this year, a street festival on Emek Refaim,

with sales of used clothing, wares and musical performances.

Rosh Hashana table set at EmekRefaim street fair

This long table was as set ready for a holiday meal,

but provided seating for those wanting to listen to holiday music.

Not your usual Rosh Hashannah selihot venue!

Walking down Emek Refaim Street,

Solomon spray painting compost bins for Jerusalem parks

there was Solomon painting compost bins

to be placed in Jerusalem community gardens.

Recycle, reuse, help the environment,

and get the new year off to a good start,

Muslim women in Jerusalem Israel

this neighborhood fair hosted thousands.

Variety and diversity,

platter of new and unusual fruit for new year.

not only of fruits,

Takana Rishona sehlihos for Rosh Hashanah

but of holiday programs all week is astounding.

New initiatives and programs,

sign Hebrew for Selichot in Jerusalem Israel

 on traditional themes for the new year.

I decided to end with the old favorite,

Eged bus sign photoshopped to read 77 for year 5777

Shana tova,

a good and healthy year to all.

12 Signs this Week in Jerusalem

This was another autumn week

filled with Jerusalem festivals and events.

Mekudeshet and Manofim,

try and keep all those arts and music programs straight.

At night the temperatures go down

and the people come out from hiding – after the hot sunny days.

Trees in Zion Square

Near the light rail tracks and Zion Square,

and not in New York City,

Arab girls shopping on Jaffa Road

 signs beckons for end-of-season sales.

As part of a cultural festival

Trees in Kikar Tzion for festival

 trees were brought in and placed around Zion Square.

I am not sure I like the new look,

Muslim girls on Jerusalem Israel streets Ben Yehuda

but loved seeing so many people out on the streets.

 I was on my way to the Italian Festival.

The beautiful sanctuary of the Italian Synagogue,

off Ben Yehuda Street,

Italian synagogue Jerusalem Israel

was open to the public.

The wooden benches may be authentic,

but they are not the most comfortable for long prayer services.

This was the annual festival

Pizza, Pear and Apple restaurant owner at Italian festival

 where pizza was available in the plaza

Vespa in Italian shul for festival

and old Vespas were on exhibit inside.

Italians were not the only ones featured this week.

Chinese flag at Knesset

 Chinese flags were flying over the Knesset

as government officials were in Jerusalem,

joining hundreds of Chinese tourists. 

When it comes to tourists,

Hagee Mission to Israel again

John Hagee is back, leading over 300 people,

his banner sat in the quiet lobby as they toured the Old City.

The celebration of 50th year of Jerusalem’s reunification

brought together the builders and funders of Jerusalem,

the families who support the Jerusalem Foundation,

Their major projects are too many too mention now.

sign for Jerusalem Foundation at BEit Hanasi 5oth

This large sign and Israeli flags greeted them at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s official residence.

Celebrations will happen throughout the year,

as Hebrew year 5777 begins next week.

Also at Beit Hanasi this week.

an emotional event was held honoring IDF soldiers

Ezer Mizon sign Beit Hanasi

who were bone marrow donors

by grateful recipients and their families.

For the past 10 years,

IDF soldiers have undergone voluntary screening,

and their bone marrow donations have saved 1,100 lives.

craft fair sign Hebrew

From this small sign about a craft festival

on Derech Bet Lechem,

Matisyahu in Jerusalem large sign Hebrew

to this over-sized sign announcing that Matisyahu

is coming back for a Sultan Pool concert in October,

new signs have been posted all around Jerusalem.

Not all are in Hebrew-

Destroyed Jeans sign in Jerusalem Israel

sometimes the ones in English get the most attention.

Would you pay 200 shekels for destroyed jeans?

Hundreds of signs were posted for the

Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run

5000 runners who filled the Jerusalem streets

on Monday night for Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run.

Another on sports,

signs are posted for the annual basketball shooting derby

basketball at Kikar Safra

event at Kikar Safra, Government Square.

But until the balls start flying through the air,

street crossing signs hebrew

these safety signs were getting more attention.

Not into sport?

A Picasso exhibit is on at the Israel Museum,

Picasso at Israel Museum

and the rooms filled with hundreds of the artist’s works.

Outside. Inside. Large. Small.

Still not enough?

Our local Pillbox is to be a star

at the Houses Within annual event.

Pillbox Hebrew sign for Houses Within

This modest sign posted on nearby trees

offers just one of dozens of options over 3 days.

It’s a great opportunity to see private homes and other buildings,

otherwise closed to the public.

Whew,

just a few signs of what is happening

in Jerusalem this week.

Now you have seen these signs,

please let me know what you would like

to see more of next time and in future.

Shabbat Shalom

In Kikar Tzion, Zion Square,

just off Jaffa Road,

at a stall in the Jerusalem Night Market,

I saw these dried pomegranates on a wooden tray.

Pomegranates are usually for Rosh Hashannah,

but since Jerusalem is gearing up for the holidays,

this seemed fine for a Shabbat Shalom greeting.

Rosh Hashannah pomegranate theme for Shabat shalom

שבת שלום

Thought this looked better without words Shabbat Shalom

placed on it, do you agree?

Jerusalem Week of Lows and Highs

The news making international headlines is that

Shimon Peres, שמעון בן שרה,

is in the hospital in serious condition on a respirator.

One of my favorite photos of former President Peres

Shimon Peres and Jams Snyder at Israel Museum

was taken at the Israel Museum 50th Birthday Bash 

Who else would be presented with their own photo

taken at opening of the museum fifty years earlier?

Free entrance to the Israel Museum

is being offered this Thursday night.

I wish I could take advantage of the offer, but there are just too many

things happening in Jerusalem, Israel…again!

All the summer concerts in Jerusalem parks

and the Hansen House special children events have ended,

as it’s time to go back to school.

My favorite posters are up,

sign back to school

like this one of the Jerusalem municipality welcoming boys

sign back to school

and girls with “Hello First Graders.”

Where else is the start of school treated

as bigger deal than college graduation?

mekudshet festival sign

Signs are also up for Mekudeshet, a culture festival

with weeks of extensive music and arts programs.

Plus, the annual Italian Festival is also going on this week.

50 years Jerusalem sign Hebrew

Signs are up as the city prepares to celebrate

50 years since the end of the Jordanian occupation

and the reunification of Jerusalem.

A new wall has been erected at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli Presidential official residence.

construction at beit Hanasi

However, it is a temporary barrier

construction site at Israeli President House new entrance

as construction work for a new visitor entrance has begun.

While work proceeded behind the wall,

Beit Hanasi was busy with international visitors.

World Jewish Congress delegates came on Monday,

World Jewish Congress posed for photo with Presidetn Rivlin

and posed for group photo with President Rivlin.

While on Tuesday the spouses and partners of diplomats

posted in Israel were hosted by the Rivlins.

DEI one phot of foreign spouses at biet hanasi

This is one of the group’s photos,

from 80 countries, 33 nations were represented that day.

Some of those visitors had been to Jerusalem many times,

but for others it was their first visit.

How good it is when people come and see the great things

that are happening on the Jerusalem streets for themselves.

Hope to get to some of Jerusalem’s newly-opened parks,

as the countdown to Rosh Hashannah reminds us,

 the new year is coming soon.

Jerusalem 9/11 Memorial: Behind the Camera

15 years have past

since September 11, 2001,

but I can still remember the bluest, clearest sky,

and best weather on that day in Washington, DC.

We had moved back from New York City a few days earlier.

Having a blue sky in Jerusalem, Israel, is a given all summer,

no one moves to DC for the weather.

There was a good reason that foreign diplomats stationed in DC

received hazard pay in the days before air conditioning.

But it was so nice that morning,

I went for a walk as work was being done on our new kitchen.

The destruction of the twin towers of the WTC

and with its immense loss of life

has overshadowed the loss of life at

 the Pentagon, the heart of the US military command.

For those of us living in the DC area,

the attack on the Pentagon affected our family and friends

in too many ways to recount here now.

 The 15th anniversary of 9/11 was remembered in Israel.

Buses took passengers from Jerusalem on a round-about route,

under the new fast-train tracks under construction

towards the JNF-KKY Jerusalem Park,

Jerusalem JNF park Memorial 9 11

slowly and cautiously down the winding road.

