This week in Jerusalem: October 14

Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs.

Succot Etrog 521 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Succot Etrog 521
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Feminist ‘hakafot’
As it does every year, women’s prayer group Shirat Sara will meet for Simhat Torah aliyot (Torah readings) and hakafot (circuits of the synagogue) this year at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies on Jerusalem’s Pierre Koenig Street. The group, consisting of Orthodox Jewish women of all ages, was founded in 1994, and is named after Sara Rachel Duker, who was killed in a terror attack in February 1996. It meets every six weeks on Saturday morning. The women do not consider themselves to be a minyan (quorum of 10), and thus do not recite some parts of prayers or blessings like kaddish or the kedusha. They emphasize Torah readings and some of the women wear tallitot (prayer shawls), which in accordance with rabbinical recommendations look different from those worn by Jewish men.
JNF builds free kosher succot
For those planning to spend time in the great outdoors over Succot, the Jewish National Fund has prepared kosher succot in all the forests it manages country-wide. The nearest ones to Jerusalem are situated at Yad Kennedy near Aminadav, and at Sataf. The succot will be open to the public during all seven days of the festival, free of charge.
For more information, call 1-800-350-350.
Black Magic Women
Businesswoman and artist Rachel Weissman’s upcoming exhibition at the Jerusalem Theater, entitled “Black Magic Women,” will open on October 20 at 8:30 p.m. and run until the end of November. The exhibition consists of some 20 paintings of Sudanese women made from photographs taken by the artist in Eilat and during her subsequent travels. After encounters with Sudanese refugee women in Eilat, her place of residence at the time, Weissman embarked on a six-month, cross-country and cross-continent journey to meet more women, listen to their stories and take the pictures from which she would later create the portraits. The purpose of the project, according to Weissman, is to raise awareness of the lives of these women, who are mostly from poor and underprivileged communities.
A prayer for all
Elhanan Tuito, a young educator and a social activist during the country’s recent tent protest, has gathered together personal prayers of friends and writers and published them in the form of a new prayer book for the High Holy Days and the rest of the year, Our Prayers. In simple, everyday language, as well as poetry by professional authors, the collection of personal requests aims to help people express their most intimate needs with specific prayers for every time, at any time.
“Make these words become mine, make this prayer become mine” wrote one of the participants.
Tuito explained that he envisioned the project as a means of enabling those who use the usual prayer books, as well as those who feel the need for new words, to express themselves in a more intimate, personal and contemporary way.
100,000 expected to take part in Jerusalem March
Representatives of five continents and 40 countries will meet in the streets of Jerusalem on Tuesday for the traditional international Succot parade. This year, the Jerusalem Municipality is expecting an unprecedented turnout – more than 100,000 participants.
Slated to attend are representatives of large public and private companies, in outfits representing their firms, as well as representatives of the security forces and rescue services.
Groups of dancers and a few instrumental bands will add to the festive atmosphere. The parade will begin in the morning in the hills surrounding the city, move to Jaffa Road and end in a happening at the city’s Sacher Park. Traffic congestion is expected as most of the city’s central roads will be closed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, contact the Jerusalem Municipality at 106.