Jerusalem Day, Yom Yerushalayim 50 was a big year with extravagant programs including a drone show, which was new and exciting at the time.
Last year I was in Tel Aviv for Yom Yerushalayim. Not so much fun having to sleep on pillows on the floor as bombs fell near the loft Airbnb I had rented – with no bomb shelter.
This year I am again missing the chance to march in the Flag Parade and show you the families celebrating and dancing in the Jerusalem streets.
After Shabbat thousands of young people were dancing and singing with a huge Israeli flag, and many smaller ones.
Yom Yerushalayim has been celebrated for more than one day this year.
The music was blasting from Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, ALL Thursday night. Huge stages were erected, as usual for the WhiteNight, all night long partying, but this year sounded and felt much louder. Other locations also had major live music productions but without as many complaints.
However, even earlier in the week, there were celebrations!
On King George Street, StandWithUs opened its new expanded education center with a flashing video in the new theater space.
The gala reception and program were held outside, behind the YMCA.
But warm feelings inside for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at StandWithUs.
Gorgeous, but cool nights on the Jerusalem streets early in the week.
In the never know what next, I had no idea what this guy was doing,
or who these guys were that wanted their photo taken.
You could feel the energy, people were back on the Jerusalem streets.
Mamilla Mall was alive again, with international tourists and Israelis.
The banner for ‘Yom Yerushalaim 55 years’ was outside of Jaffa Gate.
And inside Jaffa Gate, beigelles were ready for the tourists to buy.
The police station was ready, draped with holiday flags.
Large groups of students on holiday trips filled the Old City lanes.
The Western Wall Plaza near the Kotel was filled with group activities.
From the rooftop of the Aish building, I like to check the progress of the dome rising over the Tiferet Israel synagogue construction.
And of course, from the rooftop, to take multiple photos of the scenes below.
Including Ir David where the new restaurant and cable car station are to be.
On a clear day, you can see over the Dead Sea into to Jordan.
I went to see the Charge d’Affaires of the Kosovo Embassy in Jerusalem Ines Demiri accept an award from the Israel Defence and Security Forum.
People with Israeli flags kept walking by while Ines posed with Jerusalem Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum near the Kotel, Western Wall.
We walked out of the Jaffa Gate toward Jaffa Road, so she could go home and I could get the photo of the giant Jerusalem flag near Tzahal Square.
Oh, what a lovely time of year to walk on the Jerusalem streets!
Especially seeing friends finally able to return to Jerusalem again and join us to celebrate Yom Yerushalayim in 5782.
Remember for 19 years 1948-1967, Jews were unable to walk in or live in the Old City, the closest was a view was from Notre Dame.
Yom Yerushalayim Sameach!