What do you think of on July 4th in Jerusalem?

The smell of freshly cut grass is not one associated with Jerusalem, Israel.

But as I entered Jerusalem’s Liberty Bell Park from the shade of the Hubert Humphrey Arbor and descended the steps toward the Liberty Bell on July 4th morning, the familiar clean and fresh aroma of grass filled the air.

The Liberty Bell Park was dedicated 45 years ago to coincide with the 1976 Bicentennial celebration in the United States.

However, for Israelis, the same date July 4, 1976, was the Entebbe mission where Yoni Netanyahu fell in action saving the hijacked passengers.

In Liberty Bell Park there is a memorial garden in his name.

July 1st is Canada Day and next to the Yoni Netanyahu Garden is another memorial Canadians should appreciate.

The Terry Fox Memorial Garden was dedicated in 1985 to a special athlete who captured the imagination and respect of Canadians as he crossed the country on one leg after amputation because of cancer to raise money for cancer research.

As I reached the end of the park, classes of young students were arriving.

I wondered if they knew of the significance of climbing on the exact replica of the US Liberty Bell on July 4th, in a Jerusalem, Israel, park?

So glad it was cooler, following a very hot week of summer weather of last week.

A real conference, live and online, with programs and tags – and face masks.

Dozens of speakers on economy and education and more, but only one was wearing a watermelon shirt, a professor from Hebrew University.

With the rising corona numbers, I hope it’s not one of the last of large gatherings allowed inside.

Also exciting to be back to Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence for the arrival of the German President. Notice the equipment to do a live stream, and the antiviral gel on the wall, both new additions since former President Joachim Gauck came in December 2015 to mark the 50th year of Israel-German diplomatic relations.

After over a year of reduced ceremonies, the IDF band was back preparing.

The military honor guard inspected before President Steinmeier arrived.

The mingling and chatting of German and Israeli military officials, in the Jerusalem garden of Beit Hanasi, something I find incredulous.

Who could ever imagine 80 years ago, German media traveling with their President to Jerusalem, Israel, and sending back the breaking story from their laptop computer?

The Presidents spoke and planted an apple tree in the Beit Hanasi yard. One of President Rivlin’s last major events. On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, Israel is to have a new President and preparations are underway for the transition.

Remembering the past and planning for the future in Jerusalem, Israel.

The past and future are reflected in these Jerusalem street signs. The small blue sign is of the combatting antisemitism mega-events held at the end of January 2019 BC (Before Corona). Not sure which election cycle the yellow Shas campaign ad was for. But below are the new signs for Mekudeshet musical events and the night of Tisha B’Av “conversations.”

There was so much more, but enough.

You never know what will be happening next on the Jerusalem streets!

Jerusalem Festival Season in Full Swing

  The end of August, Tisha B’Av is over,

and Jerusalem festival season is in full swing.

While the Festival Ha’ira is still popular,

 there is an annual Klezemer Festival,

sign in Hebrew in Jerusalem

and this sign is for new arts festival.

Walking by the Liberty Bell Park,

Jerusalem park actor in costume J

I was not only one scratching my head.

What was that thing in the park?

Train Theater has its annual Puppet Festival.

Jerusalem festival puppet festival

People were lined up to enter,

but something new lined the fence.

Inspired by the Prague Zoo,

man looks at poster Gan Paamon

posters by Michal Cihlar, a Czech Republic artist,

“Zoooo – You Wouldn’t have a clue?”

included a hoopoe, Israeli’s national bird.

While across the road in Bloomfield Gardens,

near the Montefiore Windmill,

Macbeth in motion Jerusalem

was “Macbeth in Motion.”

Over the next two weeks,

Macbeth in motion in Bloomfield Park Jerusalem Israel audience

audiences in the park can appreciate Shakespeare,

but be warned do not get too comfortable,

the audience changes locations 5 times.

Yemin Moshe view of Tower of David Jerusalem

Where else can you hear the Bard of Avon with this backdrop?

Nearby, also these last two weeks of August,

Khutsot Hayotser Jeusalem international arts and crafts festival

is Khutsot Hayotser,

the annual international arts and crafts fair,

international arts and crafts festival

with its concerts in Sultan’s Pool.

It is so huge,

 I will save those photos for another time.

Since it opened and all summer long.

fountain in Teddy Park sound and light show at night

families have come to Teddy Park.

Lights on at night near Old City Teddy Fountain

Children love to run in the fountain.

Light and music in fountain at night Jerusalem Teddy Park

Lights and music at night,

with the water pressure changing,

what a way to cool off and have fun, and its free.

people in water at Teddy Fountain

With the walls of the Old City in the background,

location is a bonus also.

The Beer and Wine Festivals are still to come.

But meanwhile with Tu B’Av parties and weddings,

it is hard to keep up with all the good things

happening on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Jerusalem: Parades, Runners and New High Flyers

Many were worried that the three-day (Saturday night through Monday)

Lag B’Omer celebrations with their smoky medurot, large bonfires,

would cause worse air quality than the usual holiday pollution.

But thanks to Israeli basketball team Maccabi Tel Aviv 

 playing in the Euroleague Championship basketball final,

photo Israel basketball winners

so many people came inside to watch the exciting game

that there seemed to be a lot less smoke this year.

Maccabi Tel Aviv won in overtime!

The team has already been to the Prime Minister’s office 

and is invited for a special reception today in the President’s House.

Lag B’Omer and International Museum Day were celebrated on Monday.

Thousands of school children on school holiday filled museums

which had no entrance fees in honor of Museum Day.

image Palestinian, photo Israel occupation, picture Israel oppresion

We had a great time in the Bloomfield Science Museum as always,

with lots of new exhibits and activities.

image large torah, man dressed in costume,

 Lag B’Omer gatherings and parades Sunday in the Rechavia neighborhood

image old city, view Teddy Park on Lag BOmer, photo people in park

and Monday in Teddy Park near the Old City were just two of many events.

There was one unique event on Monday afternoon.

In a first-ever Run for Peace, 

image Pat Farmer, photo runners near Jaffa Gate,

Australian ultra-marathon runner Pat Farmer (in the blue shirt)

and a few of his supporters arrived at the end of his 1500-kilometer run from Lebanon.

image Pat Farmer, photo old city, image Pat Farmer Peace Runner

After running around 80 kilometers a day,

athlete Pat Farmer’s advice was to “put one foot in front of the other.”

Following a small press conference at Jaffa Gate,

image Australian ambassador,

Australian Ambassador Dave Sharma told another gathering in honor

of Farmer at the King David Hotel how proud Australia is

to support sports and all efforts for peace.

All was not sports and parades.

image Jerusalem Writers festival

The week-long International Writers Festival opened in Mishkenot Sha’ananim.

But the real action was found outside,

just down the road from these two venues.

image skate boarder, new skate park in Israel photo, picture Jerusalem skate park

People were in the air, flying high

image Jerusalem skate park opening,

after Mayor Nir Barkat cut the ribbon of the new Skate Park Jerusalem.

image new skate park, photo large skate board rink,  jJrusalem skate park

The large rink is located in a section of the Liberty Bell Park.

Though some may not think of this as popular sport,

hundreds of people from all over Israel came for the opening,

image skate park, photo children watching skaters, skate park at night

children with skate boards tucked under their arms,

image Jerusalem skate park

and others watched as the best riders from all over Israeli showed their moves.

While the runners raced along the Jerusalem streets without getting a second glance,

and the parades stopped traffic for a bit,

 this Skate Rink is really something!

Additional photos: Peace Run and Skate Park