As the summer ends in Jerusalem, the school year is set to begin.
I want to share with you these last days of August, two special private events, along with a few of the many public ones.
There were nightly concerts from the Jerusalem Sultan’s Pool with the Old City walls illuminated in the background, but much more was happening on the Jerusalem streets as the summer was ending.
At the Beit Mezia Theater near the Machane Yehudah Market,
The Israel Comedy Festival opened in Jerusalem on August 21, 2022. Inside, lining the walls of the theater lobby were displays in honor of Efraim Kishon.
The first Israel Comedy Festival opening event was held in the theater courtyard with various performances and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.
Nearby at the Beit HaAm Theater, there was an end-of-summer event for yeshiva students who were near the end of their month-long summer holiday.
The annual end-of-summer musical celebrations outside the Jerusalem Theater were open to everyone. The loud music could be heard on many of the neighboring Jerusalem streets.
Inside, First Station was one of the locations for less physical activities. New Virtual Reality shows were advertised for families.
There was a Cocktail Festival at First Station along with the popular musical events at night. And the Wine Festival is back at the Israel Museum.
There were events for almost everyone at multiple locations, such as the Tayelet, with a view worthy of sharing, not so much the “festival” there.
However, this week I want to highlight two special events.
A private VIP screening was held at the Cinematheque.
The Yugo BAFTA Student Awards is an annual award, “the British Oscars,” celebrating the works of the next generation of talented and innovative storytellers from around the globe.
For the first time, an Israeli film entered – and won!
Before the screening, Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan spoke, as did Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and British Ambassador Neil Wigan.
Girl No. 60427 is a powerful film base on a true Holocaust story.
Director Shulamit Lifshitz and Animation Director Oriel Berkovits answered questions about their impressive work after the showing.
They were then joined on stage by the actors in the winning student film. Girl No. 60427 brings the story of the Holocaust to the “third generation.” Tehilla Lifshitz, plays the young girl finding her grandmother’s hidden diary, giving an impressive performance.
I highly recommend the Maaleh Film School student film to all when it has public showings after running the film festival circuit. There is no doubt why this film won first prize.
Each year fewer Holocaust survivors are able to share their stories. The flow in the film was so powerful the translator for the Hebrew film with English subtitles said she had to stop and take breaks. She worked thru Intifada as a translator, but this work connected deeper.
Then the next morning was a Hachnasat Sefer Torah, a dedication of a new Sefer Torah scroll filling the Jerusalem streets with music and meaning.
For those not familiar, first, the new Torah scroll’s last letters are filled in.
Then the Torah is escorted in a joyful procession, with music and song, to the ark where it will be kept.
The Jerusalem streets were closed to traffic along the route.
Cars were stopped, but there was no honking as people had to wait.
As the van blasts the lively music and proceeds slowly, cars wait while
people from the neighborhood join the procession to honor the new Torah.
People are honored to take turns carrying the Torah scroll and holding the poles of the canopy, similar to a Jewish wedding.
Dancing in the Jerusalem streets along with the Torah and music.
In this case, the children dedicated a Torah after their father returned to health from a severe case of Covid.
Inside the synagogue where the Torah was placed to be used, I saw the words “Remember for Good” and thought how good it was for knowledge and traditions to pass and continue to the next generations.
Now to leave you with a short video of one of the light and sound projections on the walls of the real Jerusalem streets this summer week for all to enjoy.
When are you coming to see for yourself on a Jerusalem Photo Walk?