Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

Israeli Culture Explosion Snuffed Out by Real Blasts

July 10, 2014

This piece first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

Maybe Next Year: Contact Point, which in previous years attracted 5,000 attendees, has been postponed. Photo Credit: Barak Aharon

Maybe Next Year: Contact Point, which in previous years attracted 5,000 attendees, has been postponed. Photo Credit: Barak Aharon

JERUSALEM – Usually, there is an explosion of culture in Jerusalem in the summer. But with Hamas striking Israel with hundreds of rockets and missiles daily, popular arts events in the country’s capital have had to be cancelled or postponed.

When the current war with Hamas broke out early Tuesday, Jerusalemites were not particularly fearful of rockets landing in their city. While one or two sirens went off in Jerusalem during Operation Pillar of Defense in late 2012, the capital was largely spared from missile fire. However, when the wailing siren sounded and was followed by three explosions on Tuesday night, residents realized that things may actually be different this time.

Within minutes of the attack on Jerusalem, authorities ordered that the concert by Israeli rocker Berry Sakharof taking place that evening at the outdoor Sultan’s Pool venue just outside the walls of the Old City be stopped and its 6,000 attendees immediately evacuated.

Large outdoor gatherings, which are traditional during cool Jerusalem summer evenings, are problematic security-wise at a time like this. People have at most a minute and a half to reach shelter when a air raid siren goes off, making it difficult — if not impossible — to hold such events safely.

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Jerusalem’s First Food Truck Releases Cookbook

June 2, 2014

This piece was first published on The Jew and the Carrot blog at the Forward.

Machane_Yehuda_1_Tal_Shahar

In July 2013, Israel’s first-ever food truck rolled its way through Jerusalem, stopping at a different neighborhood every day. At each location, a local celebrity accompanied famed chef Assaf Granit in serving up to the public a signature dish, a recipe (tweaked slightly by Granit) that represented the local celebrity’s personal connection to the Holy City. Those of us who were fortunate to experience FoodTrip first hand won’t forget it soon.

Although FoodTrip has been over for almost a year, and there are no current plans to revive it, a newly published, beautifully designed “FoodTrip: Tasting Jerusalem” cookbook enables those who experienced the unique phenomenon to relive it, and those who missed it to almost feel as if they had actually been there.

Anyone who came out to see the whimsically decorated truck and taste the fare knew immediately that it was equally as much—if not more— about the food as it was about the people and the place. Of course, the food was delicious and creatively presented, but more importantly, it served as a vehicle for local residents (and in-the-know tourists) to come together, swap stories, sing, dance and celebrate a unique city.

Click here to read more, watch a video, and get recipes.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Lutheran Nuns End Jerusalem Mission to Shoah Survivors

April 17, 2014

This article was originally published in The Times of Israel.

Sister Gratia (left) and Sister Yahalom in front of Beit Avraham at 10 Ein Gedi Street in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Renee Ghert-Zand)

Sister Gratia (left) and Sister Yahalom in front of Beit Avraham at 10 Ein Gedi Street in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Renee Ghert-Zand)

Residents of the Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood who have watched nuns in their white habits go in and out of a house at 10 Ein Gedi Street for the past half century will soon notice their absence. Beit Avraham (House of Abraham), as the sisters of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary call their home, is closing down.

Since 1961 it has served as a guesthouse for Holocaust survivors. But with so few survivors still alive — and those still living too frail to come visit — the nuns have decided their work has come to an end.

“We received our mission from the Almighty. The Almighty gives and the Almighty takes away. Our job has ended,” says Sister Gratia in a conversation with The Times of Israel in Beit Avraham’s reception room. Sister Gratia, 71, arrived in 1975 from Austria to help run the guesthouse.

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© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.