Everything Ends, Everything Starts Again…
Late August in Jerusalem is kind of a bittersweet time. It’s hot and sunny and the weather is always beautiful, but with the holidays rapidly approaching, you know it’s just not going to last. Ariel Beery, Aharon Horowitz of Presentense Magazine and their Pixies closed down the house after spending weeks developing all kinds of innovative projects (1st pic, first row left – notice the Jesus like lighting on Beery…), Taglit-birthright Israel held it’s last mega event with special guests Benjamin Netanyahu and Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Adelson. Bibi needs another coaching session with his political consultants. He won the summer time Likud primary – some would say because it was held in August and all his opponents were on vacation. But if he wants to win the next election, he needs to gesticulate less with his hands – that’s deemed too ethnic and not leader like. Mrs. Adelson, who is Israeli, was a total babe and addressed the crowd in flawless Hebrew – which was probably lost on the 97% of the attendees who didn’t understand a thing she said. What they did understand was that she and her husband donated $25 million to Taglit-birthright israel this summer so that no one would have to be wait listed. As for Sheldon Adelson, he’s kind of short with a shock of improbably red hair. He walked with the assistance of a cane but he spoke lucidly and vividly about his father who never made it to Israel because he couldn’t afford the trip. Adelson, who grew up on the mean streets of Boston, is not an imposing figure but his success in the Casino industry belies a certain toughness. Let’s put it this way… I would hate to be caught counting cards at any of his establishments. I like this guy. Let’s keep him!
So, hardly was the last summer mega event over when preparations began for the winter Taglit-birthright israel season. Registration for free trips to Israel begins September 5th, but more on that later.
August also seems to be the season for all manner of street fairs. I’ve already discussed the Jewish Agency street fair, but now there were a few random street events, all held Friday afternoon. Bolinat hosted Soulico and MC Carolina who performed to a crowd of water gun toting revelers. Yankees and Blue Hole held a series of Friday afternoon shows where I watched missFlag perform (those guys are everywhere!) as well as Rebel Sun and Coolooloosh and Zvulun Dub Society (2nd row left to right). These shows are great as they force me to prepare early for Shabbat so that I may enjoy a decadently relaxing afternoon in the sun, sipping an Arak Limonada (the official drink of the summer), dancing and chilling with friends.
Of course I also take photos. In doing so I can’t help but think I am documenting the very last of Jerusalem’s secular permanent residents – as if they were endangered species like Manatees. Except instead of bovine water mammals, I am surrounded by more aviator shades than one would find at a Top Gun party, a bunch of Israeli men who think of underwear as an appropriate alternative to bathing suits (as they take a dip in the fountain in front of the stage) and a mess of strikingly beautiful and wildly interesting people (3rd row, left to right – random aviator shade woman, Avigail and Dee who won’t stop following me around and young love!).
Today was the final installment of this series. This summer also saw the departure of several Jerusalemites that I know – off to take a breather in the US (Oh, it’s temporary. We’ll be back. Really. Uh huh.). I know Lori will be back but as for the rest of them, I’m not so sure. But like everything else, every ending is also a new begining. I look forward to the new crop of dreamers and schemers, searchers and lurkers – all those crazy and colorful people that make Jerusalem the unique place that it is. And now the week is about to end. the Sabbath queen beckons for our day of rest – allowing us to charge up for the week to come. Shabbat Shalom!