After an hour on the bus

we were on the other side of the tracks

Jerusalem train track Israel

and across from the cemetery on Har Hamenuchot.

Jerusalem memorial sept eleven

Dignitaries and guests waited in the memorial plaza for the program to begin.

Jerusalem Israel JNF memorial

The names of all 2,996 victims are listed on the wall.

The only memorial outside of US to list all the names.

Jerusalem Nine Eleven memorial

The honor guard in full dress

was positioned cleverly in front of the cool air blowers

and were protected by the sun shade.

Jerusalem memorial for 9 11 , 15 years

What were the Marines thinking?

Jerusalem Israel September 11 memorial

Israeli families of victims placed a floral memorial wreath

as did Israeli and international dignitaries.

Jerusalem memorial for September 11

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro stood in respect

 after placing his wreath at the base of the memorial

fashioned in the design of a US flag shaped as a flame.

A piece from the Twin Towers is encased in the base,

and can be seen through the rectangular window above those wreaths.

Jerusalem Israel memorial to killed on September 11

After the official ceremony,

with all its impressive speeches this year,

flowers were provided to those who wished to place them

on the names in memory of those who lost their lives on 9 /11.

Jerusalem Israel 9-11 memorial ceremony for 15 years police delegation

A delegation of 50 US police officers were in attendance.

Jerusalem memorial Sept 11

Their hats and uniforms were imprinted with US and Israeli flags.

There was a positive feeling of unity

that is not felt often enough these days.

As WJC President Ronald Lauder said,

 “The pain of loss never goes away,

but happiness comes from freedom,

and free people rise over hate.

#NeverForget

More photos from ceremony

HERE

Jerusalem: Old, New, Constantly Changing

Jerusalem, old and new and constantly changing,

has been a constant theme

throughout the years at Real J Streets.

Once a derelict No Man’s Land,

a bullet-holed war zone between 1948-1967,

Mamilla Prices center area

now Mamilla Mall is a huge success story.

Thousands of people come to shop and eat daily.

Often the parking lots are so full

David's Village Jerusalem Israel parking into Mamailla Mall

that traffic backs up and honking cars are the norm.

On King George Street,

image ruined building

 this abandoned building

has been an eyesore for years and a home to squatters.

But in Jerusalem what a difference a month makes–

now it is gone!

view of construction site Jerusalme

 A white construction fence has appeared in its place,

Construction site in Jerusalem

which surrounds extensive excavation work.

From one opening,

Digging foundation of new project on King George Street

you can see the Great Synagogue across

King George Street and the dome of Heichal Shlomo.

Israel Knesset museum

Work on the future Knesset Museum is

hidden behind these huge tarp coverings.

The difference that has occurred in a month

Old Mashbir to be We Work

to the future We Work offices

at the old Mashbir site is obvious.

On the downtown Jerusalem streets,

change can be seen not only looking up,

but also be sure and look down.

art on Jerusalem Streets

Artists have produced new works

Art on street perspective

on mats laid down in busy plaza areas.

 For the best angle from which to appreciate this street art

 you have to take the time and stop.

Not enough?

Signs for walking tours from Beit Avi Chai

Signs are up at Beit Avi Chai advertising

 neighborhood tours with story-telling.

Setting Gan Haatzmaut for beer festival Jerusalem Israel

Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park,

has been a construction site all week.

Poster for Jerusalem Beer Festival

But the barriers and the large stage to be built there for

the annual Beer Festival are only temporary.

However,

as always the end of August,

the biggest deal on the Jerusalem streets

is the first day of school tomorrow.

For working parents, childcare

during the last two weeks of summer vacation

waiting for bus, woman and grandchildren

 is often provided by grandparents and friends.

But, those without children also appreciate start of school,

as children were often brought to offices,

banks and many parents’ workplaces.

News outlets have started their annual interviews.

Yikes, now there are songs about school on radio.

The Prime Minister, President and mayors

will go to be photographed in a classroom.

I love how starting Kita Aleph, first grade,

is such a huge event in Israel.

Wishing all a good

and successful new school year.