Jerusalem 15 Happenings for Bright Summer

The Jerusalem summer of 2021 is looking to be brighter and so much better than last year.

In 2020, Jerusalem, Israel gatherings were limited because of the multiple and changing coronavirus restrictions. Museums shuttered. Theater lights were dark. Festivals were canceled.

See what’s new and what’s happening again in Jerusalem for this summer:

The wooden structure, called Ester Tower, in the Hansen House garden, was lit at night for Design Week. Talented artists prepared other unique and original pieces for the Runaway Circus theme of the annual event.

The fullest IDF band in recent memory was assembled on July 6th, for Israel’s outgoing 10th President Reuven Rivlin to welcome Israel’s 11th President Isaac Herzog to Beit Hanasi, the President’s Official Residence.

The sculpture of Reuven Rivlin in the garden was unveiled in the morning.

During a rehearsal break, members of the honor guard were able to see the ‘heads’ and read histories of the former Israeli Presidents.

The full red carpet was rolled out for the arrival of the official motorcycle-led motorcade in the early evening after the Knesset swearing-in ceremony.

President Isaac and Michal Herzog were escorted in by the IDF military and Beit Hanasi personnel.

Former President Rivlin waited to escort the new occupants inside to the main reception room where the Beit Hanasi staff and family waited.

Warm speeches and hugs, and more children than usual filled the room.

Stopping on the way out to sing Hatikvah for the live stream and cameras,

the Herzogs waved goodbye to the former president,

who was accompanied by Rivka Ravitz and her staff who also are moving on.

But not only was it good to be back again at Beit Hanasi this week.

It was good to see the fountain and lights back on in Teddy Park!

Last year it was not operating and no children were having fun in the cooling water as it stops and starts and pulsates upwards overhead.

Groups are back in the parks, tour groups and tour buses are again seen on the Jerusalem streets.

First Station was busy when it was allowed to be open over the past year. Starting soon in July at First Station there will be a new activity: ice skating.

Signs are up for the annual Beer Festival July 21-23, again to be staged in Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park.

The Wine Festival is to be back on July 26-27th at the Israel Museum.

The annual Street Ball Festival is set for July 27-28, and the Outline Festival “layers” August 5-12th.

Food Trucks are back in Hinnom Valley from now until the fall.

Jerusalem signs are up for summer in the neighborhood. In August there will be street performances and street installations along nine main Jerusalem streets.

Sultan’s Pool and Safra Square concerts are to be back again bigger than ever.

Camping sites for families are planned in six Jerusalem parks on July 29 from 4:30 pm to July 30 at 10:00 am.

Urban nature events and guided tours will augment the end of August Silchot tours.

At the Botanical Gardens, a Snow Kingdome is to run from July 25 – August 31st, with ice figures and lights.

Work at the Tower of David is ongoing, but events were also announced.

So much and more happening in Jerusalem for a busy and bright summer! See full details of Jerusalem summer events

Let us know what you decided to do this summer on the Jerusalem streets.

What do you think of on July 4th in Jerusalem?

The smell of freshly cut grass is not one associated with Jerusalem, Israel.

But as I entered Jerusalem’s Liberty Bell Park from the shade of the Hubert Humphrey Arbor and descended the steps toward the Liberty Bell on July 4th morning, the familiar clean and fresh aroma of grass filled the air.

The Liberty Bell Park was dedicated 45 years ago to coincide with the 1976 Bicentennial celebration in the United States.

However, for Israelis, the same date July 4, 1976, was the Entebbe mission where Yoni Netanyahu fell in action saving the hijacked passengers.

In Liberty Bell Park there is a memorial garden in his name.

July 1st is Canada Day and next to the Yoni Netanyahu Garden is another memorial Canadians should appreciate.

The Terry Fox Memorial Garden was dedicated in 1985 to a special athlete who captured the imagination and respect of Canadians as he crossed the country on one leg after amputation because of cancer to raise money for cancer research.

As I reached the end of the park, classes of young students were arriving.

I wondered if they knew of the significance of climbing on the exact replica of the US Liberty Bell on July 4th, in a Jerusalem, Israel, park?

So glad it was cooler, following a very hot week of summer weather of last week.

A real conference, live and online, with programs and tags – and face masks.

Dozens of speakers on economy and education and more, but only one was wearing a watermelon shirt, a professor from Hebrew University.

With the rising corona numbers, I hope it’s not one of the last of large gatherings allowed inside.

Also exciting to be back to Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence for the arrival of the German President. Notice the equipment to do a live stream, and the antiviral gel on the wall, both new additions since former President Joachim Gauck came in December 2015 to mark the 50th year of Israel-German diplomatic relations.

