3 Suggestions to Enjoy Jerusalem in Stormy Weather

3 Suggestions to Enjoy Jerusalem in Stormy Weather

This time of year, in Jerusalem, Israel, with the beginning of the Hebrew month of Shevat and the approaching “New Year of Trees,” we anticipate new growth and spring.

First flower of spring in Valley of Cross

Walking yesterday toward the Knesset, I spotted the first wild flowers in bloom.

New paths are being prepared through the Valley of the Cross.

There are no blossoms on the almond trees yet, but new olive trees have been planted.

New benches in Valley of Cross bike path

New benches have been placed along the new walking and bike path under development.

Israel National Library cranes with Knesset in background

The Knesset rises beyond the construction site of the new National Library.

Fog in Jerusalem Israel so thick to obstruct view of Monastery, bird perched outside window.

But then the weather turned from sunny to rainy and cold. Thanks to this bird who perched outside my window, I had something else to photograph other than the grey foggy sky.

People ask, “What is there to do when it is too nasty to be out on the Jerusalem streets?”

Here are three of the easiest answers to this often asked question:

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem – BLMJ

Bible Lands Museum main entrance Jerusalem Israel

BLMJ main galleries take visitors back to the earliest civilizations.

Judea and Samaria archelogical finds

A new exhibit opened with pieces  looted from archaeological sites in Judea and Samaria and recovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Judea and Samaria finds on display in Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem Israel

Each piece has a story, going back many centuries.

 The Israel Museum 

Across the road from BLMJ, one sees the dome of the Shrine of the Book, the home of Dead Sea Scrolls.

Israel Museum antiquities menorah from synagogues

In the Israel Museum, the largest of Jerusalem’s dozens of museums, are collections of ancient Jewish life in the land of Israel.

Israel Museum mummy

Learn about ancient Egyptian Mummies on a audio-guided tour with the latest modern technology.

Israel Museum children's room

Of late, Jerusalem museums have taken a special interest in attracting and engaging children.

Israel Museum Jerusalem children's wing

Multiple exhibits provide young people opportunities to explore and learn.

 The Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem 

Science Museum sign Jerusalem Israel

The science museum had special exhibits on fire for Hanukkah, which were very popular the last days when it was raining.

Jerusalem Science Museum

Check in with information when you enter.

Science museum new exhibit

There are exhibits which are temporary

Safety equipment on display at jerusalem Science Museum

and are constantly changing to engage young minds.

Science Museum exhibit to make and launch paper airplanes

Makerspace was in the main hall on my last visit.

Jerusalem Israel Science Museum

Young people were encouraged to design and fly their own paper airplanes.

Science museum reading corner

There was a reading section called Challenge and Risk.

Science Museum exhibit Fields of Tomorrow

Notice that everything in these museums is in Hebrew, Arabic, and English.

Science Museum in Jerusalem Israel colorful light

Colors and technology are used to attract visually,

Science Museum two boys at exhibit

though sometimes simple things can be made interesting too.

Outside area of jerusalem science museum

Outside areas are much more popular when the weather is pleasant.

Outside play area Jerusalem Science Museum

Play areas outside change regularly and are designed to teach basic scientific principles.

Jerusalem Science Museum dinosaur

This new age dinosaur can be found on the grounds outside.

Science Museum in Jerusalem Israel

I do not think this is the tree of knowledge.

Jerusalem Science Museum play area

But there is no better place to start for toddlers to explore and learn.

These museums, located near each other, have places to eat, and provide more than shelter.

But I must repeat my warning, if you are supervising young children,

do NOT try and do any of the amazing Jerusalem museums if you are a tired adult.

Another piece of advice: check museum hours before going, as they vary day by day.

If you do not have membership, there are days free for children, but costs vary and can be expensive.

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However, in honor of Space Week, the Bloomfield Science Museum is offering free entrance.

Even if Jerusalem is warm and the sun is shining, worth checking out.

Enjoy!

 

Jerusalem Hanukkah New Favorites in 24 Photos

Jerusalem Hanukkah New Favorites in 24 Photos

Hanukkah.

Eight days of Hanukkah in Jerusalem, Israel, are not enough.

With so many things happening, one has to make a list and organize the time carefully.

Lighting the large hanukkiah by the Kotel, the Western Wall, is a popular annual evening event.

New this year, the Prime Minister and US Ambassador conducted a special lighting ceremony,

but it was a very private event on a different hanukkiah, shielded from the heavy rain and curious spectators.

As usual, a large electric hanukkiah was lit each night of Hanukkah over the Knesset.

Hanukia on top of Hadar Mall for sixth night of Hanukkah

New this year was the hanukkiah erected on top of the Hadar Mall in Talpiot.

Advertised as one of the world’s biggest Hanukkah menorahs, it measured 11 meters tall and 56 meters wide.

