In Jerusalem one November week with highs and lows

In Jerusalem, Israel, the last week of November 2023 began with an important visitor.

Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence, was open, but with less of the usual formality: no red carpets and no flowers decorated the stage in the main hall, just flags and two podiums.

The President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier was met outside and escorted in by the President of Israel Isaac Herzog as the media and staff watched.

The cameras were ready early, and I made sure to get a good seat.

Their speeches were broadcast live and are available to the public.

The large delegation that came from Germany was warmly greeted, but more importantly, the solidarity visit included traveling south to see the destruction of the Simhat Torah Massacre firsthand.

I wondered if they noticed the memorial candles for a fallen soldier, the son of Beit Hanasi staff member.

The yellow ribbons are still out.

The dog tags – “Bring them home – now” – are becoming more popular.

While some are so happy to take down the posters of the returned hostages,

the faces of the too many who are still held captive in Gaza are seen as life goes on slowly in Jerusalem.

After its grand opening, the Bezalel building is only open to students.

Haneviim Street was strangely lacking traffic, but the new buildings behind were easily visible over the old, showing the contrast on this old Jerusalem street.

People were on Ben Yehudah Streets and Zion Square, an interesting diversity of people as usual.

HaBoydem was open with their recycled fashions, it seems with all the donations to help southern families, the donated clothing for this charity keeps arriving in the original Talpiot branch.

The Farmer’s Markets keep popping up in various Jerusalem locations. I should have bought those orchids on the right when I saw them, as they were gone when I came back a few minutes later.

Perhaps fewer, but the young hijab-wearing women were also walking on Jaffa Road.

And as always, at Israeli medical facilities, Arabs both work and receive treatment.

Kikar Safra is the home of the Jerusalem municipality that has been working overtime to serve Jerusalem residents and the thousands of people from around the country who had to leave their homes under threat.

It was good to see tour groups as I walked around on a sunny weather day. Things are not always as they seem, as the sign warns that those cushions that look so inviting are made of cement.

Near Tzahal Square there was much less congestion than usual.

I had time to notice the Jerusalem lion on the bollards for the first time.

The view on the way to Jaffa Gate is an old photo favorite as usual.

This man sitting in his usual spot collected charity, a sign of returning to normal.

Traffic below coming and going from Jerusalem, who would have thought it a positive sight?

By Jaffa Gate, the tourists and birds were missing, but, as usual, a Muslim family walked by.

A week, that featured an emotional roller coaster of nights waiting to see which hostages would be released, ended with a Friday Fair at the Tower of David with no entrance fee.

An arts and crafts sale to aid southern businesses, at a time when culture is not seen as a priority.

In a city with too few tourists, there was live music at the popular tourist sight,

sweet treats to be designed and made,

and beer was sold, as well as food, at the Tower of David before Shabbat.

The flags were up on the JVP Margalit campus of Startup City Jerusalem, only I arrived after the Hackathon was over. It was hard to keep up with everything that was happening this past week.

However, from there I could see the sign announcing the Jewish Film Week at the Cinematheque, December 9 – 14, 2023.

Donuts. So hard to believe it will be Hanuka in a few days, as the past 2 months are a blur.

Jerusalem, Israel on Hanukkah 5778

Today the traditional menorah, made entirely of bronze, standing over 2 meters tall and 2 meters wide, was placed in the Kotel, Western Wall Plaza, a popular sight year after year.

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem had a poster up along a Jerusalem street. Most museums have special activities planned for the week of Hanuka, especially for children.

Hannukah events in Jerusalem, many in libraries in various neighborhoods, already have begun,

December 2-15, 2023, check the link for registration information on Lights from Jerusalem events.

No idea what will be this year, but here’s a favorite from the past to brighten and lighten the mood.

Hope to see you soon on the Jerusalem streets!

Jerusalem Old & New August Sights and Sounds of Summer Nights

Jerusalem, Israel, is in the midst of a mid-August heat wave.

Walking around the Jerusalem streets during the day is a challenge.

But where did the summer go, this week is Rosh Chodesh Elul!

Pomegranates growing on trees along the Jerusalem streets are a familiar sight. Those who want to save their best fruits cover them to protect the pomegranates from birds getting to eat the ripe fruit first.

A very new, long-time coming sight is the new Bezalel Arts Campus.

The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design on the new Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Bezalel Campus opened its doors to the public.  Initially proposed in 2013, the School for the Arts broke ground in 2015.

The entrance lobby is an example of the vast modern structure of glass, cement, and Jerusalem stone constructed on multiple levels.

Brand-new sewing machines were piled into the clothing design section.

There is a store to buy student work, as well as a theater, synagogue, and mosque along with classrooms for instruction.

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A mini-market was also open to the public.

Until August 18th, the halls are lined with student graduation projects.

Industrial design has all kinds of equipment for students to create projects. Each arts division has its own space with impressive modern facilities for instruction and endless prospects for creativity.

Something for everyone, including the restrooms.

Oh, and the view!

From the balcony off of the food court can be seen the neighboring Underground Museum building,

and oh what a great new view of Jerusalem from above.

Another great view, but not so new, is from Bloomfield Gardens across Yemin Moshe to the Old City walls.

It was here that the annual August Shakespeare in Motion was back with a unique production of Julius Caesar this year.

Live audiences each night find a spot on the park grounds.

This show had a chorus that added musical and humorous bits

because remember Julius Caesar is a tragedy of death and deception.