After over a year of reduced ceremonies, the IDF band was back preparing.

The military honor guard inspected before President Steinmeier arrived.

The mingling and chatting of German and Israeli military officials, in the Jerusalem garden of Beit Hanasi, something I find incredulous.

Who could ever imagine 80 years ago, German media traveling with their President to Jerusalem, Israel, and sending back the breaking story from their laptop computer?

The Presidents spoke and planted an apple tree in the Beit Hanasi yard. One of President Rivlin’s last major events. On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, Israel is to have a new President and preparations are underway for the transition.

Remembering the past and planning for the future in Jerusalem, Israel.

The past and future are reflected in these Jerusalem street signs. The small blue sign is of the combatting antisemitism mega-events held at the end of January 2019 BC (Before Corona). Not sure which election cycle the yellow Shas campaign ad was for. But below are the new signs for Mekudeshet musical events and the night of Tisha B’Av “conversations.”

There was so much more, but enough.

You never know what will be happening next on the Jerusalem streets!

Jerusalem Back to Normal: But what will happen next?

This past year has shown no one can predict what will happen next.

After well over a year with so little happening due to corona restrictions, last week was one very busy, “back to normal” week.

Finally, too many good things happened hard to decide what to share first.

The view in the distance from the footbridge over Hebron Road appeared the same as for centuries the sun reflected off the Old City walls.

But as the week began, down below in the Sultan’s Pool, the huge stage was lit for a major Chabad event at night for men and boys.

At the same time across the way on the Begin Center main stage, the final performance of Rebecca: Mother of Two Dynasties was being performed by women for women.

The Begin Heritage Center was also the site for special weekly Bible sessions.

Of course, the Jerusalem buildings keep going up and up.

The old entrance of the President’s Hotel was been cemented shut.

Goodness, even those famous steps from the Montefiore Windmill down by Yemin Moshe are gone.

Some of the street work is hard to explain, with pavement recently done – being redone and landscaped.

And those new blue historical signs becoming more common than the regular road closures.

But this week there was more happening in Jerusalem!

Postponed for a year, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are to be held this summer.

The Israeli Olympic and Paralympic teams were invited to Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence for a traditional sendoff and official photograph.

Large black & white photos of participating athletes were posted outside the main entrance.

The Japanese Ambassador to Israel attended and was interviewed by Walter Bingham, the world’s oldest active journalist at the young age of 97.

The Ambassador also posed with leaders from the Israeli Baseball team, playing for the first time in the Olympic competition.

The team photo was taking at Machane Yehuda Market, and two of the baseball players were at Beit Hanasi for the send off event.

Inside, the veteran Paralympic athletes had seats near the front.

For the first time in a very, very long time, the main hall was filled, over filled to capacity.

Ready to present a gift to President Rivlin was European gold medal winning rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram.

The traditional posed photographs were taken afterward outside, more HERE.

But how long has it been – two big events hosted at Beit Hanasi in one day?

And with full buffet tables!?

The same evening a business leaders conference included live entertainers.

Rows of invited guests, seated with the Israeli President, used to happen regularly, but not this last year of President Rivlin’s seven year term.

The round of farewells the past few weeks has been continuous.

The Israeli Business Roundtable had a cute image in their presentation.

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin spoke to full houses on Wednesday.

Then after Shabbat, he departed on a farewell visit to the United States at the invitation of President Joe Biden.

But he is to be back on Thursday morning, to hold a state reception ceremony for President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany and his wife, on a state visit to Israel.

President Steinmeier of Germany will plant a tree in the Avenue of Presidents in the gardens of Beit Hanasi and will then sign the Beit Hanasi visitors’ book and President Rivlin will host a state banquet in their honor.

Jerusalem Israeli President House reception for Andrea Merkel and delegates

Three years ago, Beit Hanasi held a state dinner for Andrea Merkel.

A full schedule before July 7, 2021, when Israel is to get a new president.

Getting used to new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his emails. Since the airport has been a source of new corona variants, Bennett has appointed Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Ronni Numa: “who has been doing exceptional work in Bnei Brak and with the ultra-orthodox public. He will receive the responsibility to integrate and manage dealing with the coronavirus at the crossings.”

No certainty to when borders will be open and tourists will return.

And finally, I am slow today! How could I forget? This week also we had a reunion of former Virginians in Ramot Mall, as two couples were able to get into Israel from the US to see their children and grandchildren. So it’s happening, slowly.

Who knows what next will happen on the Jerusalem streets?

Hope we can see you here soon. Meanwhile, virtual tours are available.