Man lighting candles at home photo projected on Old City Wall in Jerusalem Israel for Hanukkah

But Hanukkah candles are best lit in the home, as illustrated in this new projection on the Old City walls near Jaffa Gate.

German Menorah from famous photo in Nazi Germany at Yad Vashem in jerusalem

One of the most famous of photos of a Hanukkah menorah hangs on the wall at Yad Vashem, next to the real one displayed in a glass case. It shows a hanukkiah in the city of Kiel, Germany in 1932, with the Nazi flag flying across the street. This hanukkiah is lit each year by members of the family that owned it, its lights burning on after the fall of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Jerusalem street Hanukkah menorahs for sale

Before Hanukkah shops featured selections to satisfy every fashion and taste.

Hanukia outside lit for fourth night

On Jerusalem streets one could find a lone hanukkiah lit outside a home,

Yeshiva in Jerusalem with Hanukkah menorahs lit outside

or dozens shining brightly outside a yeshiva dormitory.

Jerusalem Old City man sitting watching Hanukkah lights

The idea is to show, share, and enjoy the lights in celebration of the miracle of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah menorah lit on last night

With a simple hanukkiah at home,

Hanukia at Beit Hanasi preparing for lighting

or a large hanukkiah at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, Hanukkah was a special time.

The President hosted multiple groups over Hanukkah, morning and night, to join in lighting ceremonies, including groups of Holocaust survivors and children.

Paralympics at Beit Hanasi for Hanukkah ceremony 50 years since Tel Aviv

This Paralympic athlete who was honored to light at one ceremony had a favorite smile.

Jerusalem Israel Yehudah HaMaccabi Street

Did you know Jerusalem has a street named for Judah the Maccabee?

Number 7 Yehuda Hamacabi Street in Jerusalem Israel

On the building at #7 Judah Maccabee Street was this holiday themed graffiti.

Chabad menorah in Mamilla Mall with music and dancing and donuts

Large crowds were found in Mamilla Mall for candle lighting, with music, singing and dancing.

Lighting a large menorah on last night of Chanuka in Jerusalem Israel

The last night of Hanukkah there was a glorious sky at sunset. You see a glimpse of it to the left. We were on our way to one last Hanukkah party in heavy traffic, and slowed to take this photo. Seems like this cyclist stopped as well, along with the cars slowing to watch.

Michael Oren Hanukkah candlelight at Hub Etzion

Missed a great sunset photo, but in spite of traffic made it to Hub Etzion in time for Michael Oren to light the hanukkiah and celebrate at the last Hanukkah party for this year.

Jerusalem Israel Old City walls lit for Hanukkah

In recent years the walls of the Old City were lit up with projections for Hanukkah.

Hanukkah greetings projected on Jerusalem Old City Walls for Hanukkah

This year again a favorite with Hanukkah greetings in multiple languages.

Wall decorated for Hanukkah in Old City near Jaffa Gate jerusalem Israel

Inside the walls by Jaffa Gate, the Old City was the site of a Hanukkalayim Festival.

Hanukkah night festival in Old City

Live performances, music and more lights for Hanukkah.

Glad I went on Wednesday night.

On Thursday it started raining, pouring, and raining some more.

The Bloomfield Science Museum had special Hanukkah fire exhibits and was packed.

Other museums were filled as a day at the zoo was not good option.

Israel Museum with ancient menorahs from synagogues

Going to the Israel Museum had been our original plan.  Viewing menorahs from 4th – 5th century CE in Tiberias, from the Susiya synagogue in the Hebron hills. and from Beit Shean in 5th – 7th century CE, our visit fit the Hanukkah spirit perfectly.

Float in Jerusalem Hanukkah parade with basketball players

Thankfully the weather was perfect for the first Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade as it went down King David Street.

Famous balloons did not include Spider-Man, Kung Fu Panda, Anna and Elsa from “Frozen,” Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and Pokemons, but included “others” and Jerusalem basketball players.

Dreydl played by tow boys on the floor on Hanukkah

Rain was no problem for a serious game of Hanukkah dreidel.

Donuts for Hanukkah

Tons of suffganiot were consumed.

Donuts for Hanukkah in bright colors

These colorful ones were not a favorite, I prefer a fresh, simple glazed donut.

Pomegranate open in Jerusalem market

For those wanting a healthier Hanukkah option, there were these any time favorite pomegranates in Machane Yehuda Market, the shuk.

The hanukkiah on top of Hadar Mall, changed colors in this short video.

The projections on the walls of Old City near Jaffa Gate also need a video presentation to appreciate why it was favorite.

Hanukkah menorah made out of Gaza missiles which land in Sderot on roof of Yeshiva

 

A final favorite hanukkiah is found on top of the Sderot Yeshivat Hesder.

This hanukkiah is made of projectiles fired from Gaza into southern Israel.

Hanukkah lights shone in the dark, from Sderot, from Jerusalem, from Israel,

tens of thousands of burning, shining lights in the night.

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!