12 Signs this Week in Jerusalem

This was another autumn week

filled with Jerusalem festivals and events.

Mekudeshet and Manofim,

try and keep all those arts and music programs straight.

At night the temperatures go down

and the people come out from hiding – after the hot sunny days.

Trees in Zion Square

Near the light rail tracks and Zion Square,

and not in New York City,

Arab girls shopping on Jaffa Road

 signs beckons for end-of-season sales.

As part of a cultural festival

Trees in Kikar Tzion for festival

 trees were brought in and placed around Zion Square.

I am not sure I like the new look,

Muslim girls on Jerusalem Israel streets Ben Yehuda

but loved seeing so many people out on the streets.

 I was on my way to the Italian Festival.

The beautiful sanctuary of the Italian Synagogue,

off Ben Yehuda Street,

Italian synagogue Jerusalem Israel

was open to the public.

The wooden benches may be authentic,

but they are not the most comfortable for long prayer services.

This was the annual festival

Pizza, Pear and Apple restaurant owner at Italian festival

 where pizza was available in the plaza

Vespa in Italian shul for festival

and old Vespas were on exhibit inside.

Italians were not the only ones featured this week.

Chinese flag at Knesset

 Chinese flags were flying over the Knesset

as government officials were in Jerusalem,

joining hundreds of Chinese tourists. 

When it comes to tourists,

Hagee Mission to Israel again

John Hagee is back, leading over 300 people,

his banner sat in the quiet lobby as they toured the Old City.

The celebration of 50th year of Jerusalem’s reunification

brought together the builders and funders of Jerusalem,

the families who support the Jerusalem Foundation,

Their major projects are too many too mention now.

sign for Jerusalem Foundation at BEit Hanasi 5oth

This large sign and Israeli flags greeted them at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli President’s official residence.

Celebrations will happen throughout the year,

as Hebrew year 5777 begins next week.

Also at Beit Hanasi this week.

an emotional event was held honoring IDF soldiers

Ezer Mizon sign Beit Hanasi

who were bone marrow donors

by grateful recipients and their families.

For the past 10 years,

IDF soldiers have undergone voluntary screening,

and their bone marrow donations have saved 1,100 lives.

craft fair sign Hebrew

From this small sign about a craft festival

on Derech Bet Lechem,

Matisyahu in Jerusalem large sign Hebrew

to this over-sized sign announcing that Matisyahu

is coming back for a Sultan Pool concert in October,

new signs have been posted all around Jerusalem.

Not all are in Hebrew-

Destroyed Jeans sign in Jerusalem Israel

sometimes the ones in English get the most attention.

Would you pay 200 shekels for destroyed jeans?

Hundreds of signs were posted for the

Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run

5000 runners who filled the Jerusalem streets

on Monday night for Jerusalem Maccabiah Night Run.

Another on sports,

signs are posted for the annual basketball shooting derby

basketball at Kikar Safra

event at Kikar Safra, Government Square.

But until the balls start flying through the air,

street crossing signs hebrew

these safety signs were getting more attention.

Not into sport?

A Picasso exhibit is on at the Israel Museum,

Picasso at Israel Museum

and the rooms filled with hundreds of the artist’s works.

Outside. Inside. Large. Small.

Still not enough?

Our local Pillbox is to be a star

at the Houses Within annual event.

Pillbox Hebrew sign for Houses Within

This modest sign posted on nearby trees

offers just one of dozens of options over 3 days.

It’s a great opportunity to see private homes and other buildings,

otherwise closed to the public.


just a few signs of what is happening

in Jerusalem this week.

Now you have seen these signs,

please let me know what you would like

to see more of next time and in future.

Shabbat Shalom

In Kikar Tzion, Zion Square,

just off Jaffa Road,

at a stall in the Jerusalem Night Market,

I saw these dried pomegranates on a wooden tray.

Pomegranates are usually for Rosh Hashannah,

but since Jerusalem is gearing up for the holidays,

this seemed fine for a Shabbat Shalom greeting.

