June is full of graduations and end-of-year celebrations,
from nursery school children to honorary doctorates.
Plus, all the different festivals in Jerusalem,
and it is impossible to keep up with everything.
The Jerusalem Theater auditoriums were filled with
the 56th annual Israel Festival, an annual June event.
“Songs of Tirza,” a unique performance by Nathan Slor,
with music and readings of his mother Tirza Atar z”l,
was a memorable night for one full-house audience.
While outside all along Chopin Street
and down to the Hansen House,
music and lights from the
Jerusalem Design Week
were seen and heard by all.
Except these musicians, who could be heard only
by festival goers wearing special headsets.
The two major Jerusalem book fairs
were scheduled to overlap this year.
But the large signs for the Book Fairs posted at First Station
have already been replaced by the ones for the Light Festival.
Inside Takhana Rishona, First Station,
children’s books were displayed at the entrance,
and performances for children are scheduled daily.
The flags of the participants in the international fair
were flying outside Station Hall,
which was filled with displays,
with publishers’ booths and rows of books,
and authors coming in to autograph purchases.
So much to do, so much happening,
and so much attention to children.
Also, in the center tent of First Station
last night was a very different type of event.
Hundreds of people showed up on short notice,
informed only by a few afternoon Facebook posts.
Parents of children with cancer held signs,
urging Israeli Health Minister Litzman,
to save their children.
A white, large air-conditioned tent was erected
in the Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, basketball court.
In the past, the park has been a scene of protest tents.
But this one is a make-shift hospital for children,
complete with medical clowns.
However, there is nothing funny about the situation.
As I understand the complicated issue,
Hadassah Hospital closed their children’s cancer division
to merge it with the adult division,
and the pediatric oncologists resigned en-masse.
Some parents have given up hope for suitable treatment
for their seriously ill children in Jerusalem
and are travelling to Tel HaShomer for medical services.
Other parents want Shaare Zedek Hospital to open
a children’s oncology unit.
Doctors, parents, and politicians are involved.
Hopefully this painful situation will be resolved soon,
and I can go back to posting about
Live Music in the art gardens of the Israel Museum,
Ramadan lights lining the streets,
and the record-breaking increase in tourism
that is filling once-empty hotel rooms and lobbies.
Meanwhile refuah shelama,
thoughts and prayers for a speedy and full recovery to all the children
and for a solution to the dilemma.