The Red Tie Cocktail Event in Jerusalem’s Light Rail at the Ammunition Hill train station was mesmerizing, a night of elegant magic. It was the opening event for Jerusalem’s Open Restaurant Festival. The week long festival from November 22-26, includes a vast array of restaurants participating. Dinners, cooking demonstrations, kids workshops are some of the experiences the guests will have the opportunity to enjoy.
The guests began the Red Tie Cocktail Event evening with a glass of sparkling champagne in hand to set the mood. They were given red paraphernalia as dress up for their formal attire to symbolize their “ticket” to ride the train. Feathers in hair, glittery hats, ties and bowties, and necklaces were just some of the fashions on display for all the locals observing from a distance, mouths agape.
In life, when you hear about something, you can’t fully appreciate its value until you experience it first hand, up close and personal. Last year, a friend of mine began volunteering at the same time I was volunteering in the hospital. We’d often discuss our experiences in our respective locations. Sarra Horwitz volunteered in Susan’s House in Talpiot, Jerusalem. She has since turned it into a full time job because of how much she loved and gained from being there. And then she gave me the greatest gift- an invitation to come visit Susan’s House, so that I can truly appreciate this gem in Jerusalem, Israel.
If you’ve ever gone out in any city late at night, you may see things that aren’t so kosher- binge drinking, drugs, gangs, violence. The types of things you don’t want for your own children to witness or ever end up being involved in. But these things are happening by children. Teenagers. Many of them may not have a safe home or any home at all to return to. Many have run away and are living on the streets. No longer enrolled in school. Without hope. Without real love. Without family to depend on.
Over the course of all the Jewish holidays, school was not in session for many days. There was no lack of bonding time, and plenty of “kids-annoying-each-other-time”. It also opened my eyes to the many ways my kids are becoming more and more Israeli. It puts the biggest smile on my face when they “sound” Israeli. My heart literally begins palpitating as I hear them roll the letter R or when they put their fingers together and say shnia (just a second).
Earlier today, with an Artscroll Yom Kippur Machzor under my arm, sneakers on my feet, and my children flanking me on each side, we started the hour-long trek to the Kotel. After I joined the Minyan for Mincha and Neila last year, I decided to return with the children this year. To my surprise, they were more than willing to join. It may have to do with the fact that their cousins joined us too. I’m almost positive that it had nothing to do with a minor bribe I offered. I’m sure not.
When Olim move to Israel, many move to communities outside of Jerusalem. First thoughts that come to mind when thinking of Jerusalem are: Tourist attraction, vacation home, a wonderful place to visit. But in actuality many Olim do move to Jerusalem- to communities such as Katamon, Talpiot, German Colony, Talbia, Baka, Makor Chaim, Har Choma, Gilo, Rechavia, Pat, Arnona, Armon Hanetziv. For many though, Jerusalem has more of a city, anonymity, feeling. But many do desire and wish for a sense of community while living in the city.…Continue Reading