12 Signs this Week in Jerusalem

This was another autumn week

filled with Jerusalem festivals and events.

Mekudeshet and Manofim,

try and keep all those arts and music programs straight.

At night the temperatures go down

and the people come out from hiding – after the hot sunny days.

Trees in Zion Square

Near the light rail tracks and Zion Square,

and not in New York City,

Arab girls shopping on Jaffa Road

 signs beckons for end-of-season sales.

As part of a cultural festival

Trees in Kikar Tzion for festival

 trees were brought in and placed around Zion Square.

I am not sure I like the new look,

Muslim girls on Jerusalem Israel streets Ben Yehuda

but loved seeing so many people out on the streets.

 I was on my way to the Italian Festival.

The beautiful sanctuary of the Italian Synagogue,

off Ben Yehuda Street,

Italian synagogue Jerusalem Israel

was open to the public.

The wooden benches may be authentic,

but they are not the most comfortable for long prayer services.

This was the annual festival

Pizza, Pear and Apple restaurant owner at Italian festival

 where pizza was available in the plaza

Vespa in Italian shul for festival

and old Vespas were on exhibit inside.

Italians were not the only ones featured this week.

Chinese flag at Knesset

 Chinese flags were flying over the Knesset

as government officials were in Jerusalem,

joining hundreds of Chinese tourists. 

When it comes to tourists,

Hagee Mission to Israel again

John Hagee is back, leading over 300 people,

his banner sat in the quiet lobby as they toured the Old City.

The celebration of 50th year of Jerusalem’s reunification

brought together the builders and funders of Jerusalem,

the families who support the Jerusalem Foundation,

Their major projects are too many too mention now.

sign for Jerusalem Foundation at BEit Hanasi 5oth

This large sign and Israeli flags greeted them at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s official residence.

Celebrations will happen throughout the year,

as Hebrew year 5777 begins next week.

Also at Beit Hanasi this week.

an emotional event was held honoring IDF soldiers

Ezer Mizon sign Beit Hanasi

who were bone marrow donors

by grateful recipients and their families.

For the past 10 years,

IDF soldiers have undergone voluntary screening,

and their bone marrow donations have saved 1,100 lives.

craft fair sign Hebrew

From this small sign about a craft festival

on Derech Bet Lechem,

Matisyahu in Jerusalem large sign Hebrew

to this over-sized sign announcing that Matisyahu

is coming back for a Sultan Pool concert in October,

new signs have been posted all around Jerusalem.

Not all are in Hebrew-

Destroyed Jeans sign in Jerusalem Israel

sometimes the ones in English get the most attention.

Would you pay 200 shekels for destroyed jeans?

Hundreds of signs were posted for the

Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run

5000 runners who filled the Jerusalem streets

on Monday night for Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run.

Another on sports,

signs are posted for the annual basketball shooting derby

basketball at Kikar Safra

event at Kikar Safra, Government Square.

But until the balls start flying through the air,

street crossing signs hebrew

these safety signs were getting more attention.

Not into sport?

A Picasso exhibit is on at the Israel Museum,

Picasso at Israel Museum

and the rooms filled with hundreds of the artist’s works.

Outside. Inside. Large. Small.

Still not enough?

Our local Pillbox is to be a star

at the Houses Within annual event.

Pillbox Hebrew sign for Houses Within

This modest sign posted on nearby trees

offers just one of dozens of options over 3 days.

It’s a great opportunity to see private homes and other buildings,

otherwise closed to the public.

Whew,

just a few signs of what is happening

in Jerusalem this week.

Now you have seen these signs,

please let me know what you would like

to see more of next time and in future.

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

Rio 2016 Israeli Olympic Champions

This summer

Jerusalem streets in the city center are covered

with displays from various countries,

Street decorated with flag of Brazil colors in Jerusalem Israel

with this Brazilian flag being one of the most popular.

 Prince of de Ligne of  Belgium,

Tourist of the Week,

told RJS that his wife is from Brazil.

Brazil seemed to be everywhere last week.

The 2016 Olympics are to be held in Rio, Brazil,

from August 5-21.

Reuven Rivlin hosted a Presidential send off

at Beit Hanasi, the official residence.

