Facing the streets.

I like this. Especially since reading the Israeli news lately has been painful (then again, when is it not?). Look at Barkat being all cultural and whatnot:

Jerusalem streets to put a face to name

Capital’s municipality to replace all street signs named after famous people with new signs featuring personality’s image, story

You’re driving through the city and you pass by all kinds of streets – Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Henrietta Szold, Golda Meir, Yigal Alon. How many of you actually know who these people are and what they look like?

Well, a new Jerusalem initiative will enable passersby to get better acquainted with the personality behind the street name.

Israel’s cities are full of boulevards and streets named after various personalities, both Israeli and foreign. Sometimes you know exactly who the name behind the street is and what they looked like, in other cases you may just have a general idea, and there are times when you have no idea whatsoever who the street is referring to. 

This is why the Jerusalem Municipality has decided to embark on an operation, the first of its kind in Israel, that will allow residents to enrich their general knowledge on significant personalities. (ynet)

The article makes an interesting point at the end: How will the charedi community feel about seeing women’s faces on the streets of Jerusalem? Not like they don’t already with advertisements, but they often get ripped down or spray-painted over. Then again, Golda Meir’s mug is not exactly… womanly.

Welcome to eretz.

Monday, the day I left New York, I met a friend in the city to hang for a bit; he just moved to New York from Tel Aviv so his perspective is still fresh.

The conversation came to the usual point, of how impersonal New York is and how in-your-face Israel is. I forget that every time I get to New York. It’s always a culture shock for me.

The same goes for coming home. I forget the in-your-face that is my culture here.

And that culture never fails to remind me as soon as I land. As soon as I start putting my hand through the border control I.D. scan and some middle age Israeli guy comes from behind me and starts telling me what to do, even as my receipt prints out. And then wishes me well, saying in broken English, “Welcome to eretz.”

Living it up (culturally) in Tzur Hadassah.

I got a fun little pamphlet in my cute little p.o. box: Cultural activities for adults, families and children. It’s got a whole bunch of activities planned for residents of Tzur Hadassah over the next month.

Since a few people have contacted me interested about moving here, I thought I’d post some of them to display the kind of things that pass for fun around here.

Kids:

  • On March 21st from 10 am, the yishuv is having a Purim celebration in the cultural center (haven’t been there yet). It’s 20 nis for a ticket covering all the attractions.
  • On the last Thursday of every month there is a ‘movie night’ for kids, splitting between 2-4 years old at 4:30 pm and 4-6 years old at 5:30 pm. For elementary school-aged kids, there is a movie night on the second Thursday of the month at 5pm.
  • Tzofim (scouts) and Bnei Akiva: Various trips, activities and group games.

Adults:

  • “Purim b’Tzur Esther (Hadassah)”: a look at the megillah from a secular point of view on March 13th.
  • Playback Theater: An improv theater based on real life stories of the community; March 16th.
  • A series of tours around Jerusalem and surrounding…The first tour starts March 7th.
  • “The Big Tisch” with Moshe Lahav: Israeli music and spirit… Motzei Shabbat, April 12th at 8:30 pm.

Families:

  • Trip to Mount Hermon for skiing (last weekend).
  • Workshop for Anger Management.
  • Protecting nature: community tiyulim with a tour guide.

As you can probably tell, it’s very much a family-oriented community. It’s also mainly secular with ‘progressive’ and ‘dati leumi’ sub cultures.