Jerusalem: Diversity, Disability, Culture and Coexistence

What’s new and happening now that Hanukkah is over?

Some chanukkiot are still around on Jerusalem streets, but for many it feels like the holiday was long ago.

Hanukkah on walls in Old City Jerusalem Israel

Projections for Hanukkah like this one over the moat wall of the Tower of David,

Hanukkah show on walls of Tower of David Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah

and this one inside of Jaffa Gate are no longer.

Hanukkah greetings projected on Jerusalem Old City Walls for Hanukkah

But these on the walls of the Old City were still up last night.

Reindeer lights in Old City Jerusalem Israel

The reindeer which were up since Hanukkah also burn brightly.

Jerusalem Israel Christmas decorations

The Christian Quarter of the Old City is only one location with holiday lights.

The Jerusalem Municipality continues its annual tradition of distributing complimentary Christmas trees to Jerusalem’s residents in celebration of the holiday. Two hundred and fifty trees will be distributed to residents on December 20, outside of Jaffa Gate.

A special festive market near the New Gate began with loud and brightly colored fireworks exploding after Shabbat in the sky over Jerusalem.

Israel not isolate Netanyahu to foreign press

PM  Netanyahu repeated one of his favorite themes, “Israel is not isolated and improving relations with Arab neighbors” at the annual Government Press Office New Year toast for foreign journalists.

The event was held at the Shalva National Center to mark the International Day for Persons with Disabilities.

As usual there was entertainment. The Shalva Band was very warmly received after a wonderful performance.

However, everyone including the Prime Minister and his security had a surprise.

As the band received a standing ovation and took their final bow, the drummer went over to the end of the stage, bent down, and gave the Prime Minister a hug.

Shalva Center is an impressive complex providing multiple services and therapies to individuals with a wide range of disabilities.

Jerusalem Israel Art and Jazz Festival at Israel Museum

While the GPO event at Shalva was by invitation only, involving many levels of security, the Art of Jazz event at the Israel Museum was open to the public.

Selfie of starting line for Crossroads Janglo night run

After a delay because of rain during Hanukkah, Crossroads and Janglo held their 5th annual night run.

In this photo taken just before race began at the starting and finish line, you can see the winner wearing blue shorts. For the group selfie, he looks like he has already run, won and is celebrating.

Jerusalem Israel sign for ArtBnB festival

AirBnB has been discussed and covered endlessly this week.

But did you hear about ArtBnB music in Jerusalem at the Maffil?

Jerusalem Israel Hullegeb Festival Israeli Ethiopian Arts

The 9th Jerusalem Hullegub Festival featuring Israeli-Ethiopian Arts is December 20 – 26.

Beit Hanasi reception for new mayors and heads of Israel council Moshe Lion speaking

President Reuven Rivlin hosted new mayors and heads of councils at Beit Hanasi, the President’s Residence. Of 100 newly elected community leaders, 60 attended. New Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion got in the last word, but it was noteworthy that many Arab, Muslim, and Christian mayors came to Jerusalem to attend and were asked to speak.

Jerusalem, Israel, Hansen House at night lit up Ester wooden structure

As I walked home one night in the Hansen House garden,  Ester was lit, resembling a spaceship. 

Hansen House at night venue for events

I heard music coming from the direction of Hansen House, so went to see what was happening. Not only is it a new center for arts and technology, but it has also become a popular and colorful gathering places for food, drink and events.

Jerusalem graffiti on Judah Mamacabi Street waiting for Messiah

One Only in  Jerusalem, Israel photo – taken at #7 Judah Maccabee Street  ” WANTED ALIVE  MASHIACH BEN DAVID Reward redeemed world. “

There you have it.

Only a bit of what was happening in Jerusalem.

Diversity, disability, culture, coexistence, up and down, always something new happening.

Miri Mesika’s song from performance at Shalva seemed like a beautiful way to conclude.

For those interested, more GPO at Shalva photos HERE

Singer sewing machine for sale on Jerusalem street

You never know what will appear next on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade

Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade

I love this time of year in Jerusalem, Israel.

The Hanukkah season.

When the ground turns green with new growth, though the days are noticeably shorter and nights so much longer and colder.

