In Jerusalem, Be the Best you can Be

In Jerusalem, Be the Best you can Be

In Jerusalem, Israel, September days seem to be cooler.

Then along comes a hot day and a humid night.

But summer is over and back to busy schedules.

This was a busy week, one of those when it was hard to decide which events to attend.

Israeli champion female football team, winning soccer players

President Rivlin hosted Israel’s best female football (soccer) players today.

The ASA Tel Aviv team, second-time champions, brought their winner’s cup to Beit Hanasi.

Beit Hanasi President Rivlin posing with women form Movilot

On Sunday, President Reuven Rivlin hosted religious women from Movilot, an organization that promotes employment for ultra-Orthodox women in Israel.

Rivka Ravitz his long-serving Chief of Staff was there for the morning event.

Later in the day, it was announced that she gave birth to her 12th child.

President Rivlin Chief of Staff Rivka Ravitz at Beit Hanasi

I hesitated and did not take a photo of Rivka in the morning, but here is one from last year.

She was always at the President’s side, but stays out of the photographer’s view.

President Rivlin GPO IDF Spokesperson photo for 80th birthday
photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

The next day without his faithful assistant, the President received a birthday cake.

“There is nothing more thrilling than to celebrate your 80th birthday with the youngest and most daring brigade in the army. With you, I feel safe and young. In Pirke Avot (the Ethics of the Fathers), it says ‘80 years old for heroism.’ But you, you are the real heroes.”

Israel Committee Logistic Center

The September 17 election day is approaching. Before the previous election on a trip to the logistic center, we were told how the day after an election they begin to prepare for the next one.

Israeli election logistic center workers

Did anyone really believe then that indeed we would have an election again so soon?

The only thing for sure about this election is that no one really knows what will happen.

Avigdor Liberman at Israel Knesset Opening

What I can tell you with certainty is there is a new film called”Leiber-Man” directed by Nurit Kedar.  Because of election laws, it cannot be shown on Israeli TV until after the polls have closed on election day. Kedar received invaluable film footage from Alexander Gentelev before he passed away which she incorporated brilliantly in her documentary.

Avigdor Liberman arrived in Israel as a 20-year-old and started working at the airport handling luggage the next day. He has held many senior government positions other than Prime Minister. How his actions will affect the next Knesset will be more clear next week.

I am staying away from political debate and moving on to graffiti.

Jerusalem Israel graffiti

Some of the recent graffiti has been colorful.

If you want, some of the recent photos of ugly graffiti are here.

Jerusalem Israel one year in Guatemala Embassy

This sign for Guatemala was put up over vandalized Honduras thank you. 

Why mention graffiti this week?

Foot bridge near Begin Center in Jerusalem Israel

On my way to the Cinematheque for the “Leiber-man” documentary, I looked down and saw this inscription on the footbridge over Derech Hevron, Hebron Road.

Promised Land on path over Hebron Road Jerusalme Israel

I had to stop, look, think, and go back again.

View from Hevron Road foot bridge of Old City

This view from the pedestrian bridge is one I try and share with participants of photo walks. 

The walls of the Old City are across the Sultan’s Pool. Looking in this direction, Jaffa Gate is in the distance.

This area was part of No Man’s Land from 1948-1967.

View of Old City from foot bridge near Begin Center

I wonder who did this.  What will happen next in the promised land is hard to predict.

Muslim women in Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem Israel

I do know – that nearby Muslim women were having a picnic in Liberty Bell Park.

Inbal hotel welcome banner

Next to the park at the Inbal Hotel, a large welcome sign was up for international delegates for the Declaration of Our Common Destiny.

Common Destiny meeting with Israeli President

Its lofty aim is to support President Rivlin’s challenge to engage unity within diversity. When meeting the scholars and advisors at Beit Hanasi, he said:

“The miracle of the Jewish people is not only that we survived for thousands of years. The miracle is that, despite the fact that we were spread all over the world, speak different languages and developed different traditions, we always were one people. Despite our differences, we remained bound by our shared history, our core values and beliefs, our Book of Books, and our commitment to improving the world. It helped that our enemies always saw us as one people. Our enemies don’t see any difference between one stream of Judaism and another: Secular, Haredi, Reform, Conservative, Masorti – for them we are all Jews. “

Banners at the Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem Israel

I heard about a very different and special mission which was based at the Inbal Hotel.

The special Children’s Center Israel Trip sounded impressive.

I thank my friend for telling me about Yaakov Shwekey’s family and how they brought a group of special needs children on an amazing trip of a lifetime to Israel.

Oh, there was so much more, but enough for now.

Be the best you can be.

Jerusalem as August Ends and September Begins

Jerusalem as August Ends and September Begins

What a week!

That’s it for the summer.

Most visitors to Jerusalem, Israel have gone home.

