Dásh – August 2018
The summer season in Israel is often characterized by a dissonance between the solemn days of the Jewish calendar (during the three weeks before Tisha B’Av) and the splash and fun of day camps, vacation, and the constant (and exhausting!) pursuit of entertainment for our kids. Now that we have passed Tisha B’Av, the “party” so to speak is full speed ahead, and Israeli cities both north and south, are hospitable hosts to festivals, colourful scenery, heat, and all that is the essence of summer fun.
I feel particularly blessed to live in Jerusalem, which has displayed the annual Pride March flags right outside of the JCC Israel Center in town, and is otherwise covered in posters advertising the Jerusalem Film Festival, various beer festivals, food truck gatherings, and this year’s upcoming Mekudeshet celebration, a creation of Jerusalem Season of Culture.
This festival is truly one of a kind, and in the time spent in Jerusalem, visitors and participants on our programs can certainly get an inkling of how this eternal city has sustained its status by reimagining the very spaces that have define it throughout history—both physical and religious. The three-week cultural festival that occurs in August is a perfect celebration of all things Jerusalem. This year’s festival cultivates the idea of imagining new realities in the city. The festival coordinators work-year round on this celebration with the goal in mind that spectators will be able to “lift up our heads, dissolve boundaries and open up hearts and minds. We try to remember, always, that Jerusalem conquers us, liberates us and enables us to unite around a common love for the city.”
Visitors to the festival can explore an eclectic menu of programs in the next few weeks—Jerusalem by rooftop, a variety of unique concerts spotlighting the sounds and rhythms of a boundaryless Middle East, walking journeys to unknown parts of the city that allow encounters with unique residents, installations, and off-the-beaten-track tours.
The festival reflects a desire that exists in us to embrace the diversity of our city and simply enjoy it with an attempt to transcend the realities of division. In a world where newspaper headlines read one dimensionally, it is events like Mekudeshet that remind us there is more transcendent that reaches beyond them.. So, next time you make your journey to Jerusalem aim for the summer months—till then, enjoy!