Jerusalem Time is Flying

October the holidays are over. It’s time for Jerusalem and the Jerusalem streets to get back to “normal.”

Sure.

Two weeks after the end of the holiday season and we changed the clocks, falling backward into standard corona time.

I hate changing the clocks any time.

It’s been a time when it’s hard to keep up with the news bulletins.

First the normalization agreements between Israel and UAE and Bahrain. The United Arab Emirates diplomats arrived in Israel to sign trade agreements. Israeli travel companies are busy working out how to proceed with daily flights as an option, even with COVID19.

Sudan has joined the Gulf states making positive connections with Israel. Did you know Golda Meir and Israel were the first to acknowledge Sudan’s independence? The opening of air space alone is a big deal. Other financial deals we will wait and see.

The old holiday signs were replaced new ones from Mayor Lion for a successful new academic year. However, Hebrew University was open for less than a week and closed today, due to a computer problem.

The nursery schools were allowed to open under the new COVID19 restrictions. But most students are still at home, zooming and waiting to get back to classrooms and their friends.

One group was meeting in an outdoor open area under today’s cloudy sky.

Dog school, however, seems to be going strong in spite of corona.

During this time many Jerusalem streets have gotten a new look.

Some streets are unrecognizable with constantly changing barriers and infrastructure improvements.

The Great Synagogue is still closed, but a covering provides shade for limited prayer outside in the plaza.

During the lockdown, I was finally able to get a photo of the horse in Gan HaSoos, the Horse Park. Usually there are people around or on it.

In town was a bloodmobile site and new art pieces, but the clothing stores were closed. The supermarket and WeWork were allowed to be open.

Ben Yehuda Street was basically deserted during the lockdown.

Stores shuttered with people allowed only 1 kilometer from home.

The Light Rail was running, but Jaffa Road appeared midday as quiet as early morning, instead of the busy shopping location it had become.

Too many of the Jerusalem streets and alleyways were too quiet.

The First Station area has announced a development plan but needs the tourists to come back for businesses to reopen.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is walk-library-UAE-Bah-017-b.jpg

Construction has been ongoing.

But too often it seems to be workers redoing areas where work was just done?

With all the challenges and noisy protests, closings and corona, suffering, and death, I am happy to share, young couples have found new ways to meet with theaters and museums, hotel lobbies, and cafes closed.

Walking and talking in nature is new norm, with or without a mask.

So the clocks have changed, the days are shorter, but the clouds make for colorful sunsets.

Today is Aliyah Day. In spite of a pandemic people have arrived home to Israel on a regular basis, and the number of applications is causing inpatient waiting times.

The real Jerusalem streets – good, bad and not so ugly.

Stay well and hope to see everyone here soon. At least flight times from most parts of the world should be shorter now with flights to Israel allowed over so many new Gulf countries.

Next year in Jerusalem! (or Dubai?)

Jerusalem: Wet, Windy and Wonderful

In Jerusalem, Israel,

it was a wet and wild week.

On a clear day on a walk into town,

Street scene Jerusalem Israel

I found this interesting door, but did not enter.

Man blowing shofar and son watches and soldier passes by

A man was blowing a large shofar in front of

a gift shop on Ben Yehudah Street.

Nearby,

Israeli security women at lunch on Ben Yehuda

 female border police officers were having a lunch break

Arab girls shopping in Jerusalem Israel

as these two young women were shopping.

But the wet weather this past week

Rainy day in Jerusalem Israel, dark, wet and cold

often made for dark and dreary photos.

Walls of Old City seen through rain covered window at Begin Center Jerusalem Israel

Can you tell those are  the walls of the Old City

through rain drops on the Begin Center’s windows?

After heavy rains

Water after heavy rain in Jerusalem Israel

 this unsightly puddle remained.

Broken IKEA umbrella in street garbage bin after heavy rain.

This IKEA umbrella could not withstand the Jerusalem weather.

IKEA is to open another Israeli store in Beer Sheva.

When it rains and the wind blows,

it’s best to forget using any umbrella.

Besides the weather,

Rubbish bin overflowing with trash during Jerusalem strike

trash piled up in bins during a brief strike.

which closed Agrippas Street with mountains of mess.

The only good part of it was that it was short and soon cleaned up.

However,

while the weather and strikes made news,

there were good things happening too.

International visitors gathered to celebrate weddings,

bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, and more.

Off the Jerusalem streets,

in Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence,

another 929 Bible Study group was held.

Beit Hanasi for 929 study group

The chapter of the day was

 from Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs,

read by actor and radio announcer Dan Caner.

He read beautifully.

Rabbi Benny Lau speaking at Bible Study lesson at Beit Hanasi

Rabbi Benny Lau and President of the Israeli Supreme Court Esther Hayut

were at the head of table with President and Mrs. Rivlin.

929 Shir Hashirim study at Beit Hanasi

This is the 16th time the Rivlins have hosted

the daily Bible study initiative.

The main hall was filled with guests as speakers

elaborated and studied the text.

Another closed event was held at the King David Hotel.

King David Hotel lunch for NATO Ambassador countries in Jerusalem Israel

Ambassadors to Israel from the NATO countries.

had lunch with the Israeli Prime Minister.

Wet and wild weather

left the skies clear and clean and blue,

and it was hard to figure out what to wear.

Will it be hot or cold?

No one knows what will happen next .

But of one thing you can be sure,

Flowers on display in King David Hotel lobby

the flowers in the King David Hotel lobby,

rain or shine, hot or cold outside,

 will be impressive.

Under-21 Championship Final and Tomorrow

The marathon of big events over the past two weeks,

Jerusalem Lights, Formula 1 Road Show,

and Hebrew Book Week, have ended.

Though it also began the beginning of June,

the UEFA Under-21 Championship Finals are still going.

The Israel-England game that was played at Teddy Stadium

attracted over 22,000 soccer (football) fans.

Many former Brits living in Israel were conflicted,

so they cheered for both sides.

Though Israel won, they still did not go on to the next round.

photo playing soocer

In the middle of Ben Yehuda Square,

usually the scene of street musicians, 

 this Under-21 Championship set-up appeared instead.

image kids playing soccer game

Playing this soccer game did not seem like the best exercise,

photo playing sports on wii

and gotta love these active sportsmen.

But I was glad I came back later

soccer ball practice image

to see that some young people were actually kicking  soccer balls

image boy with soccer ball

and some were using their heads.

UEFA under 21 Championship

Look out world,

here comes another generation of Israeli soccer players.

The European soccer championship game,

Italy vs. Spain, is being played tonight at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem,

 Spain could win back to back victories.

Update final score: Italy 2- Spain 4.

At the same time, at the Jerusalem International Convention Center

Israeli Presidential Conference

is the opening of  #Tomorrow13, the Israeli Presidential Conference.

 5000 delegates have come from around the world to attend.

 Tonight is a huge 90th birthday celebration

for Israeli President Shimon Peres, with Dr. Barbara Streisand,

(she got an honorary doctorate from Hebrew University yesterday),

former President Bill Clinton, Prince Albert of Monaco

and other celebrities, like Robert Di Nero.

It is harder to get a ticket than to the Barak Obama’s speech in Jerusalem!

But I wonder which event will have more home viewers?

So much happening on the streets of Jerusalem,

you do not have to be here to see the diversity!