March Madness Jerusalem Style

March Madness Jerusalem Style

In the United States March Madness means the college basketball championship playoffs.

In Jerusalem, Israel, March Madness has a very different meaning.

First there is the weather, which is constantly changing and so hard to predict.

Water after heavy Israel rainy season

This year with heavy rainfalls, low lying areas are full of water days after a storm.

Outdoor activities have to be re-planned. One rainy afternoon we went to the Israel Museum.

Jerusalem sunset time view from Israel Museum

Loved the sunset view from inside the museum.

March madness means Purim is coming, with costumes, treats of sweets, and parties galore.

Megilat Esther in Israel Museum

Special Megillot Esther, scrolls with the story of Purim, are on display in the museum.

Megilas Esther in Israel Museum

Of many sizes, from small to this large illuminated one, both of these stand out in the collection.

Israeli Museum display of Purim noisemakers - groggers

This case contains special noise makers that are used to block out the name of Haman as Megillat Esther is read at night and again in the morning of Purim.

Across the corridor from these noise makers and the Jewish holiday collections is a special exhibit on Rambam, Maimonides.

Rambam Germany 1355-56 maimonides at Israel Museum

Thirteen handwritten, works of the Rambam are displayed in a dark room, in special cases, including this one from Germany, from 1355-56, written in ink, with tempre and gold leaf.

Maimonides Guide of the Perplexed

From the early 1300’s, a handwritten Guide of the Perplexed, also illustrated.

Maimonides Mishnah Torah at Israel Museum Kaufmann 1295-96

The Kaufmann Mishnah Torah, dated 1295-96, is also in the impressive collection.

From the calm of the Israel Museum, back to madness.

It  is impossible to keep up with the number of international conferences.

Jerusalem International Conference Center stairs for Our Crowd.

Over 18,000 people from 183 countries were registered for Jerusalem innovation conference Our Crowd. The crowded halls and spaces of the Jerusalem International Conference Center were at times packed with people moving from speaker to event. The room for the panel on cannabis was closed after capacity was reached. The lines for Beyond Burger, a plant meat substitute, were  just mad, hard to believe how long people waited while other food stations had no lines. I ate waffles, never got a bite of burger. More photos HERE 

Man in garden of Israeli President looking at statue of herzl

State  Comptrollers from Europe and Asia are meeting at an official gathering this week in Jerusalem. A delegation visited Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence and received a brief tour of the gardens and its history before meeting with President Rivlin.

intv and DIGITELL19 conference check in at YMCA

The Innovative TV Conference (intv) brought television executives from around the world to Jerusalem for two days at the YMCA on King David Street.

YMCA Jerusalem view outside day of TV and digital events

Overlapping for its first day with intv, the DIGITELL19, also was at the YMCA, before taking off to Mitzpe Ramon in the south, and then going to Tel Aviv.

Digitell 19 conference at YMCA

One of the sessions at YMCA for DIGITELL19 was ‘Xtream Marketing’ presented by SodaStream’s Matti Yahav, Chief Marketing Officer. The conference sponsored by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs brought an international group of pro-Israel social activists together. I only took a few photos. The “secret sauce” for SodaStream, the 4 ‘Ps’ is here, but some of participants were also a secret, so I only posted a few on Facebook HERE.

Logistic center for israeli elections in Shoham

Most of the conferences do not involve the real streets. However, the upcoming Israeli election is hard to avoid.  A visit to the Israeli Elections Committee Logistic Center was interesting.

As messages from various political parties invade our phones and homes, in this building in Modiin Industrial Park in Shoham, the boxes for election polling stations are being packed.

Logistic center for Israel elections

Each box has everything down to the paper clips counted out and sealed. Work goes on 24/6 to be ready to deliver before the April election day.

Sample voting booth for Israel elections

Notice the new boxes being made to accommodate the 46 political parties, plus one blank ballot for a write-in option.

After the election 250 tons of paper will be recycled. No politics here, just posting the logistical madness.

If you are interested in knowing more about the various parties, their names, ages and positions.. check out a clever voting guide – HERE

But, before Purim, before elections….

Hanging banners for jerusalem marathon

The Jerusalem Winner Marathon is running on March 15th!

