Jerusalem as August Ends and September Begins

Jerusalem as August Ends and September Begins

What a week!

That’s it for the summer.

Most visitors to Jerusalem, Israel have gone home.

At the end of August, a 9% increase in tourism was announced.

In the US and Israel, everyone was on holiday, at the beach one last time, or at a big-time BBQ.

Meanwhile, here in Jerusalem, two first-time events were held.

Jerusalem’s Kraft Family Sports Complex hosted the ninth European Flag Football Championship.

Israel finished in fourth place, but was full of pride, for Israeli Dani Eastman was named men’s tournament MVP. The tournament was to be held in Israel previously but was canceled in 2014 due to the security threats of the July-August Operation Protective Edge.

Also, there was JeruStock at First Station, a mud-free, drug and alcohol-free, family-friendly, musical, tie-dyed celebration of 50 years since Woodstock.

Har Herzl Museum with actor dressed as Herzl

At the end of August in 1897, 208 delegates and 26 press correspondents attended the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland.

Theodor Herzl is not only remembered on the anniversary of the movement he started or on the day when he was re-interred in Israel in 1949. He is remembered on Har Herzl which was named for him, the man who died so young and before his vision became a reality.

This year special ceremonies were held near his tomb on Har Herzl.

Beit Hanasi garden Herzl with Sara Zoabi

A sculpture of Theodor Herzl stands in the front garden of Beit Hanasi.  Here Sara Zoabi posed next to the statue in the presidential garden after a recent event held in the main hall.

Sign on ground for summer camp at Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem Israel

Memories and this sign were all that remained of the big summer vacation and water activities in Jerusalem’s Liberty Bell Park.

It was time this week to go back to school.

Sign on Jerusalem Israel bus for good school year.

Signs lined some Jerusalem streets, similar to this one on a bus, wishing all a successful school year תש”פ 5780.

Time to get ready for school, but also to get ready for changes in the streets of Jerusalem, Israel.

Sderot Shazar Jerusalem Israel closed until 2022 for new road

The new traffic pattern at the entrance to Jerusalem was well advertised. Until now no fines have been imposed on cars going in the public transit-only lanes, but that is to change now. Police will be watching and will issue tickets and fines to those drivers of private vehicles who are not following instructions.

Azza Street to be upgraded with new sidewalks and more

But there is more–multiple signs are up for other road works to begin soon.

Jerusalem Israel park with horse stature and Windows

Remember the Gan HaSoos, Horse Park and ‘Windows’?

Windows as seen from behind Gan Hasoos Jerusalem Horse Park

‘Windows’ was constructed for the Mekudeshet Festival which is to run September 4- 21.

Repairing Windows in Gan HaSoos in Jerusalem Israel

This week ‘Windows’ was being repaired and readied for the musical opening of the creative festival, whose music will be filling Jerusalem streets and parks.

First plan for Knesset expansion

The design for new construction for the Knesset expansion was published.

First plan for Israeli Knesset expansion

After the municipality sent out these images of the accepted plans, objections arose that the “iconic” building is not prominent enough.

However, what the sketches do not show is all the construction surrounding the Knesset which obscures many views.

Construction and moving are two themes found throughout Jerusalem streets this week.

I especially love to see the piles of books left out for passersby to take and give a new home.

Paper from boxes lining elevator in Jerusalem Israel building

Long gone are the days when Jerusalem had few elevators and only low buildings.

This is one of the new elevators that have a number pad ONLY on the outside wall.   You must push the number of the floor you want before entering the elevator.  Then you have to check and see which elevator to use and then enter.

I had to take a photo of this “C” elevator. I entered after pressing the button for the 16th floor.  While still in the lobby, one man came in, looked around, and exited quickly.  This was a sure sign he was not a regular visitor to the building as he panicked on encountering the new technology.

FoZ sign to welcome Honduran President Hernández to Jerusalem Israel

A very special visitor, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, and his wife arrived in Jerusalem for a ceremony inaugurating a Honduran “trade office” in Jerusalem. Their first public appearance was at the Kotel, Western Wall. This visit was to be the first step to moving the Honduran Embassy to Jerusalem.

Music in Jerusalem Israel end of September 2019

With the new month of Elul, the countdown to Rosh Hashana, the New Year, has begun. Signs are up for pre-holiday evenings of song and prayer.

Fall events include the ‘Jaffa to Agrippas Festival’ in the Machane Yehuda Market.

I am looking forward to The Jerusalem Biennale 2019 – For Heaven’s Sake! in October.

