President Time in Jerusalem

President Time in Jerusalem

If it’s February,

it’s time for Presidents again.

In the United States, February means a long holiday weekend

Jerusalem street sign for US President Abraham Lincoln

in honor of the birthdays of President George Washington

US President Abraham Lincoln street sign Jerusalem

and President Abraham Lincoln.

Since I have used these Jerusalem streets signs often,

I went to find something new.

I went looking for the sign where the two streets meet,

image of Presidents Where Washington and Lincoln Streets meet in Jerusalem

only to find, there is no sign on that Jerusalem corner.

Over 6,000 people came from around the world

Binyunei Hauma for #OCsummit2017

for the OurCrowd Global Summit last week.

with Elli Q, one of hundreds of amazing Israeli innovations.

Presidents of companies and leaders of the Startup Nation

networked and shared their ideas and talents.

At another venue, the annual Conference of Presidents

of Major American Jewish Organizations met again this year

in Jerusalem, Israel, after a kosher dinner in the royal palace in Morocco

and a stopover in Cairo to meet President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Reuven Rivlin and Malcolm Hoenlein at Inbal Hotel

President Reuven Rivlin was the first speaker,

and no, the President was not so excited to see me.

Romanian former President Rosen Plevneliev

The former President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev

was in the banquet hall for the opening dinner.

 He really is a friendly person.

Bulgaria President at Beit Hanasi

On his way to visit President Rivlin at Beit Hanasi,

the official residence of the Israeli President,

the former President of Bulgaria and his team,

 stopped, said hello, smiled and posed for photos.

But as usual in February,

 most people are not thinking about all these Presidents,

Candy in the shuk before Purim

they are busy thinking about

costumes, candy for gifts, and meals fit for a king,

Machane Yehudah Market, the shuk, has been ready for weeks.

No matter the weather,

Rainy day with fabric out on street for Purim costumes

colorful fabric for costumes lines the sidewalks on Jaffa Road.

 Purim is coming.

15 Hanukkah Menorah Favorites Burning Brightly from Jerusalem

15 Hanukkah Menorah Favorites Burning Brightly from Jerusalem

The sun was shining brightly on the eighth day of Hanukkah.

The bright blue skies awere scattered with white puffy clouds

over the cold Jerusalem streets.

There were so many hanukkiot being lit for the past 8 days,

it was not easy, but here are 15 of my favorites.

Chanukiah on last night of Hanuka

On the last night at home,

these olive oil flames burned brightly.

Knesset building had Chanukiah on top eight lights on last night

The electric lights over the Knesset

were clearly visible next to the Israeli flag.

Chauniak Lights on poles for Hanuka

The electric light street decorations

were in different locations this year,

but they are always a favorite sight.

Menorah on street corner in Jerusalem Israel

Chabad menorahs seemed to be on every corner,

Menorah on top of car saying happy chanukah

and some were on top of cars.

Again this year in Mamilla Mall

Hanukah menorah in Mamilla Mall

 a special Chabad hanukkia

Lighting menorah in Mamilla Mall crowd music and dancing

attracted large crowds every night.

Jerusalem Mamilla Mall chanukah menorah

Selected guests were honored with lighting the lights,

from lone soldiers to victims of terror.

Every night there were music and sufganiot for all.

Near the entrance of Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s Residence,

Chanukiah outside the Israeli President's house

stood a new hanukkia with the Israeli state emblem

wishing all a Happy Hanukkah.

Chaunka menorah

Whether made of glass and colorful and lit inside,

Jerusalem lighting chanukiah outside OldCity

or simple and lit outside on the street,

Old City Western Wall candle lighting

or flames rising high above the Kotel, 

the Western Wall, as on the fifth night,

the variety and quantity of hanukkiot was astounding.

Crowd near Western Wall for chanukah menorah lighting and blessings.

Thousands came in the evening to the Kotel,

for the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah.

Hanukkah menorah at Western Wall

It was hard to get a clear photo,

as one after another men climbed up to pose for photos,

in front of the burning lights.

On my way home through the Old City

Hanukah night in Jerusalem Rova

there was singing and dancing as lights

Menorahs lining street of Rova, Jewish Quarter Jerusalem Old City

and more lights lined the paths.

Menorah at Old City Walls Jaffa Gate

This old electric menorah near Jaffa Gate,

was as popular as ever,

Chanukah in Jerusalem, Israel

but it paled next to the light projection on the nearby wall.

But, the most unique menorah I saw this year

was the one lit at Yad Vashem

Krakow menorah lit at Yad Vashem by Rabbi Israel Meir Lau

 by former chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau,

a child survivor with an extended family photo in view.

Krakow menorah at Yad Vashem on third night of Hanukkah

 On the third night of Hanukah,

the centuries-old Krakow menorah candles burned brightly,

 for over two hundred international Jewish leaders

gathered in Jerusalem, Israel, for an educator’s conference.

Hanukkah is a holiday celebration of survival in ancient times.

But it is also a good time to appreciate the modern miracles

of survival and rebirth and new light.

That’s it,

until next year,

still not sure how best to spell in English,

Hebrew sign on bus in Jerusalem Israel Old City

Hanuka sameach!

Art and Music Brighten Jerusalem Winter

Art and Music Brighten Jerusalem Winter

Weather.

What a wild week of weather!

It was so warm and sunny one day,

that after lunch at the Malha Tech Park,

people lounged at cafe tables in the mid-day sun,

reluctant to return to their offices.

Then,

rain in Jerusalem Israel

came the rain,

along the light rail line on Jaffa Road,

Yaffo in rain

at least this umbrella brightened the morning.

Yesterday, hail pounded down, along with high winds.

The challenge became to aim an umbrella so the wind

would not blow it away or inside out.

However, there is plenty

of music to brighten cold winter nights.

Art and Music in Jerusalem Israel

While restaurants come and go,

a new Art and Music Gallery opened on Yoel Salomon Street.

The Jerusalem Jazz Festival and the annual

 Hullegeb Festival of Ethiopian music, and more events are this week.

Plus it’s another December weekend of Hamshushalim,

Jerusalem winter festivals Hebrew signs

with dozens of entertainment and cultural options

at discounted prices, and many for free.

When it comes to discount options or free,

nothing tops the Yad Sarah organization.

“What’s  the catch? What’s the cost?” everyone asks.

 I took a tour this week.

The main equipment supply room

Yad Sarah disabilities

brims with medical assistance items,

24/7 emergency calls

the emergency hot line operates 24/7,

while the art therapy room has everything,

Old sewing machine at Yad Sarah art room

 from this vintage sewing machine

Patient art at Yad Sarah

to cabinets full of handmade pieces of art.

Thousands volunteer and are serviced by Yad Sarah,

its list of services and items is massive.

If their supply of hospital beds were piled up

it would be higher than Mount Everest!.

Tours are free, and recommended for all.

What’s the catch?

Yad Sarah has everything but adequate parking.

To end on an upbeat art note:

Besides the growing Bezalel Academy of Art and Design,

a new art center is to be built in downtown Jerusalem.

The $50 million complex is to be called

the Jerusalem Campus for the Arts.

I missed the rainbow yesterday morning,

but there is much happening to brighten

these Jerusalem streets.