Runners on new paths for Jerusalem marathon

Runners are training on the streets. Landscaping and paving along route is going at a mad pace to finish before the 40,000 runners from 80 countries start to line up at 6:45 am.

Jerusalem schools are closed. Museums in the area are closed on Friday, as they are near the starting point of the marathon.

The Bloomfield Science Museum is closed on Friday for marathon, but in honor of PI day, on Thursday afternoon, is open and free.

Signs for Jerusalem marathon

Marathon direction signs are posted along the routes where Jerusalem streets will be closed from 5:00 am until after 1:00 pm.

March Madness Jerusalem style gets really going after the marathon.

Photo of family in costume on Jerusalem Israel street on Purim

For Purim one never knows what or who one will find on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

This year the city has a long list of events planned all week.

The day Purim is over, the Passover marathon begins, from March Madness to Passover Panic.

Where to go and what to do with so much happening Jerusalem streets!?

 

Jerusalem: Walk, Run, Ride, Skate and Eat

Jerusalem: Walk, Run, Ride, Skate and Eat

After the winter rains, when the skies clear over Jerusalem, Israel,

Valley of Cross after winter rain in Jerusalem

open spaces like this one under the Israel Museum turn green.

Kalonit blooming in Valley of Cross in Jerusalem Israel

Instead of driving south to see the kalaniot, the red poppies, popping up,

Kalonit blooming in Jerusalem park

I love to walk through the paths in the Valley of the Cross,

Jerusalem Valley of Cross kalionit blooming

to see the wonders of nature right here in Jerusalem,

Wild flowers in Jerusalem Israel Valley of Cross

and see those red flowers that open up in the sunshine.

Valley of Cross wild flowers Jerusalem

As the wild flowers peek through the rocks and weeds, often I am alone walking up the hill towards the Israel Museum and the Knesset.

Nursery Shabat party in Jerusalem Park

However, last Friday morning, nursery children were having a pre-Shabbat party with their parents.

Children running in Jerusalem park

School children were also appreciating the wonders of spring.

Man running on path in Jerusalem Valley of Cross

Not all were walking, this man was running down the path that leads to

New bike and walking trail in Jerusalem Valley of Cross

this new walking and cycling path that will lead to the  Jerusalem Marathon finish line.

View of Old City Jaffa Gate with banner for Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2019 Israel sport

The Jerusalem Winner Marathon to be held on March 15, 2019 was launched last night by new Mayor Moshe Lion.

Jerusalem Israel walking and bike path

The full marathon runners, with the Knesset in the not so far distance, at this point will be near the finish line.

Jerusalem Israel new bike path ready for Jerusalem marathon finish

The new path is ready for the full Jerusalem Marathon runners before they enter the Gan Sacher, Sacher Park.

Jerusalem Israel new park development bike path to Gan Sacher

There will be many more vantage points this year, as old and burnt areas have been cleared.

Sacher Park new benches and path

New benches have been placed along the cycling, walking and running path for spectators.

Sacher Park new paths for walking, biking and running.

After months of work, Gan Sacher looks like it will be ready before the start countdown.

Ice eat sign, ice skating and food at Mitchell Park Jerusalem Israel

Posted across from Gan Sacher, is this large ad for the ice skating rink and food in Mitchell Park.

Jerusalem 2019 ice skating rink in park near Artist Colony

The Jerusalem Marathon is in its ninth year,  but there is a new location for the ice skating rink.

There have been previous ice skating rinks in Jerusalem, but this one seems to be the largest, with a new concept of ice and eat in Mitchell Park, which is near the Artists’ Colony.

Ice skating and food in Jerusalem Israel Mitchell Park

Not many people were eating or skating last night.

Ice skating in Mitchell Park Jerusalem Israel smoking section

No one was smoking last night when we went to check it out.

GFNY bikers in Jerusalem Israel practice ride before May 3 race

And finally cycling. GFNY is set for May 3, 2019, and the registration sale ends at the end of February, but these cyclists were out training already. Another chance for amateur cyclists to ride with the pros.

Jerusalem is not usually associated with sports, but walk, run, ride, or skate, or sit and eat.

Always something new happening on these Jerusalem streets.

More photos of marathon launch HERE

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!