Pomegranate tree in Jerusalem Israel

The pomegranates are ripe as they hang on trees along Jerusalem streets.

Limes of tree in Jerusalem ready to pick in fall

Another sure sign the summer has passed – limes on the tree.

Finally, it is cooling off enough to be comfortable walking outside again.

View of Old City walls in Jerusalem Israel at sunset

One sees the reflection of the sun as it sets against the walls of the Old City.

I love this time of year, and the time of day when Jerusalem turns to Jerusalem of Gold.

The Minimalist Guide to Jerusalem Between Passover and Lag B’Omer

The Minimalist Guide to Jerusalem Between Passover and Lag B’Omer

Oh, Jerusalem!

Does anyone else remember the good old days back in America?

The quiet time between Passover and Lag B’Omer. There were no weddings. Live musical performances were taboo. Parties were rare. Then starting on Lag B’Omer celebrations would begin again.

Not so in here in Jerusalem. There is no down time!

Jerusalem synagogue with Israeli flags in front

Flags, flags, more flags. In Jerusalem it is a season of flags and flowers and celebrations.

Eurovision was held in Tel Aviv, getting much media attention.

Stand with Us banner on tower on Ayalon Highway for Eurovivion visitors.

Driving through Tel Aviv on the Ayalon Highway, the only sign of Eurovision I saw was this huge banner from StandWithUs offering tourists a trip to see to see coexistence.

Head riders in GFNY

On the Jerusalem streets, GFNY, the cycling race where amateurs can ride with the pros, streets were closed on the first Friday morning in May.

GFNY riders cycling past the Knesset

Going past the Knesset the lead cyclists were going too fast to get a clear image.

Close to 900 riders took part in the race, which included three routes of various lengths.

Sign on Gaza Street for riders in GFNY

One warning sign was still left on Azza Street this week. I often say Jerusalem streets all go up!

At least on a bike, one has to slow down.

Happenings on Jerusalem streets seem to never slow down.

Sport Week in Israel is from May 17 – 24. On May 17th, there was another Jerusalem cycling event. But for that amateur race fewer streets were closed.

Also, there was the International Writers Festival and Jerusalem Book Forum, from May 12-16, for the less athletic types.  Authors and publishers came to Jerusalem from thirty countries, and the program included live music, panels discussions, and lectures in varied venues.

Jerusalem Prize winner Joyce Carol Oates

At the opening at the YMCA, Joyce Carol Oates received the Jerusalem Prize from Mayor Moshe Lion. In her acceptance remarks, Oates spoke about her grandmother who gave her an early love of books and writing.

one day conference held at Hanson house

The Hansen House hosted a Conference on Design.

It’s hard to keep track. So many different events and signs are posted.

US Embassy in Jerusalem one year sign by FoZ

The Prime Minister’s office announced that the PM was to mark one-year of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel.

I was on my way to the David Citadel Hotel for the event, when I noticed this sign.

Bus praising Trump by Friends of Zion Museum

In front to the hotel was a bus with “Thank you, President Trump, Thank You, America” boldly posted on the side.

David Friedman US Ambassador to Israel

It turned out to be an event with US Ambassador David Friedman.

Rabbi David Lau speaking about his family in Poland

On the stage Chief Rabbi David Lau spoke about mezuzahs.

A mezuzah was completed on stage with the Prime Minister and the US Ambassador.

Jerusalem US Embassy celebrated

A special silver case for the mezuzah was presented by the Friends of Zion to the US Ambassador for use on the new official US Residence in Jerusalem.

Sign on US Embassy in Jerusalem Israel

At the end of the program, a copy of the new Embassy sign was displayed on stage.

MK Tzipi Hotovely and Tammy Friedman were kind enough to pose with it for a photo.

That night included impassioned speeches, dignitaries, good food, and wine.

Night in front of US Embassy on May 14

But I think my favorite scene was on the way home. This pile of empty boxes was left on the street. Outside the former US Consulate, now the US Embassy Building, it looked like moving day.

Across Agron Street in Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park, was a large sign saying, “Happy Independence Day.”

Israeli flags were on light poles, decorated this month with Ramadan holiday lights.

In this time from Passover to Lag B’Omer, we have had no shortage of celebrations.

The Jerusalem Bird Observatory celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Roof of Jerusalem Bird Sanctuary in spring

On the day of the Jerusalem Marathon, its green roof was really green.

The rain was a blessing. There was more than usual this year.

Jerusalem Park dry grass

But now open areas are dry. A severe heat wave is on the way.

While the main Lag B’Omer celebration is in Meron,  young people in Jerusalem have been saving and storing wood for large holiday bonfires.

