Jerusalem Moving Forward: The Hope for Future

If last week was a week of transitions, this one is set to be even greater.

Not only because we had the whole family together for the first time in years for a photo and it’s my birthday. The final countdown has started for a new Israeli government after 12 years under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Jerusalem tourism is looking to improve with an announcement that on July 1st tourists are to be allowed into Israel. People have already started traveling again, as much as possible.

Photo credit: Mark Neyman GPO

Reuven Rivlin, in his last month as president, flew to Romania on an official visit this past week. An important stop was to speak at a joint session of the Romanian parliament before some 350 members of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

Last week, a corona is over celebration was held at the Jerusalem Theater.

Outside, security told me “no photos,” so this was as close to the white security tent at the entrance I could get. Most people didn’t know what was going on inside, and traffic was not blocked.

An award ceremony was held at the Jerusalem Theater to show appreciation for the Israeli health institutions and their contributions to successful efforts during the pandemic.

Real food – a sign of back to what was before corona, plus this event included healthy food options.

Hospital heads were present plus, police, military and emergency services.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein entered the theater wearing a mask.

A moment of silence for those who died and Hatikvah began the program.

A video with milestone days, ended with 461, and together we won.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke proudly of his accomplishment.

Ironic. Corona-over-celebration. However, the former Health Minister was one of few not wearing a mask in the packed auditorium. It was in his speech that Edelstein announced that the mask law was to be lifted.

However, as the certificates were presented, masks were off. It seems handshaking and hugging are back,

and smiling,

as the dozens of certificates were presented at the big feel good party.

One would never have imagined all that was happening outside.

Fires. Low flying planes circled around the entrance of Jerusalem. Dry and hot, too many large forest fires close to Jerusalem for one week.

After a year of no live events, two nights in a row felt like setting a milestone. The next night at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, there was a preview of a new documentary on Begin’s life, titled “Upheaval.” I highly recommend it – you can check it out HERE

Of course, seeing a movie in a real theater, and with Menachem Begin’s son and secretary, along with many others featured in the film, and a few Ambassadors was a really nice bonus. And, also food and wine were served before the film was shown in the renovated auditorium.

Not everything was live, Israel hosted over 400 participants from 58 countries virtually to discuss cutting-edge issues such as the security of the Internet at OECD Global Forum on Digital Security. Next year Japan is host.

The ever popular Shavuah HaSefer, Hebrew Book Week is back – live.

I was not the only one who was disappointed going on Friday to find it wasn’t open. The event is only on nights, from 6-8:30 pm until June 19, 2021.

According to the Israel National Library, in 2020, there was a decrease of 2,000 books published in comparison with 2019. But the Hebrew Book Week sales attract crowds of all ages, the full library report – HERE.

However, even without the books, Takhana Rishona, First Station was busy.

A Latin American Festival with booths and dancing got people’s attention.

A Brazilian singer entertained from the center stage. The Brazilian Ambassador was also in the crowd. Was it the food, Latin music, no masks outside, or the weather that put so many people in a festive mood?

Live performances are again being promoted along the Jerusalem streets.

New parks are popping up around Jerusalem, Israel.

It’s been a difficult time period going from a long pandemic, to Meron tragedy, to Operation Guardians of the Walls with thousands of rockets fired at Israel, fires surrounding Jerusalem, and all in the shadow of election dramas.

Who would have ever imagined all that has happened since Tu Bishvat 2020 at Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence?

Hatikvah, The Hope – Israel’s anthem, no matter how you sing it,

or where – the hope for the future is a constant theme throughout the years.

Hope to see you soon on the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem, Israel’s Children

Jerusalem, Israel’s Children

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.

Memorial performance Tirza Atar daughter of Nathan Alterman

“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,

Jerusalem Design Week on Chopin Street

music and lights from the

Jerusalem Design Week

Design Week in Jerusalem Israel 2017

were seen and heard by all.

Music for Design Week Jerusalem Israel

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.

International Book fair in Jerusalem

But the large signs for the Book Fairs posted at First Station

Light Festival Jerusalem 2017

have already been replaced by the ones for the Light Festival.

Inside Takhana Rishona, First Station,

Jerusalem Shavuah Hasefer

children’s books were displayed at the entrance,
Performance for children at Shvuah Hasefer

and performances for children are scheduled daily.

Little girl looks at flags outside international book fair in Jerusalem Israel

The flags of the participants in the international fair

First Station International Book Fair

were flying outside Station Hall,

Station Hall at First Station, Takana Rishona

which was filled with displays,

Jerusalem Israel book fair

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.

But.

Also, in the center tent of First Station

last night was a very different type of event.

Protest against MK LItzman for not opening cancer center in Jerusalem

Hundreds of people showed up on short notice,

informed only by a few afternoon Facebook posts.

Parents of children with cancer wanting Jerusalem hospital care

Parents of children with cancer held signs,

urging Israeli Health Minister Litzman,

to save their children.

Tent in Sacher Park for child patients with cancer Jerusalem

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.

Gan Sacher hospital tent children with cancer

But this one is a make-shift hospital for children,

Medical clowns in Gan Sacher

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,

sign for Live at Museum Israel Museum

and  I can go back to posting about

Live Music in the art gardens of the Israel Museum,

Blue lights lining streets of Jerusalem for Ramadan

Ramadan lights lining the streets,

and the record-breaking increase in tourism

Tourists in lobby of hotel

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.

Hebrew Book Week in Jerusalem Warning

The sirens of the motorcade of

Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, President of Colombia

can be heard on the Jerusalem, Israel streets

Colombia's flag image, Jerusalem photo

 and the flag of Colombia can be seen flying.

Most people will never notice.

But what is amazing is that after so many years,

and now with so many Israeli tech users and kindle readers, 

Liberty Bell Park for Book Week image

Hebrew Book Week in Jerusalem is back in the Liberty Bell Park.

image Shavuah Hasefer

Thousands of books and at least one hot-pot are ready for

Hebrew book week picture

 Shavuah Hasefer, the annual Hebrew book fair that runs from June 5-13.

Bell Park for Hebrew book week,  Jstreet, photo Jerusalem

There were fewer book vendors in the park this year.

Liberty Bell Park for shavuah hasefer

But every night, many children

Hebrew Book Week

helped fill the park.

scene at Liberty Bell Park

Everyone was out looking for a good deal on Hebrew books.

Hebrew Book week image

As every year, in the park there was also free entertainment for children.

child up dancing at park

This one young man was ready to get up and move to the music.

Hebrew book week image

Passing on the love of books and reading is an old tradition.

man selling books at park image

But look past this book vendor and you will see

viewing stands being set up for

the Formula One Peace Car Run in Jerusalem.

Not sure everyone will appreciate the streets closing

and noise of what some want to be a new tradition.