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.


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.

Jerusalem International Arts and Crafts Fair

No matter how you spell it,

Khutsot Hayotser or Hutzot Hayozer,

the annual Jerusalem International Arts & Crafts Festival

is a huge end-of-summer Jerusalem, Israel event.

It fills the Mitchell Garden,

Khusot Hayoster

with a massive stage and seating in the Sultan’s Pool,

Jerusalem Artist Colony

and bustling alleyways in the Artists’ Colony.

Arriving before sunset,

Jerusalem summer night

the Tower of David can be seen in the background,

Jerusalem international arts festival

above the booths where 200 local artisans

display their works for sale.

For over 40 years,

botth at international arts fair Jerusalem

a night-time Israeli family-fun tradition,

Spray paint artist at fair Jerusalem Israel

showcasing a wide variety of art forms.

At the extensive food court,

Jerusalem kosher food

it is hard not to find some unusual and new food to sample.

Glass and wood, leather and ceramics, and metal work

are featured popular craft items.

Making ceramic piece at arts fair

This year, workshops were offered

woman making metal jewelry

by the Bezalel “White House” project,

organized by the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design,

with opportunities to learn from

talented students of the design school and purchase their handiwork.

But this festival is international too,

with exhibitors from Argentina and Armenia,

Jerusalem International arts fair

to Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe,

Jerusalem international arts fair

with Madagascar

Jerusalem International arts fair

and Mexico in between,

plus Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

At one of several booths for Chinese wares,

China at Jerusalem international arts fair

there were smiles for photos,

Jerusalem international arts fair

while a llama stood on guard for Peru.

Jerusalem international arts fair

These Korean dolls were colorful and delicate.

Entertainment specially designed for children

Musical performers at fair

and some shows to complicated to explain

Jerusalem International arts fair

went on after dark and well into the night.

In addition,

Musical stage in Sultan's Pool for concert

every night, popular Israel musical acts

filled the huge Sultan Pool stage.

Every night tens of thousands of Israelis

celebrate the end of summer in Jerusalem, Israel at the fair.

Jerusalem Festival Season in Full Swing

  The end of August, Tisha B’Av is over,

and Jerusalem festival season is in full swing.

While the Festival Ha’ira is still popular,

 there is an annual Klezemer Festival,

sign in Hebrew in Jerusalem

and this sign is for new arts festival.

Walking by the Liberty Bell Park,

Jerusalem park actor in costume J

I was not only one scratching my head.

What was that thing in the park?

Train Theater has its annual Puppet Festival.

Jerusalem festival puppet festival

People were lined up to enter,

but something new lined the fence.

Inspired by the Prague Zoo,

man looks at poster Gan Paamon

posters by Michal Cihlar, a Czech Republic artist,

“Zoooo – You Wouldn’t have a clue?”

included a hoopoe, Israeli’s national bird.

While across the road in Bloomfield Gardens,

near the Montefiore Windmill,

Macbeth in motion Jerusalem

was “Macbeth in Motion.”

Over the next two weeks,

Macbeth in motion in Bloomfield Park Jerusalem Israel audience

audiences in the park can appreciate Shakespeare,

but be warned do not get too comfortable,

the audience changes locations 5 times.

Yemin Moshe view of Tower of David Jerusalem

Where else can you hear the Bard of Avon with this backdrop?

Nearby, also these last two weeks of August,

Khutsot Hayotser Jeusalem international arts and crafts festival

is Khutsot Hayotser,

the annual international arts and crafts fair,

international arts and crafts festival

with its concerts in Sultan’s Pool.

It is so huge,

 I will save those photos for another time.

Since it opened and all summer long.

fountain in Teddy Park sound and light show at night

families have come to Teddy Park.

Lights on at night near Old City Teddy Fountain

Children love to run in the fountain.

Light and music in fountain at night Jerusalem Teddy Park

Lights and music at night,

with the water pressure changing,

what a way to cool off and have fun, and its free.

people in water at Teddy Fountain

With the walls of the Old City in the background,

location is a bonus also.

The Beer and Wine Festivals are still to come.

But meanwhile with Tu B’Av parties and weddings,

it is hard to keep up with all the good things

happening on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Walk Around Jerusalem See the Gates

Have you ever walked around Jerusalem?

That is, have you ever walked

around the Walls of the Old City?

On Tisha B’Av night for the last few years,

I have walked around the walls,

and this time I took photos to share with you.

Security was visible,

Tisha B'Av security Jerusalem

but not more than in previous years.

tisha b av Jerusalem march around wall old city

The route starts on Agron Street and goes past the hotels.

With King David Street in the background,

tisha BAv night in Jerusalem Israel

as we turned the corner headed to the Old City,

there were hundreds of people, young and not so young,

some walking with baby carriers and some with canes.

Distances are not what most expect,

New Gate Old City night time Jerusalem israel

for it take only minutes to

 pass the first gate – the New Gate.

tisha BAv crowd in Jerusalem

Everyone walks together as a group

Jerusalem Israel Tisha BAv

carrying dozens of Israel flags,

Damascus Gate Jerusalem Israel

on to a quiet Damascus Gate

Flowers Gate at night Jerusalem

and a quieter Flower Gate.

Jerudsalem Rockefeller Museum at night

 We walked by the Rockefeller Museum on the left.

Old City walk at night

Before you know it,

Jerusalem signs

it is time to turn the corner.

Jerusalem old city walls at night

The lights on the walls of the Old City

shone brightly against the dark sky.

Lion's Gate Old City Jerusalem

Soon we approached the Lion’s Gate,

Night Old City Walls Jerusalem Israel

on a street closed to traffic and quiet,

in stark contrast to the Kotel,

Kotel at night Tisha BAv

the Western Wall.

Tens of thousands came to mourn,

some sit all night on the stones.

View of Western Wall on Tisha B'av night

Every day thousand of people come to Old City,

but not many have walked around the walls.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief tour,

and perhaps you will come soon to see for yourself.

Jerusalem, Israel, on Tisha B’Av,

 a unique experience.

Additional photos HERE

Special Shabbat Shalom for Tisha B’Av

In the month of Av,

especially on Tisha B’Av,

terrible things have happened.

Jerusalem was destroyed,

but the Jewish people have returned.

Har Herzal sign for military cemetery

The military cemetery on Mt. Herzl,

graves at Har Herzl Cemetery

is filled with graves of fallen IDF soldiers,

fallen IDF soldier from Ethiopia

their birthdays celebrated with photos.

military cemetery graves at Har Herzl

So many rows of young people who will not age.

Michael Levin lone soldier killed in action in second lebanon war

Michael Levin z”l is one lone soldier

from the United States who died ten years ago,

military cemetery grave stone

and there too many more to mention.

Yahrtzeit for Michael Levin at Har Herzl military cemetery

As the memorial service for Michael Levin ended,

memorial service at Har Herzl soldier stands near grave stone

another began nearby.

When a soldier dies in battle,

it is said he has “fallen.”

Falling is the precursor to getting up.

There are too many soldiers who fell too young,

 but have left us with a mission and legacy to fulfill.

We must get up and carry on where they left off.

Michael Levin LSC outside of Har Herzl cemetery

May their memories be for a blessing.

שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom.