10 Things to Love About Jerusalem

The sense of uncertainty about what will happen next is ubiquitous.

Israel’s borders are closing again and isolations are becoming mandatory. Will the US be the next to be declared a red country?

Tourists were coming back to Jerusalem and tour buses were seen on the Jerusalem streets. But how many trips have again been canceled? Long-planned meetings put on hold.

In our neighborhood, a school is back on Zoom classroom sessions with so many students sick with corona.

However, there are positive things to share from this week in Jerusalem.

I love that no matter how many times you walk down the same streets, there is always something new to see or a new angle to notice, as you can see here at the entrance to Mamilla Mall.

At Mamilla Mall, I stopped for a moment to take a photo of the men at the mincha minyan, praying outside in the middle of the day. I loved that friends who walked by also noticed and commented.

Amazing how a short walk becomes longer when you stop to talk with friends you have not seen in too long a time.

The construction is just everywhere, as the buildings go up and up.

The noise is often deafening as the digging goes on and on.

Most of King David Street is completed. But the next phase here at Mamilla Junction is beginning. Watch out, this week the extension to King Solomon Street is to be closed as the new water lines are installed.

Won’t we all love it when the roadwork is done?

At last, reconstruction work on the old Knesset Building, slated to become the new Knesset Museum, appears to finally be moving along.

The entrance to Balfour Street was open! It had been without a security guard, an exciting development for those of us who live in the area. We were forbidden to walk down the street, and now there is a sign to pull the pedestrian gate open.

A TV media crew was wandering around and taking a video. At one point in the recent past, there were five layers of security and a huge black curtain. Now, new security cameras have been installed instead.

I had to go back again to check if it was real. The last time I walked down this street was the summer Obama was running for US President (first time!) and Olmert was Prime Minister.

Here you can see what was blocked, under strict security and now is quiet.

Security officers dressed in black jackets on motorcycles were out along Jaffa Road. It was good to see them chatting rather than having serious work to do.

The annual Hanukkah decorations are gone and stowed away.

But Santa near Jaffa Gate in the Christian Quarter is still this month.

Reindeer have lit up the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens for the nighttime show since before Hanukkah.

The YMCA has more decorations and new lights this year.

At New Gate, a Christmas Market is open in the evenings until December 22nd, however, the sign says that it is limited to 500 people.

I am not sure I like it, but I am still amazed to see young children on the Jerusalem streets walking alone, like this little girl walking from New Gate,

or outside along the path by the Old City Walls going towards Jaffa Gate,

or little ones leading even younger ones in Nachlaot.

But for children, I just love the new lion in the Gan Sacher, Sacher Park play area.

This week the 11th Temech Conference was held at the Jerusalem Convention Center. Temech services Jewish businesswomen and entrepreneurs, and the conference is a popular annual networking event. I loved the various areas decorated for women to sit and talk.

The day-long programming was full of excellent speakers, so it was hard to catch up with friends you had not seen in too long. Plus recognizing new acquaintances from online meetings was a challenge. Did she seem so short or so tall, so thin?

When the Hebrew and the Anglo groups merged for a late lunch it was hard to get everyone in one photo, but safe to say most everyone was Energized.

In the Artist Colony across from the Old City walls is Kol HaOt, a studio for art with connections to Torah, and a venue for the Jerusalem Biennale.

During the corona lockdown last winter, 48 artists were able to use the space to create a piece based on one of the 48 ways Torah is acquired.

I loved many aspects of this 5th Jerusalem Biennale, but more another time.

Ready to walk home I heard music, the fountain was on at Teddy Park. The show went on and on – better to share a short video than a photo.

Winter music festivals are back! The 12th Hullegeb: Israeli-Ethiopian Arts Festival, Chaznut Performances, and more – I love the varied cultures.

Chagnival at HaMiffal is this week at The Miffal, however, not sure what it is.

I love what they did in the old abandoned building. Do people know about it?

I LOVE JLM, especially on a sunny winter day or a clear cool night.

I love to take a walk and see what’s happening on the Jerusalem streets.

Here’s hoping those millions of tourists that were expected before corona shut down the skies will be able to return –

and soon.