At the end of August, a 9% increase in tourism was announced.

In the US and Israel, everyone was on holiday, at the beach one last time, or at a big-time BBQ.

Meanwhile, here in Jerusalem, two first-time events were held.

Jerusalem’s Kraft Family Sports Complex hosted the ninth European Flag Football Championship.

Israel finished in fourth place, but was full of pride, for Israeli Dani Eastman was named men’s tournament MVP. The tournament was to be held in Israel previously but was canceled in 2014 due to the security threats of the July-August Operation Protective Edge.

Also, there was JeruStock at First Station, a mud-free, drug and alcohol-free, family-friendly, musical, tie-dyed celebration of 50 years since Woodstock.

Har Herzl Museum with actor dressed as Herzl

At the end of August in 1897, 208 delegates and 26 press correspondents attended the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland.

Theodor Herzl is not only remembered on the anniversary of the movement he started or on the day when he was re-interred in Israel in 1949. He is remembered on Har Herzl which was named for him, the man who died so young and before his vision became a reality.

This year special ceremonies were held near his tomb on Har Herzl.

Beit Hanasi garden Herzl with Sara Zoabi

A sculpture of Theodor Herzl stands in the front garden of Beit Hanasi.  Here Sara Zoabi posed next to the statue in the presidential garden after a recent event held in the main hall.

Sign on ground for summer camp at Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem Israel

Memories and this sign were all that remained of the big summer vacation and water activities in Jerusalem’s Liberty Bell Park.

It was time this week to go back to school.

Sign on Jerusalem Israel bus for good school year.

Signs lined some Jerusalem streets, similar to this one on a bus, wishing all a successful school year תש”פ 5780.

Time to get ready for school, but also to get ready for changes in the streets of Jerusalem, Israel.

Sderot Shazar Jerusalem Israel closed until 2022 for new road

The new traffic pattern at the entrance to Jerusalem was well advertised. Until now no fines have been imposed on cars going in the public transit-only lanes, but that is to change now. Police will be watching and will issue tickets and fines to those drivers of private vehicles who are not following instructions.

Azza Street to be upgraded with new sidewalks and more

But there is more–multiple signs are up for other road works to begin soon.

Jerusalem Israel park with horse stature and Windows

Remember the Gan HaSoos, Horse Park and ‘Windows’?

Windows as seen from behind Gan Hasoos Jerusalem Horse Park

‘Windows’ was constructed for the Mekudeshet Festival which is to run September 4- 21.

Repairing Windows in Gan HaSoos in Jerusalem Israel

This week ‘Windows’ was being repaired and readied for the musical opening of the creative festival, whose music will be filling Jerusalem streets and parks.

First plan for Knesset expansion

The design for new construction for the Knesset expansion was published.

First plan for Israeli Knesset expansion

After the municipality sent out these images of the accepted plans, objections arose that the “iconic” building is not prominent enough.

However, what the sketches do not show is all the construction surrounding the Knesset which obscures many views.

Construction and moving are two themes found throughout Jerusalem streets this week.

I especially love to see the piles of books left out for passersby to take and give a new home.

Paper from boxes lining elevator in Jerusalem Israel building

Long gone are the days when Jerusalem had few elevators and only low buildings.

This is one of the new elevators that have a number pad ONLY on the outside wall.   You must push the number of the floor you want before entering the elevator.  Then you have to check and see which elevator to use and then enter.

I had to take a photo of this “C” elevator. I entered after pressing the button for the 16th floor.  While still in the lobby, one man came in, looked around, and exited quickly.  This was a sure sign he was not a regular visitor to the building as he panicked on encountering the new technology.

FoZ sign to welcome Honduran President Hernández to Jerusalem Israel

A very special visitor, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, and his wife arrived in Jerusalem for a ceremony inaugurating a Honduran “trade office” in Jerusalem. Their first public appearance was at the Kotel, Western Wall. This visit was to be the first step to moving the Honduran Embassy to Jerusalem.

Music in Jerusalem Israel end of September 2019

With the new month of Elul, the countdown to Rosh Hashana, the New Year, has begun. Signs are up for pre-holiday evenings of song and prayer.

Fall events include the ‘Jaffa to Agrippas Festival’ in the Machane Yehuda Market.

I am looking forward to The Jerusalem Biennale 2019 – For Heaven’s Sake! in October.

Pomegranate tree in Jerusalem Israel

The pomegranates are ripe as they hang on trees along Jerusalem streets.

Limes of tree in Jerusalem ready to pick in fall

Another sure sign the summer has passed – limes on the tree.

Finally, it is cooling off enough to be comfortable walking outside again.

View of Old City walls in Jerusalem Israel at sunset

One sees the reflection of the sun as it sets against the walls of the Old City.

I love this time of year, and the time of day when Jerusalem turns to Jerusalem of Gold.