Jerusalem street signs for Hanukkah city of light

New signs pop up and line Jerusalem streets, as these for events in the Old City, City of Lights.

Jerusalem street signs for Hanukkah

For eight days, from December 2-10, Jerusalem is the place to be to celebrate Hanukkah.

Jerusalem street lights with hanukiot lit up for chanuka

This year joining those those familiar street decorations, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs sponsored something new.

Originally they said it was going to be “like a Macy’s parade.”

Big balloons, big bands, thousands of people marching through the Jerusalem streets, just like down 5th Avenue every Thanksgiving in NYC?

I went early to check out the first ever Jerusalem Hanukkah ‘Together Parade with the Jewish Diaspora’  in the Liberty Bell Park where the parade was to start.

Parade in Jerusalem on Hanukkah preparation

So happy I came in through the parking lot side, as there the balloons were getting pumped up and ready to fly through the sky.

Liberty Bell parking lot before Hanukkah parade

The parking lot was not accessible for vehicles, but perfect for sitting in the pleasant sunshine to enjoy the pre-show prep.

Dave was person who brought balloons to Israel

Dave came from the US, to oversee the technical aspects of his big balloons.

Small world.

Dave and Matt had arrived from their last parade held on Broad Street, in Richmond, VA.

Balloon at start of parade on Hanukkah

These were not the balloons from the Macy’s Parade, but the big ones were indeed big.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade marchers before walking near First Station

Thousands of students came from around Israel to march in the parade, and were waiting at the start line near First Station.

The problem was that the other people at First Station who were not marching could not get close enough to be spectators.

Ulpan group marching in Jerusalem Hanukkah parade

This parade was for togetherness, Israel and Diaspora, so what better than to have new immigrants who were learning Hebrew in Ulpan participate.

Teveria Ulpan was ready to go and honored to be the first group.

Liberty Bell park scene of Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade

Major roads were closed off to vehicles and pedestrians.

Not a good way to make Jerusalem residents feel love for anyone or anything.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons

Lined up and ready to roll along the Liberty Bell Park, at the 2:00 pm announced starting time.

Grandmaster of Jerusalem Israel first ever Hanukkah parade

US Ambassador David Friedman and Naftali Bennett spoke briefly.

I think Naftali Bennett had the best time, except maybe this young man in the video from Chile and his friends.

A loud popping noise, and blue and white streamers filled the sky.

Bennett and the Friedmans led the way along King David Street as Grand Marshalls.

A video is needed here to share the scene, not exactly 5th Avenue precision.

This together parade was more Israeli style than Macy’s.

Jerusalem basketball players on first float in jerusalem Hanukkah parade

But there was music and a float with Jerusalem basketball stars, including Amar’e Carsares Stoudemire.

Balloon smurf in Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade

I kept saying Snoopy by mistake, but I did like this giant smiling smurf.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade Golden Dragon

The Golden Dragon was  protected and held down by dozens of IDF soldiers.

Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade with Muppet Animal

The Muppets Animal was another big balloon held by uniformed soldiers.

No Sesame Street characters did I see in this parade.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade float

Near the end of the parade was a train engine pulled by a truck with musical performers on top.

Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade marchers dressed as clowns giving out candy

My parade favorites were these young people in colorful dress handing out candy,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons with Israel theme

this tattooed guy, though I have no idea what to call him,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons

these cute little balloons,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloon of IDF soldier in paratrooper boot making a peace sign

and an IDF soldier in a paratrooper boot making a peace sign.

For a first ever attempt, it was fun bit of time spent on Hanukkah.

The weather in Jerusalem, Israel, was way better for a parade than New York City!

However, the parade was held when most children were in school and couldn’t come to watch.

Here is a short piece near the end of the marchers, oops, the music stopped.

Rather than being for the spectators, this event was more for those participating.

After walking the route to the Sultan’s Pool,

participants were treated to a free performance by Matisyahu.

At least I was able to hand over some candy I received from those clowns to a family arriving after it was all over to sweeten their visit to Jerusalem.

We will have to wait and see if this is to become an annual event.

Happy Hanukkah from Real Jerusalem Streets

There are so very many things happening on the Jerusalem streets on Hanukkah, will share favorites next time.

