Jerusalem in June

June in Jerusalem…the days are hot,

"picture boy", "image bike helmet", "photo child helmet"

 everyone seems to be moving a little slower

and taking a break for an ice cream or a cold drink.

"picture school crossing" , "photo school crossing", "image girls"

School crossing guards are being trained for the next school year. 

 Before school lets out for the summer and the kids are home,

"picture conference", "Photo women", "image Kishor"

the Kishor Women’s Business Networking conference 

"picture women", "image ladies conference", "photo Kishor conference"

attracted 350 business women from all over Israel to the Ramada Hotel.

Making the summer plans for children is a big headache this time of year.

"fruit stand photo", "picture fruit", "image fruit'

While the abundance of summer fruit in season is a pleasure.

The Jerusalem Light Festival has been a big success this year,

if you missed it,

"picture Damascus Gate", "photo Damascus Gate", "image Damascus Gate"

 Damascus Gate as a giant pinball machine was a popular attraction.

Gan haPa’amon, the Liberty Bell Park, was full every evening

  for the annual Shavua Ha’sefer  HaIvri, the Hebrew Book Week.

"picture shavuah hasefer", "photo shavuah hasefer", "image Shavuah hasefer"

Families came to look at children’s books

"pictrure shavuah hasefer,", 'photo shavuah Hasefer", Image book week"

and sat on the grass enjoying the entertainment.

"picture shavuah hasefer", "photo buying books", "image book week"

Religious books,

"picture book fair", "image book week", "photo books sellers"

university publications,

"picture shavuah hasefer", "photo book week", Image shavuah hasafer"

and all kinds of books are on sale in the park until June 16.

"image security", "photo book sale", "picture shavuah hasefer"

Security was obvious, perhaps more so than in the past.

Protesters getting ready for more rallies for social justice

are getting headlines,

but there is so much more happening in Jerusalem.

Once again the annual and popular

Season of Culture and the Israel Festival

will offer dozens of cultural events

to thousands of people from all over the world.

And one thing everyone hopes for…

 it will stay cool in the evenings.


Light in Jerusalem 2012

Thousands of people attended the opening of the

Jerusalem Festival of Light in the Old City last night.

It is one of my favorite events to photograph

"PHOTO Jerusalem", "picture Jerusalem","image Jerusalem"

so I arrived at Jaffa Gate early, before sunset .

There were three colored trails to follow,

I started with the “Orange Trail”

"picture Tower of David", "photo Migdal David", "image Jerusalem"

 which went past The Tower of David and through

 the Armenian Quarter along the Armenian Patriarch Street.

"picture Jerusalem light festival", "image face", "photo Jerusalem"

Workers were finishing up the large art piece “Faces of Jerusalem.” 

"picture Jerusalem", "photo light festival", "image lights"

A series of lights called the “Light Line” lined Misgav Ladach Street

"picture light festival", "photo harp", "image Jerusalem"

and ended at the harp-shaped, “The Visual Piano.”

It was hard to photograph, but impressive to hear and see.

"picture kosel", "image kossel", "photo wailing wall"

At sunset, both the lights at the Kotel, the Western Wall, 

"picture Silwan", "photo Silwan","image Silwan"

and the views of the area are a favorite even without art light displays.

In the Rova,  the plaza of the Jewish Quarter,

"picture light art", "photo Jerusalem", "image art"

 there was a fascinating piece called “Meeting Composition.”

"picture light" , "photo Jerusalem", "image light festival"

  It changed with the motion of people under it.

"light photo", "picture Moslem Quarter", "image Al-Guds"

From the Jewish Quarter I picked up the “Blue Trail.”

"picture fire", "photo fire torches", "image fire"

Last year I was so impressed with performers using  fire torches 

that I watched for a long time and took dozens of  photos.

Last year they were on a small side street,  

but this year they were a main attraction in Muristan Square.

Determined to see all the routes, I did not stay to watch, 

but started on the “Green Trail.”

