Enough politics and protests.
Sun is shining.
Great time to stop and enjoy the flowers.
Summer time in Jerusalem,
and for over 30 years,
the Jerusalem Film Festival
has screened thousands of films.
This year for the first time
there are films being shown in Gan Haatzmaut,
Independence Park, in the Wilf Garden.
Security was so strict,
this is as close as I could get without buying a ticket.
But the main events are usually
shown at the Cinematheque,
where finally for the first time
disabled movie goers can access without steps,
using this newly-built elevator.
I think it is worth going just for the view.
However, the opening night of the festival,
was held in the Sultan’s Pool.
Even the Tower of David, not so far away,
is dwarfed by the size of this outdoor screen.
Minister of Sports and Culture Miri Regev,
was one of the speakers.
Special guest movie director and film star,
Quentin Tarantino received a special award
from Mayor Nir Barkat before the film.
The star of the movie, Emma Suraez,
was on stage to accept flowers.
But as much as there were numerous Tarantino spottings,
I assume Emma could go around Jerusalem without being noticed.
Also on the same night,
Israeli singer Idan Raichel received a special honor
by the B’nai Brith World Center,
in recognition of advancing Israeli-Diaspora relations.
I have seen him surrounded by screaming fans,
anxious to get close enough to take a selfie,
but when Idan entered the hall,
I was the only one who came over.
At least after he was presented with his certificate,
there was more notice.
Different crowds, different reactions.
Miri Regev was booed during her speech
at the Sultan’s Pool by some of the audience.
But three days later,
at the Jerusalem Theater
for the official ceremony remembering
Miri Regev sat in the front row with the dignitaries.
When the program was over
she was surrounded by well wishers
who wanted to be in photos with her.
As the emotional and well-done program
neared the end,
I thought I saw the Prime Minister,
glance at his watch.
The Foreign Minister of Egypt was on his way
to have dinner with the Netanyahus.
While for some this week,
nothing could be bigger than the Euro 2016 football (soccer)
on the television.
There are free movies shown at night,
at First Station and in the Old City,
as the Film Festival comes to a close.
Maybe it’s me,
but just going for the view of the
Walls of the Old City at sunset is wonderful to see.
When was the last time you walked
through the Jerusalem, Israel streets?
Bigger than life,
former Prime Ministers Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir
tower over King George Street.
Behind these decorated tarps,
the old Knesset Building is getting a make-over.
Until two years ago it housed the Rabbinical Courts,
now it is to become a new Knesset Museum.
Across the street,
the Old Mashbir is also getting a total make-over,
and will be the new WeWork office space.
The colors pop out when you turn
to go up Ben Yehuda Street,
not exactly coming up daisies.
But with sunflowers and babushkas.
plus, colored banners
providing shade on Histadrut Street.
Bright Oriental lanterns and a dragon
Ben Yehuda and Ben Hillel Streets.
are the next great photo op,
followed by even more color around the next corner.
Yaffo Road has the light rail lines,
so no overhead decorations there.
Tourists are around,
but not in the numbers the shops would like.
If you keep walking.
over to Yoel Salomon Street,
you will find new umbrellas for summer shade.
cover Shim’on Ben Shetach Street.
While nearby, the Gan Haaztzmaut,
Independence Park, is green.
The grounds are mowed and getting ready for
special new children’s program added this year to
the Jerusalem Film Festival.
With so many new colors on the Jerusalem, Israel streets,
when are you coming to see them?
Have you found your DNA?
Last week in Jerusalem, Israel,
were the topics of the headlines.
Violinist Itzhak Perlman,
who overcame serious disabilities
to succeed as a master musician,
received the Genesis Prize.
Individuals can make beautiful music,
dance and spin like top,
or sing on an opera stage.
This week at a Temech Conference,
for hundreds of Israeli female entrepreneurs,
Rabbi Yitzhak Breitowitz inspired with words
of Torah and Jewish values.
Emma Butin followed in opening plenary session.
She asked, “What is the one main value you offer?”
What is your DNA?
Waze offered social mapping.
Airbnb used professional photos.
FedEX had overnight service.
Google found its DNA arranging information.
They made billions of dollars.
Keep it simple.
No big words, she advised.
Hundreds of women met, talked,
and networked at the Ramada Hotel all day.
Looking to Grow Big, Grow Smart,
and advance their businesses and services.
Growth may not lead to billions or millions of dollars,
but thousands of families will benefit.
What is your DNA?
Have you thought about your core value?
How many have found their genius?
It is hot in Jerusalem, Israel.
The pool at Jerusalem Dan Hotel looked so cool.
But Sharut HaDin was having a conference inside the hotel,
so we were inside listening to experts on panels
discussing the new cyber and legal battlefields Israel is facing.
When it gets hot,
the parks are quiet by day,
but every fountain is as good as the beach.
Even new graffiti was in a shady spot.
This was certainly the most random street scene,
getting ready for a trip to the beach,
but with a box of memorial candles?
End of June.
It is again the season,
of big people on little chairs.
The mandatory end of school year celebrations,
are at all hours of day and night.
But this week, there is another celebration.
Itzhak Perlman is in Jerusalem to accept the Genesis Prize.
A gifted musician whose abilities overcame his disabilities.
Through appearances on Sesame Street
he taught important values to a whole generation.
Born in Israel,
though he has lived in New York for decades,
he was surrounded by the Hebrew media and well-wishers
after a press conference at Mishkanot Sha’ananim.
Also, Dame Helen Mirren is in Israel
this week to present the Genesis Prize.
She only played a Queen in the movies,
but she is a regal act in real life too.
Her stories of good times spent in Israel – priceless.
She was evidently pleased to receive a membership card
to the Jerusalem Press Club.
Now I can say I have something in common
with Dame Helen Mirren.
But on some days,
not only on the Jerusalem streets is it hard to get by,
but there is so much happening,
it is hard to do it all.
That night was opening of the Jerusalem Opera Week,
with an Italian theme for Rigoletto.
People were warned to come on time.
Parking and picking up tickets for hundreds
of opera goers required planning,
plus because of Ramadan fast ending at that time,
a shortage of taxis were anticipated.
The huge stage was constructed in Sultan’s Pool,
with seating rising to street level.
As the sun was setting the audience
and Israeli Philharmonic prepared for the show.
Translations in Hebrew and English,
were provided on the top and sides of stage.
Magnificent music filled the air.
Even though the story line is one of tragedy,
it was especially exciting to see an Israel performer
excelling in the lead female role.
So everything may not always be as beautiful as a bed of flowers,
but as I walked home at night near midnight,
people were still at Shavuah HaSefer at First Station,
watching the football (soccer) match and drinking beer.
Hundreds more were leaving the Jerusalem Theater.
The signs are up for the new season at the theater,
but the Genesis Prize award is there tonight.
Then we will have to wait to see what
will be happening next on the Jerusalem streets.
Another hot day
and another sign of summer,
the watermelon stands are popping up
on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.