Time Flying by in a Hot August in Jerusalem

Time is a strange thing.

It seems to go too fast or too slow, depending on the situation.

Jerusalem, Israel, is in the midst of an August heat wave. However, as the sun goes down, some nights have cooled off as usual.

But one night the humidity hit 82%. For Jerusalem, that high humidity is usual and was not appreciated as I walked home.

Still much has been happening on the Jerusalem streets for summer fun.

Jerusalem streets are covered with everything from colorful fake balloons

to candy canes and much more for tourists to admire and photograph.

Surprised to see lights on at night in the one-day-to-be Knesset Museum.

The Museum of Tolerance was dark one night

but opened with a photography exhibit during the day.

In 2021, the Jerusalem Foundation, with the support of the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation, created SidraTarbut, CulturEvents, a summer festival blending together film, dance, theater, and music.

Over the months of August and September, Jerusalem is to have 40 days of events and artistic offerings throughout the city offered free of charge or for a small fee.

The initial impetus for the series was the economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the success of SidraTarbut in the summer of 2021, the Mandel Foundation decided to support the festival for another two years. 

Performances and events are adapted to neighborhood residents, taking into consideration each community’s interest. It ends with Selihot in 10 Jerusalem neighborhoods and a special Selihot at the Tower of David on September 21, 2023.

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation announced 17 special Selihot times, and if you can’t attend in person, they will be available online live. They also posted photos of the first night with thousands attending Selihot.

Evenings are when most Jerusalem summer events happen.

RAAMSKATE by the always unique and creative Mystorin Theatre Group is to be in the Liberty Bell Skate Park on August 22, 2023, at night.

In Bloomfield Park, Julius Caesar continues as on opening night Shakespeare. Theater in Motion moves each night in the same park.

The Jerusalem Street Orchestra, however, changes locations for each performance, with the second evening performance in Zion Square.

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The orchestra, excellent though not professional musicians, is conducted by Ido Shpitalnik and entertained a large appreciative crowd in Zion Square.

A video better to show what was happening in Jerusalem at sunset.

Monday nights in August and until September 11th, are for Israeli dancing outside the Jerusalem Theater, again a video seemed better than photos.

But as someone asked – where are the young people?

Do they know the dances? Are children taught them now?

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Hansen House has a new exhibit that is said to be good for children, I went to check it out but it closes at 6:00 pm, too early for me when it’s so hot.

To really keep cool on these hot days, there is ice skating at First Station.

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End-of-summer event signs are up, including a Night at the Tower of David.

Jerusalem Theater is again to have an End of Summer Festival August 29-31.

Oh my. The signs are up a Beit Avi Chai for welcoming Kitah Aleph students. Time to buy school books and clothes and new shoes again?

The beginning of the month Elul means some students are back in classrooms. The end of August means the new school year is approaching for all, for some not soon enough, and for others too soon.

I am waiting for this heat wave to end and to be able to walk during the day to see what else is happening 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.