This Week In Jerusalem: And the winner is?

While Jerusalem is one of the safest locations in the country, vigilance is always a must.

May 8, 2019 20:43
Barbur Gallery

Barbur Gallery. (photo credit: iTRAVELJERUSALEM)

The Jerusalem District Court canceled the decision of the Magistrate Court, which had ruled that the Barbur Art Gallery should shut down and return the building to the municipality. The decision enables the gallery to continue its activities.

The Barbur saga that has been running for several years. The municipality wanted the structure for kindergartens, but additionally, right-wing activists objected to events promoted by the gallery directors – such as programs with the Breaking the Silence NGO.

The municipality requested immediate evacuation. The gallery appealed to the court, whose decision is that the gallery should not shut down at this point, but must submit an official request to the municipality to obtain a permit to use the structure.


New battlefield

Following repeated protests organized by the Lithuanian haredi (Litvak) “Peleg Yerushalmi” group near several restaurants open on Shabbat in the city center, a new conflict zone is developing.

Last Shabbat, a Peleg Yerushalmi group joined with a hassidic group from Mea She’arim to protest a taxi service operating from Hanevi’im St., geographically close to the neighborhood. The taxi station was located for years near there, on Harav Kook St., but had to move to Hanevi’im St. when their street became a one-way thoroughfare.

While the taxi station is owned by a Jew, the drivers are not Jewish.One said that he is afraid that the protest might become violent and harm his livelihood. There has not been any police intervention yet.


Safe Jerusalem?

While Jerusalem is one of the safest locations in the country, vigilance is always a must. On Sunday morning, following the serious events in the South close to the Gaza Strip, Mayor Moshe Lion held a special meeting with heads of the different administrations at Safra Square and the representatives of the security forces in the capital, to assess the situation and risks.

At the end of the meeting, Lion proclaimed the city ready for Independence Day celebratory events.


Departure of a visionary

They used to call him “Shlomi Aroma” because he was so identified with the coffee shop by this name. Shlomi Assayag, who was the first owner of a coffee shop who hired waiters and employees with special needs, passed away last week at the age of 47, after a long struggle with cancer.

Assayag ran the Aroma branch at the Hadar Mall in Talpiot, and pioneered employment of young men and women with special needs, mostly with Down Syndrome, giving them the pride and satisfaction of succeeding in a normative work environment.

Customers endorsed Assayag’s mission, expressed appreciation and learned quickly to respect and show consideration to the employees.


Ramadan Karim

Jerusalem has made all the preparations necessary for celebrating Ramadan in the city. The month of fasting, prayer and family celebrations began earlier this week on Monday and will run for 30 days, followed by one of the two big holidays of this community. A large cleaning operation in the Arab neighborhoods of the city, festive lightning in the streets and renovation of streets in these neighborhoods were part of the preparations.

The first peddlers’ market for the holiday will take place at the entrance to the Shuafat community in the north of the city, and the welfare administration at the municipality has distributed vouchers to needy families in order to facilitate special purchases of clothing and presents exchanged as part of the Ramadan traditions. Also, in order to ease the fast for the members of the community, Hagihon company has provided several fresh water distribution points for people who have fasted, after the last prayer of the day, just before they go to eat at the Iftar meal – taking into account that very hot days are forecasted.

Citypass will add trains to ease the traffic and enable Arab residents of the city to move easily from one neighborhood to another during Ramadan. Jerusalem has some 380,000 Arab residents, about 95% of whom are Muslims.

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