Rosh Hashannah pomegranate theme for Shabat shalom

שבת שלום

Thought this looked better without words Shabbat Shalom

placed on it, do you agree?

Jerusalem Week of Lows and Highs

The news making international headlines is that

Shimon Peres, שמעון בן שרה,

is in the hospital in serious condition on a respirator.

One of my favorite photos of former President Peres

Shimon Peres and Jams Snyder at Israel Museum

was taken at the Israel Museum 50th Birthday Bash 

Who else would be presented with their own photo

taken at opening of the museum fifty years earlier?

Free entrance to the Israel Museum

is being offered this Thursday night.

I wish I could take advantage of the offer, but there are just too many

things happening in Jerusalem, Israel…again!

All the summer concerts in Jerusalem parks

and the Hansen House special children events have ended,

as it’s time to go back to school.

My favorite posters are up,

sign back to school

like this one of the Jerusalem municipality welcoming boys

sign back to school

and girls with “Hello First Graders.”

Where else is the start of school treated

as bigger deal than college graduation?

mekudshet festival sign

Signs are also up for Mekudeshet, a culture festival

with weeks of extensive music and arts programs.

Plus, the annual Italian Festival is also going on this week.

50 years Jerusalem sign Hebrew

Signs are up as the city prepares to celebrate

50 years since the end of the Jordanian occupation

and the reunification of Jerusalem.

A new wall has been erected at Beit Hanasi,

the Israeli Presidential official residence.

construction at beit Hanasi

However, it is a temporary barrier

construction site at Israeli President House new entrance

as construction work for a new visitor entrance has begun.

While work proceeded behind the wall,

Beit Hanasi was busy with international visitors.

World Jewish Congress delegates came on Monday,

World Jewish Congress posed for photo with Presidetn Rivlin

and posed for group photo with President Rivlin.

While on Tuesday the spouses and partners of diplomats

posted in Israel were hosted by the Rivlins.

DEI one phot of foreign spouses at biet hanasi

This is one of the group’s photos,

from 80 countries, 33 nations were represented that day.

Some of those visitors had been to Jerusalem many times,

but for others it was their first visit.

How good it is when people come and see the great things

that are happening on the Jerusalem streets for themselves.

Hope to get to some of Jerusalem’s newly-opened parks,

as the countdown to Rosh Hashannah reminds us,

 the new year is coming soon.

Jerusalem 9/11 Memorial: Behind the Camera

15 years have past

since September 11, 2001,

but I can still remember the bluest, clearest sky,

and best weather on that day in Washington, DC.

We had moved back from New York City a few days earlier.

Having a blue sky in Jerusalem, Israel, is a given all summer,

no one moves to DC for the weather.

There was a good reason that foreign diplomats stationed in DC

received hazard pay in the days before air conditioning.

But it was so nice that morning,

I went for a walk as work was being done on our new kitchen.

The destruction of the twin towers of the WTC

and with its immense loss of life

has overshadowed the loss of life at

 the Pentagon, the heart of the US military command.

For those of us living in the DC area,

the attack on the Pentagon affected our family and friends

in too many ways to recount here now.

 The 15th anniversary of 9/11 was remembered in Israel.

Buses took passengers from Jerusalem on a round-about route,

under the new fast-train tracks under construction

towards the JNF-KKY Jerusalem Park,

Jerusalem JNF park Memorial 9 11

slowly and cautiously down the winding road.

After an hour on the bus

we were on the other side of the tracks

Jerusalem train track Israel

and across from the cemetery on Har Hamenuchot.

Jerusalem memorial sept eleven

Dignitaries and guests waited in the memorial plaza for the program to begin.

Jerusalem Israel JNF memorial

The names of all 2,996 victims are listed on the wall.

The only memorial outside of US to list all the names.

Jerusalem Nine Eleven memorial

The honor guard in full dress

was positioned cleverly in front of the cool air blowers

and were protected by the sun shade.

Jerusalem memorial for 9 11 , 15 years

What were the Marines thinking?