תנוכה שמח

Happy Hanukkah!

 

Jerusalem: Blue, White and Pink

Jerusalem: Blue, White and Pink

After heavy rains, blue skies were seen again over Jerusalem, Israel, by the end of the week.

View of Montefiore Windmill and King David Hotel Jerusalem Israel

Friday morning, in spite of rain in the forecast, the Montefiore Windmill, with King David Hotel in the distance, stood against the blue sky over Mishkanot Sha’ananim.

Blue and white flags over Jerusalem Israel streets

After Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day 70 years, flags did not come down. Even more blue and white flags have been hung in anticipation of Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day.

Israel, Jerusalem and Beit Hanasi flags

The new flags that were hung near Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, withstood the heavy rains.

Flag and flowers in Yemin Moshe Jerusalem Israel

This blue and white Israeli flag was hung on a gate in Yemin Moshe neighborhood.

After heavy rain water collected in site near Begin Center

But also on Friday morning there was evidence of the rain storms. You may have seen a video of water rushing through Yoel Salomon Street, carrying tables and shopping carts in the flooded road.

Stone fence down in Valley of Cross In Jerusalem Israel

Here in the Valley of the Cross, part of a stone fence fell down. I could not believe it the first time I saw the damage. It looks like heavy trucks hit it.

Stone fence down after days of heavy rain in Jerusalem

However, it appears two days of water flooding down the hill from the Rechavia neighborhood pushed over the old stones, and flattened the tall grass.

Memorial candles for 10 drowned students in flash flood in Negev

A flash flood in the south took the lives of 10 young Israelis. Memorial candles remain this week in Zion Square after a late night memorial gathering.

Two men washing traffic lights in Jerusalem

So after so much water, crews were out power washing traffic lights?

Flowers at Jerusalem intersection in butterfly frame

These flowers seemed to appreciate the soaking. Nearby in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, a large tree that fell was removed quickly.

NFNY cyclists on road in Jerusalem

In spite of the weather, professional cyclists were out on Friday morning for the Grand Fondo, GFNY.  Streets were closed for the cycling event.

But, their colors were green.

Pink?

Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria lobby flowers are pink orchids

Pink orchids in the lobby of the Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria are not unusual.

Waldorf Astoria entrance with Israel Cycling Academy bus outside

But the Giro d’Italia is based at the hotel, and the bus of the Israel Cycling Academy was waiting outside.

Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria pink for Giro d'Italia

Not only has the hotel gone pink for the Giro d’Italia, check out those shoe laces – pink.

The Giro d’Itaia is the 3rd largest sporting event in world, after the World Cup and Tour de France.

The first start ever outside of Europe is taking place in — Jerusalem, Israel!

Kikar Safra for Giro d'Italia and Yom Yerushahaliym

Kikar Safra has large blue and white flags on display, plus pink signs near the giant stage set for Thursday evening’s preview opening.

Press conference for Israel Cycling Academy at Waldorf Astoria for Giro d'Iatalia

The Israel Cycling Academy includes professional cyclists from 16 locations around the world. Eight professional riders met with the media.

Their success in a only a few years is impressive. More here and next week on Giro d’Italia.

Jerusalem Education Week

Also in Jerusalem, new signs are up for education week.

lag B'Omer bonfire in Jerusalem, Israel

Finally, one of my favorite scenes from this week. A group of parents were out in the evening supervising an early Lag B’Omer medurah in an area set aside for large bonfires.

Lag B’Omer with its huge fires should fill the air with smoke starting Wednesday night at sunset.

However, this year, though there was so much rain last week, it is hot and dry today. A ban on bonfires has been declared.

Rain is again in the forecast. The only thing for sure here, is that there is no sure thing.

Projects for sustainability for Jerusalem

New signs announcing events for “Creating Sustainability in Jerusalem” were posted.  Cycling and fewer bonfires are a start.

Jerusalem street signs for cycling events

Many residents are not happy with street closings for the cycling events. But I hope people will get out and appreciate the positive world attention focused on Israel as billions watch the Giro d’Italia Start in Jerusalem, going north and then down to Eilat.

There was so much more happening this week in Jerusalem, but enough for now.

Hard to believe that next week will there will be much more happening.