"Mosque of Omar photo","picture Mosgue entrance', "image Omar Mosgue'

There was a light coming from the Mosque of Omar,

but the sign says “For Prayers Only”.

"picture Old city", "image Arab market", "photo Jerusalem"

The “Green Trail” went through areas of the Old City

where  I usually do not go, certainly not alone at night.

"picture Arab women", "image market" , "photos old market"

So when the green lights stopped here, I stopped…

until an Israeli woman passed me and said to keep going to Damascus Gate.

Really good advice!

"picture Damascus Gate", "photo Damascus Gate", "image Shar Secham"

While recently the Damascus Gate has been in the news as a site of protests,

"picture Damascus Gate", "pinball photo", "image of Damascus Gate"

tonight it was lit up as a giant pinball machine.

"picture walls" "art photo" "image light benches"

Along the walls on the way back to Jaffa Gate were “Light Benches”

"picture Jerusalem", "image light", "photo old city"

and this piece which can only appreciated in video. 

"image Jerusalem", "photo light festival", "picture art"

At the Jaffa Gate the “Cupola” was bright inside and out.

"picture Israeli apartheid", "photo Arabs", "image Jerusalem"

Inside there was a couple dancing to the music,

"arab women photo", "picture jerusalem", "image Jerusalem"

while people were looking up

"picture Jerusalem", "image aparheid", "photo Arab woman"

and many were taking photos.

"photo Jerusalem", "image sign jerusalem","Picture Jerusalem"

Jerusalem, the light of the world.

These are just a few of my favorites from “Light in Jerusalem.”

I have to leave you some surprises, as the event runs until June 14.

If you cannot make it to Jerusalem, Israel this year…

more photos posted on

The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page

Looking To September

While Hurricane Irene soaked the eastern United States last weekend,

it will be some time before there is a threat of rain in Jerusalem.

Seems the only ‘rain’ here are the missiles, grads and rockets from Gaza,

which continue to fall in southern Israel in spite of a Hamas call for a truce.

All was quiet this morning, but last night

  loud music and the sounds of teenagers laughing ended near midnight,

possibly neighborhood complaints of noise were all that dampened

 the end of summer party for a Jerusalem Israeli scout troop.

It was quite a contrast to the terror attack the night before in Tel Aviv.

A man from Nablus carjacked a taxi at knife point, cutting the driver,

 then rammed the stolen vehicle into a police barrier that

 was erected to protect a dance club teenage end of summer party.

Eight people were stabbed as the terrorist yelled “Allah is Great”

August coincided with the Muslim Ramadan holiday this year.

The Eid Al-Fitr, end of month celebrations silence the jack hammers in Jerusalem

and the construction cranes stop flying, while in Syria more people were killed.

In the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan

the colored lights at night were bright

as were the ones in the Old City.

Colored lights were strung at Jaffa Gate,

 Damascus Gate,

and Herod’s Gate.

Late at night, young men came to sell food and merchandise

and women sat to enjoy the cool night air.

Even young children would be out late at night during the month of celebration.

As the sun set, smoke

and more smoke from the food being cooked to break the day’s fasting

 filled Gan Ha’pa’amon, the Liberty Bell Park .

There is often a rise in violence after this month devoted to Koran study.

A molotov cocktail was thrown at an Israeli ambulance this week,

no one thought to bother this PA ambulance.

As we look to September, security is again heightened near Eilat

and security precautions are in the news.

Hype about a PA statehood vote in September at the UN  is gaining steam,

while the PA and Hamas cannot even agree on one time zone.

As for the real streets, everyone is looking anxiously to September,

  September 1 is the first day of school.

The last week of August there is no regular day care,

  every grandparent, friend and neighbor is called on to help out hassled parents.

Who is the most excited for the first day of school?

The sound of the shofar this morning announced the Hebrew month of Elul,

 Chodesh  tov…

here’s hoping and praying for a good month 

and

looking to a peaceful September!