To be or not to be, Caesar is stabbed to death.

But not to worry this Caesar joined the cast for a final bow on the first night.

More of the Shakespeare in Motion production HERE

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And then there’s Hutzot Hayotzer, the Arts and Crafts Festival, held in August in Jerusalem in the Sultan’s Pool near the Arts and Crafts Colony.

This year inflatable balloons lined much of the park area near the Old City.

Thousands attend musical concerts each night in the huge outdoor theater.

The food court has expanded to the area where the international crafts had been. It was so crowded one would assume they were giving food away, but no – you pay to enter, pay to eat, and pay even more for the concert seats.

There were local craft folks selling, along with internationals, including Indonesia, but with less emphasis on the international booths this year,

More of the Hutzot Hayotzer HERE

Israelis may be traveling by the tens of thousands overseas in August for the long summer holiday. But you would never know it in Jerusalem near the Old City. Even a bus from Nirvana could not avoid the traffic jams with the honking of car horns.

Trying to get parking in the area for the Sami Rohr Prize, held at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, was a challenge. The Sami Rohr prize winner, this year for fiction, was Iddo Gefen for Jerusalem Beach.

Gefen spoke after a panel discussion that included the other prize finalists and translators.

David Wolpe did an admirable job of leading the evening program.

The dairy dessert buffet after the program was elaborate. However, I was too busy tasting the treats and talking with long-time friends, and meeting new people to photograph the multiple stations.

More of the Sami Rohr Prize photos HERE

Something new these August nights for the public to see, so I went early the first night. I saw no one and no projectors. Concerned right place and the right time? Yes, see those 3 tiny cameras in the center of the photo?

They project, at 8:30 pm, on the building, check it out on King George Street.

Every night, all night, there are people coming and going at Jaffa Gate to the Old City and Kotel, Western Wall.

As always more, much more to see on the Jerusalem streets to share in one post. A few more HERE.

I do love that most nights cool off even though the days are so warm. Not sure about this week as this end-of-August heat wave hits and temperatures soar.

A stroll thru Mamilla Mall is always an option, until next time…

I love Jerusalem.

7 New Views in Jerusalem

What’s considered new in Jerusalem, Israel, is a constant surprise.

Every week something new seems to grab headlines and attention.

Suspension bridge over Hinnom Valley

The suspension bridge over the Hinnom Valley (shared here in May) was officially opened and caused a bit of social media discussion.

What a view from the bridge!

But is it a bridge over the valley to nowhere on Mount Zion?

A photo taken during the development of the new bridge (twice mentioned here) appears that more development of the area might be called for.

Who remembers this photo and view from October 2021?

And this photograph was taken in December 2019 BC – Before Corona.

Well, here is the same spot near the end of Jaffa Road this past week!

Oh, how the view has changed!

All around Jerusalem, one day there is a store. The next day it’s gone.

The white sign over the door of the old Shaare Zedek is for Social Space.

The same sign as over the President Hotel entrance. Making use of old Jerusalem landmark buildings as the new ones pop up around them.

On Jaffa Road outside of the building workers were busy removing red Xs, from the new stones made so they look old.

Did you notice the new buildings built across the street?

The Jerusalem Gateway Project is at street level and visible from Jaffa Road.

Note on the left how the old cemetery remains as the towers rise above,

and well above the Jerusalem streets to change the view.

At first, this view of the Machane Yehuda Market on a summer weekday appeared the same as before strolling in off of Jaffa Road.

But now covered with a new roof, it was more pleasant than outside in the sun and filled with people, tour groups and shoppers, and summer camps.

People filled some of the passageways lined with new shops.

Fascinating to see cucumbers and corn packaged in plastic.

Even some of the baked goods were wrapped in plastic and not open as in the past. Good news for some, and outrageous for others.

The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens has a new attraction for summer 2023.

Colorful inflated “monsters” are meant to provide families with an outing to view the new kid-friendly monster balloons around the gardens.

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But I am waiting to view the details of the Japanese pagoda opening.

You can see it from the street, near the entrance of the Botanical Gardens next to the cherry trees and the Japanese flag.

The flag of Zambia was on view near Beit Hanasi, the President’s Residence, to welcome Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema to Jerusalem on an official state visit. The African leader had a busy schedule planned.

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I assume HH missed the popup flea market in the community park nearby.

This past week was Tu B’Av.

The time after the sad day of Tisha B’Av is filled with weddings.

But at all Jewish weddings, a glass is broken to remember the Jerusalem of Tisha B’Av and the destruction and promise of rebuilding as a new couple begins building their home.

As we left the wedding, I stopped to admire the view of the full moon.

Sturgeon moon over Yemin Moshe in Jerusalem Israel

Who remembers the same Sturgeon Moon over Yemin Moshe last year?

So it’s summer in Jerusalem, and signs are up for the Thursday night concerts back again in Safra Square with live musical entertainment.

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Saw this sign too late, but there are more Feel events on August 9 and 16.

And signs for even more events, to end off the summer before school starts, the Jerusalem Israel Festival, the International Puppet Festival at the Train Theater, The Tower of David Circus, and much more.

Solomon's Quarries for a piano performance

Remember the amazing views in Zedekiah Cave?

It’s to have reopened with a special video of King Solomon’s Quarries.

Enough views of above and below the Jerusalem streets for now.

Time to go and see what else is happening on the real Jerusalem streets, and to share next time what the mainstream media does not view as news.