The Ambassador from Brazil attended along with

Beit Hanasi sendoff for Israeli Olympic participants

members of the Israeli Olympic Teams.

Israel Olympic team at Beit Hanasi

The participants in the 2016 Paralympic Games

to be held in Rio from September 7-18

were also honored at the event.

Miri Regev at Bet Hanasi for sendoff of Israel Olympic teams to Rio

Dignitaries posed and smiled around

Sports Minister Miri Regev.

The largest teams in Israel’s history are heading to Rio.

Each athlete has an impressive story to tell

of dedication and training to reach their goal.

Audience members rise when the President enters,

but not the Paralympic athletes confined to wheelchairs.

Pascale Bercovitch at Beit Hanasi for official Olympic send off with President Reuven Rivlin

One woman had a special smile,

Athletes for Rio Olympics at official sendoff by President

her look was beautiful, thoughtful, determined.

I wondered what her story was.

After the event I found out.

Pascale Bercovitch, at age 17, was living in France.

She slipped on ice rushing to school to take an exam

and a train ran over her, severing both her legs.

However, she made aliyah,

volunteered in the army,

married and started a family.

Israeli athletes pose for group photo in garden of Beit Hanasi

48 Israeli Olympic athletes are competing

in various sports in Rio 2016.

Pascale Bercovitch,

is competing in her third Paralympic games,

in her third sport, kayaking.

If that is not enough for a double amputee,

she was 40 years old at her first Paralympics Games.

Official sendoff photo Paralympic team from Israel

Each athlete has an impressive story.

Each Para-athlete has a story.

I had wondered about the woman,

with a radiant face and huge smile,

but never could I have imagined such a story.

Her positive attitude shows us how one

can succeed in Olympic proportions.

All the best to to Pascale,

and all the other athletes off to Brazil.

Follow Team Israel 

Shabbat Shalom

  As the sun sets, in Jerusalem, Israel,

the rays hit the walls of the Old City.

Yesterday the sky was clear and blue,

while the stones below looked like bricks of gold.

Shsbbat shalom as sun sets against walls of Old City

שבת שלום

Shabbat Shalom Klezmer Style

Last night was the Genesis Prize Award Ceremony

at the Jerusalem Theater.

Great show and good food,

and plenty of music.

Shabbat Shalom Klezmer

To go into Shabbat this week Klezmer style.

שבת שלום

June in Jerusalem

Fires are raging.

The sky is hazy.

Israeli flags at Flag Dance for Yom Yerushalyim

The flags from Yom Yerushalayim,

Jerusalem Day, are slowly being put away.

signs for Shavuot learning programs

The signs announcing dozens of options

for learning on Shavuot will soon be covered over.

The tens of thousands of visitors

who walked the holiday streets have gone home.

It is June,

and summer has arrived in Jerusalem, Israel.

dry grass of summer

The grasses are tinder, ready

 to catch on fire and burn out of control.

But then,

Bright orange flowers in Jerusalem summer

there are desert flowers popping with color,

Lions' Park Jerusalem Israel

 and the Lions’ Fountain looks tempting and cool.

In Jerusalem of contrasts,

Hansen House entrance

the old Hansen House gates were opened to

Innovation of Amazon this week.

Hansen House animals from Design Week in garden

The animals from Design Week were still in its gardens.

I marvel at the changes at every new

 technology event hosted at Hansen.

Changes are evident at First Station as well,

life is beautiful sign first station

with a new sign Life is Beautiful greets on one wall.

While inside the area is being prepared

Hebrew Book Week at First Station in Jerusalem Israel

again to host the annual Hebrew Book Week.

The holidays are over.

It’s June graduation and conference time.

 For the first time ever,

Herzliya conference in Beit Hanasi

the Herzliya Conference opened at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s House, with international dignitaries

and Israeli political leaders,

and of course plenty of speeches.

I wanted to know

Naftali Bennett and ARyeh Deri t Beit Hanasi

what MK Naftali Bennett and MK Aryeh Deri

Aryeh Deri and Naftali Bennett at Beit Hansi

were talking about that was so amusing.

