Foto Friday – Sukkot in Jerusalem

October 2, 2009 - 12:04 AM by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Art, coexistence, Foto Friday, General, Holidays, Religion, Travel 

The awe-ful part of the Days of Awe are behind us and now it’s time to party! Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, is the holiday when Jerusalem gets itself all decked out…

© RomKri

…and small wooden sukkot, or tabernacles, spring up overnight…

© monti_clif

…dotting the urban landscape.

© Pes & Lev

The Municipality of Jerusalem gets into the act too, with a large public sukka – the perfect opener to this month’s Autumn Nights Festival

© RomKri

…as well as the annual Jerusalem March, attended by walkers from all over the country…

© monti_clif

…and from all over the world!

© monti_clif

Another event taking place at this time: the International Christian Embassy’s Feast of Tabernacles festival, this year celebrating its 30th anniversary. The festivities begin today with a worship concert at Ein Gedi, continue with a week of prayer and Bible teachings, and conclude with the Jerusalem March on October 6th.

Below is a montage of photos from last year’s Feast of Tabernacles. The photos above are courtesy of the wonderful Jerusalem Shots website – always worth a visit. And here’s wishing a Chag Sameach (happy holiday) to us all!

Feast of Tabernacles 2008 Photo Montage from ICEJ on Vimeo.

Good neighbors

September 24, 2008 - 7:41 AM by · 4 Comments
Filed under: A New Reality, coexistence, General, History and Culture, Israeliness, Life, Religion 

arab-jew-child.jpgLike many communities in Israel with a substantial English speaking population, my Jerusalem suburb of Ma’aleh Adumim has an active chat group on the Internet.

Usually, it’s pretty mundane stuff – looking for a good electrician, some old kids clothes to give away, advice needed on some immigrant issue. But occasionally, there’s a posting which sparks some excitement.

For a while now, an enterprising resident has been organizing interfaith meetings between Jews in Ma’aleh Adumim and Arabs from the neighboring town of Abu Dis in east Jerusalem.

Called the Interfaith Encounter Association group – ADAMA – the meetings of the two worlds have taken place six times. According to the organizer, Leah Lublin, “we do not talk politics, but get to know one another through our respective religions and customs.”

Sounds like a nice idea, especially considering most Ma’aleh Adumim residents only have dealings with Abu Dis residents when they decide to remodel their kitchens and need inexpensive contractors and day laborers. I haven’t attended a meeting yet, so I don’t know if the Jewish participants are primarily English-speakers like Lublin, or native Israelis, and if the Arab participants are professor types or mechanics.

Anyway, Lublin recently posted on the MA chat a notice about the next meeting, to take place at her home this week, focusing on fasting in Judaism and Islam and featuring a special vegetarian and kosher meal celebrating both the High Holidays and Ramadan.

In response, another Ma’aleh Adumim resident quickly posted a response claiming that meeting with Arabs in Ma’ale Adumim will only encourage them to move in to the neighborhood, and “will change Ma’ale Adumim from being a
safe neighborhood” to one wrought with potential terror.

She cited the Jerusalem neighborhoods of French Hill and Pisgat Ze’ev, which both have tiny Arab populations as examples of places that have seen “terror with Arab gangs fighting Jews in the streets, terror in car thefts etc. Do we need to encourage this on the MA Chatline?”

I’m not going to respond to her assertions, but I am certainly going to try to make it home tonight in time to attend my first Interfaith encounter.


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