Jerusalem Israel September 11 memorial

Israeli families of victims placed a floral memorial wreath

as did Israeli and international dignitaries.

Jerusalem memorial for September 11

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro stood in respect

 after placing his wreath at the base of the memorial

fashioned in the design of a US flag shaped as a flame.

A piece from the Twin Towers is encased in the base,

and can be seen through the rectangular window above those wreaths.

Jerusalem Israel memorial to killed on September 11

After the official ceremony,

with all its impressive speeches this year,

flowers were provided to those who wished to place them

on the names in memory of those who lost their lives on 9 /11.

Jerusalem Israel 9-11 memorial ceremony for 15 years police delegation

A delegation of 50 US police officers were in attendance.

Jerusalem memorial Sept 11

Their hats and uniforms were imprinted with US and Israeli flags.

There was a positive feeling of unity

that is not felt often enough these days.

As WJC President Ronald Lauder said,

 “The pain of loss never goes away,

but happiness comes from freedom,

and free people rise over hate.


More photos from ceremony


Israel Going North: Old and New

It does not happen often,

but we got away from Jerusalem, Israel,

for a few days and we drove up north.

Nothing is far in Israel,

view of Kinneret at sunset

and in two hours you can be at the Kinneret,

the Sea of Galilee.

It looks so cool and calm,

but on the other side,

Kinneret view of water and mountain on other side

Syria is on the other side of the Golan Heights.

It used to be on the other side of the lake.

The Galil seems filled with prosperous

Arab village near Kinneret

Arab villages along the main roads.

Check out this sign in Arabic

Tnuva sign in Arabic in village in Galilee

 for the Israeli (Chinese) dairy company Tnuva.

A special ceremony honoring fallen Bedouin soldiers and security officers

Official memorial to fallen Bedouin securtiy

was held this week at the official memorial park

Israel memorial to fallen Bedouin soldier

established in honor of Bedouin IDF soldiers, police and scouts.

It is beautifully landscaped with large symbolic stones.

Bedouin memorial

In this photo, three stones represent those hung as spies by Syria.

Despite the community pride in the fallen security forces,

no names were permitted to be photographed and published.

Israel memorial to fallen security Bedoi8un

All those names are listed this in memorial wall shaped like a tent,

but I was told not to share the names.

Not far away,

rising above the valley is Mount Tabor,

view of Har Tavor,

with its narrow winding road leading up to the top.

Buses have to park at the bottom,

as only smaller vehicles can make the multiple crazy turns.

Friars Terra Santa Mount Tabor

It is truly is a wonder how the Terra Santa friars

built the original structure so many centuries ago.

Har Tavor view below

But what a view from there now!

 Jerusalem is not the only place of contrast,

old and new, for much of Israel today is amazing,

and constantly changing.

Ok, it was fun to see one of those

Israeli baby mover

 old fashioned baby transporters,

new and in use in the restaurant parking lot.

Established under difficult conditions,

in 1901, Kfar Tavor,

milk cans

has a museum with old milk cans,

while a few kilometers away, huge tank trucks come and go

from the state of art Tnuva factory.

The highways are not like the old days,

Israeli highway

Highway 6 with its large trucks reminded us

of the New Jersey Turnpike traffic.

While driving it was possible to check

  the phone for email and updates and more,

but the Kfar Tavor Museum has the one phone,

phone from Palestine

for all of the Palestina (Eretz Yisrael) area in 1926.

Wine is still processed the old fashioned way

wine barrel in Galilee

in wooden, hand-crafted barrels.

Looks like this is as close as I am getting to

the Jerusalem Wine Festival this year.

Last night I attended a special event,

in the Kfar Shmaryhu residence

of the US counselor for Press and Culture.

3 teams of Ethiopian Israelis presented

entrepreneurial projects done with mentors

in a new Tech-Career incubator program.

In 2002,

 no Ethiopian Israelis were trained in hi-tech in Israel,

now there are hundreds.

A few highlights of week, old and new and change,

Sunset view of Galilee

the sunsets were picture-perfect every night,

but it is good to be back home in Jerusalem.