Chabad sign for Lag B'Omer march and celebration in Jerusalem

Signs are up. Parades. Parties. Carnivals. Music. Lag B’Omer ready.

The usual large bonfires are banned and fires must be more controlled this year.

Museums are free on May 23, Lag B’Omer.

US Embassy sign on Agron Street building on May 14, 2019

Welcome to Jerusalem Friedman family.

Hope you enjoy your new residence.

But be advised to keep your windows closed on  Lag B’Omer.

Always so much happening on the Jerusalem streets.

There was more, but as this is getting way too long, saving some special happenings for next time.

Here we go again, Happy Lag B’Omer!

Jerusalem: Aventures to the Moon and Back to Earth

Jerusalem: Aventures to the Moon and Back to Earth

The Israeli Prime Minister is on his way to Moscow.

The Israeli President hosts visitors from Greece and Cyprus.

The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet is on its seven-week journey to the moon.

Beresheet capsule ready for launch to moon
SpaceIL

The privately-funded Israeli space capsule was launched from Florida.

If successful, Israel will be the fourth country to land on moon.

Mamilla mall art blue man on ball

Back here on earth, in Jerusalem, in Israel, life is a balancing act.

Highway in Israel

On the one hand, new modern roads stretch for miles over former donkey paths and barren sand.

Jerusalem Israel new hostel

New lodgings in Jerusalem are too many to list now.

Near Jerusalem main bus station man sleeping in tunnel pass under street

But on the first really cold night in awhile, this homeless man was sleeping in the underground passageway to the new Navon fast train station and Jerusalem Central Bus Station.

Opening event at Jerusalem Urban Place cowork space

At the same time, on the fourth floor of the bus station, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion was speaking at the launch of Urban Place, a new co-sharing work space for nearly 100 businesses.

Jerusalem Council Hall at Kikar Safra

Also this week, Lion hosted mayors from around the world at a conference which opened in Kikar Safra, Jerusalem’s City Council Chambers.

Jerusalem Israel construction fence with graffiti

Around Jerusalem, construction fences surround building projects, which descend many stories down into the ground, and are covered with graffiti.

Construction site in Jerusalem Israel

It is always exciting to see when these projects finally reach street level.

Jerusalem street market

Nearby a market on Agrippas Street is busy when weather permits.

Muslim women walking in downtown Jerusalem

But rain or shine people come to the city center to shop.

I was on my way to hear about Arab voting patterns in the upcoming elections.

Israeli elections Arab vote

My only comment on elections, these two men from Abraham Initiatives were well prepared and extremely impressive in their presentation in English.

Elan Carr in Jerusalem Israel speaking at confernce

Also that afternoon, Elan Carr, gave his first major address after being appointed the US Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem.

Jewish Agency in Jerusalem

The Jewish Agency Board of Directors also met in Jerusalem this week.

Isaac Herzog speaking about anitsemitism

New head Isaac Herzog also spoke on countering antisemitism.

View near Hansen House in Jerusalem Israel

Meanwhile, a new synagogue building nearby is approaching completion.

When the sun came out after rain, so did the wild flowers in fields of green.

Rechavia view of green and trees Jerusalem Israel

Around Jerusalem, the nature areas are lovely.

Shabbat shalom poster with flowers

But I am not sure these petals will outlast the hard winds blowing up now.

Night view of art work in plaza in Jerusalem Israel across from Mamilla Hotel

At night for the Shaon Horef  I was not sure what this was.

Jerusalem Israel street art piece

The many new street art installations are better appreciated by day.

Art work in Mamilla Mall

Mamilla Mall has some new out-of-the-box, out of this world, art on display.

Mamilla Mall art work with figure reading

At least the sculpture figures are still reading books.

Jerusalem art work on Mamilla Mall at night young woman sitting on art piece

Real people seem to interact more with their phones these days.

The world, politics, and weather seem so uncertain one minute to next.

Jerusalem Israel view toward Jordan from a city office building

But, on a clear day from Jerusalem, you can see still Jordan not so far away.

Urban Place in Jerusalem where adventure begins..

I liked this poster at the end of hall of offices at Urban Place.

“Adventure begins at the end of the road you know.”

Beresheet may or not get to the moon.

But it is still a wonder.

With all the problems, from near and far, amazing what tiny Israel has been able accomplish.

Elan Carr gave such a powerful speech, I thought I would share a few minutes of it.

And to end on a high note, these young Israeli dancers with so much energy are hope for good things in the adventures ahead.

Hard to believe, but much more was happening on the Jerusalem streets this week.