Besides speeches and conferences,

there are too many musical programs to list.

And of course,

June is also wedding time.

Time to get ready to go…

Mazel tov 

Yom Yerushalayim Jerusalem Day Favorites

Yom Yerushalayim,

Jerusalem Day is not your usual day in Jerusalem, Israel.

Israel Knesset with Israeli flag and Yom Yerushalyaim sign

Special holiday posters went up along with Israeli flags.

Some streets were lined with flags

Israeli flags for Jerusalem Day

and Jerusalem banners.

It is gone now, but

flowers in space of Israeli flag Marcus Street

 the flower bed near Marcus Street looked like a flag.

Besides flags,

Jerusalem Day posters Jerusalem

posters honoring soldiers who serve in the reserves

Poster Jerusalem Day Jerusalem Israel

were posted along some main roads.

The remembrance day of Yom Yerushalayim

is for the military victory in 1967.

From 1948-1967,

 Jerusalem was under Jordanian rule.

Access to the Old City and the Temple Mount,

and the Kotel, Western Wall was denied to Jews.

All schools have programs to celebrate

the miraculous liberation of Jerusalem.

Yom Yerushalyim history of Jerusalem Mekor Chaim

The program we attended in Mekor Chaim neighborhood

did not emphasize the military victory,

but the connection of the Jewish people

to Jerusalem throughout history.

On Jerusalem Day,

the Tower of David is open to the public.

Tower of David Jerusalem Day reception mayor

Live music greets the citizens of Jerusalem.

It was really hot this year.

Mayor's security cooling off on fan at Tower of David Yom Yerusahlayim

Security officers tried to cool off by standing in front of the fans,

before Mayor Nir Barkat’s fans came

Mayor Nir Barkat and Beverly on Jerusalem Day in Tower of David.

to pose for photos with Mayor and his wife Beverly.

But the biggest annual event on Yom Yerushalayim,

is the Flag Procession and Dance, called Rikudegalim.

The crowd on King George Street dancing

crowd from Hiechel shlomo on Yom Yerushalayim

 seemed smaller this year.

Maybe it was the heat,

or people were scared away by misleading media hype,

or perhaps people were at other programs.

mobile library in Gan Haatmzaut on Yom Yerushalayim

The mobile library in Gan Haatzmaut,

Independence Park, was not busy.

Friend dressed in Blue and white for Jerusalem Day

Seeing long-time friends dressed in blue and white

is always a Jerusalem Day favorite.

Flags Flag Dance Jerusalem Day

The boys with Israeli flags in front of Heichal Shlomo

were as loud as ever and were not slowed down by the weather.

Security was obvious and everywhere.

Hundreds of young people in yellow vests,

Girls doing crowd control on Jerusalem Day

helped with crowd control.

The media,

waiting for trouble at Damascus Gate,

Media at Damascus Gate on Jerusalem Day for Flag Parade

 were bored from this clearly non-violent event.

The chief of Israeli police was there too.

Head of Israeli police at Damascus Gate, photo taken with boy

 Posing for a photo with one of the boys marching,

not headline-worthy.

So to see for myself what really was happening,

I walked the whole parade route.

Oh, they were loud, singing such things as

Am Yisrael Chai and Ivdu Et Hashem B’simcha.

Boy doing Flag Dance stopping to shake hands with security in Arab shuk

One young fellow tried to shake hands

with every security person he passed and say thank you.

Little Arab girl in window watch Flag Parade in shuk

This little girl had a perfect view

but I have no idea what she was thinking.

Flag Dance on Jerusalem Day

The crowd just kept coming and coming,

it was getting late, and I was getting tired.

Western Wall on Jerusalem Day Kotel full for Yom Yerushayaim

Tens of thousands of people were on the

Jerusalem, Israel, streets all day.

There was no violence.

Cardo full of people on Jerusalem Day singing dancing and watching.

There was dancing in the ancient Roman Cardo.

50 years ago one could only imagine

Jews singing and dancing in the Old City.

As I went home they were still coming.

Bands played music late into the night

in multiple locations around Jerusalem,

but no one could go to all of them.

If you want to see more of Yom Yerushalyim

Facebook photos are HERE