Jerusalem New and Old

While so much in Jerusalem is old, much is also new. It is hard to tell which stones on the ground are really the old ones. Even some buildings are made to look old.

Amazing Old and New in Jerusalem looked so very different 3 years ago.

Walking along Hanasi Street, you can see new signs outside of Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s official residence, marking fifty years in the present location.

Images from the past complement the sign with more detailed information.

It’s been Middle Eastern hot this past week. I have refrained from midday excursions, as it was not pleasant to walk under the blazing sun.

But how nice to see the shade provided in children’s play areas in new Jerusalem parks, even if very few children were out playing.

Covered play areas have been a given in Australia for decades, finally, they are in more and more Jerusalem parks.

And now there is a shade for this school, finally, work has been done over the summer after years of neglect.

Families are busy getting ready for school to start on September 1st and hoping for a better new year after the difficult conditions with COVID-19.

Others families were busy with weddings. Mazel tov to Ilanit and Meir!

With new online participation, one can now dance at more than one wedding at a time.

Engagement setups are always fun to see in this popular area. I did not stop to watch if she said yes to the “Marry Me” at the end of the floral runway.

Who would have imagined the first night of selihot online from Bahrain!

Some old scenes never really get old. The Kotel Plaza, Western Wall, visible in the distance with dramatic lighting is one of my favorites.

Notice many men were distanced from one another, that was new this year.

This is my favorite location for photographs, but new this time, I had to show a green pass to gain access.

The selihot tours of the Old City annually draw large crowds. On Thursday night the crowds were so large that cars were gridlocked and parking was scarce in the surrounding area.

New this year, uniformed police on a walking tour with young boys.

Mamilla Mall was busy, busy, busy, you name the hour, Israelis came.

Amazing as soon as one store goes out, a new one comes in the rental spot.

The old Arab souk, however, depends on foreign tourism and was not busy.

For selihot this year, the old prayers have a new look. The Great Synagogue was open again to those with the green pass. The main musical event was held at Binyunei Hauma, the Jerusalem International Conference Center, with the Mayor and a long list of performers.

This year musical Selihot services moved outside in Yemin Moshe, with the walls of the Old City in the background.

The new sounds could be heard around the old neighborhood streets,

from multiple locations late into the night,

Selihot services were held inside synagogues and outside on porches.

This week the 38th international Jerusalem Film Festival was back.

The live audience gathered in the Sultan’s Pool amphitheater with the huge screen, not far from the Tower of David at sunset.

Former president Ruvi Rivlin came with his daughter Rivi and sat in specially reserved seats a few rows back.

The front row was not easy to photograph from the angle that President Herzog’s new security team demanded.

Herzog spoke, then when he announced that he was leaving, the audience responded with audible displeasure.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and others stayed to see the new animated feature film about Anne Frank.

Here is an old sight, the beigelah guy seated by the Cinematheque sign looking for hungry customers.

A week filled with new and old. New technology lets us participate in a Selihot program in Bahrain and witness weddings from afar.

And in the dentist’s office, this cube became a new tooth, in less than half an hour, to replace my broken molar.

As always there was more, but time now to wish you well and hope to see you soon on the (cooler) Jerusalem streets.

Next week is Rosh Hashana, a New Year.

Oh, where did the time go, the new gap year students are arriving?

Jerusalem as August Ends

Did you hear a loud noise on Monday morning?

It was the collective sighs of relief filling the streets –

 the long summer holiday was over

and over 2 million Israeli children went back to school.

water play

Trips to museums for water play were replaced with starting Kita alef,

 which in Israel is a more exciting event than many university graduations.

The school children living in the southern Israel town of Sderot

Kassam rocket

had another rocket fired at them from Gaza as they started to go to class.

More than 440 rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza

since the year began, averaging around two a day!

Last week Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, 

Shakespeare in park

was performed in English in Jerusalem, Israel’s Bloomfield Park.

The shows were free and open to the public.

Shakespeare, widely agreed to be perhaps the most clever writer ever,

 could he have imagined what is happening now?

Arab families were seated on the grass to watch.

Arab girls

A few meters away on the plaza, Muslim women sat on a bench 

Jerusalem

and then followed to see the photos of a beautiful bride in white,

Jerusalem scene

as a Jewish couple were preparing to get married.

While hundreds are killed each day in Syria,

Jerusalem park

this was the scene in the Jerusalem park.

School has started, however university does not begin until October.

Jerusalem park

Arab girls in Israel will be attending classes,

not banned from an education like in Iran. 

Arab woman driving

And of course, they can drive themselves to the park or to school,

not like the women living in Saudi Arabia.

arab girls

 Kikar Zion, Zion Square, is still a safe place to walk during the day.

It was a long hot summer,

but the evenings are now cool for the late night summer music programs.

Jerusalem theater

Last week the music and lights were at the Jerusalem Theater,

J street sign,

and this week Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, will showcase Reggae Music 

and Safra Square will host the last August free public concert. 

First there was the Wine Festival, then Beer Festival,

ice cream

and now this week for the first time an Ice Cream Festival.

Always something happening on the Jerusalem streets.