Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs.

This year’s Klezmer Festival features workshops by award-winning trumpeter Frank London. (photo credit: PR)
This year’s Klezmer Festival features workshops by award-winning trumpeter Frank London.
(photo credit: PR)
A mall of a good time
With two weeks to go until the end of summer vacation from school, parents who have already exhausted all their plans have another option: children’s programs at the recently renovated Hadar Mall on Talpiot’s Pierre Koenig Street. A program of children’s favorites – songs, theater and other performances – will take place every day until the end of August. Entrance is free, and the activities are going on near the ground-floor Aroma coffee shop – which, of course, will be more than happy to entertain the parents while the children watch jugglers, clowns and pantomimes.
Relief in Jerusalem
About 100 southern residents exposed to rocket fire were the guests of the city earlier this week. The Taglit with the South project hosted families from communities in the South, in cooperation with the Joint Distribution Committee in Jerusalem. The project was aimed particularly at families with special-needs children, who got an opportunity not only to spend a day far from the rockets and the sirens but also to experience some of the city’s best leisure locations. The visit included the Biblical Zoo, the Old City and the Western Wall. Next week, another group from the South will come to the capital to enjoy a full day of activities and calm.
A step up for bus stops
It’s the end of an era: Glamorous new bus stops will soon replace the old ones and will feature electronic sign boards announcing the bus schedules. Aesthetically the new bus stops will look like the light rail stops, which is expected to help improve the overall look of the city. According to the plans, 240 electronic sign boards will be on display, all powered by solar energy. The cost of the whole operation is NIS 70 million, which the Transportation Ministry and the municipality are covering. Initiated by the Master Plan for Mass Transportation in Jerusalem, the operation is being implemented by the city’s subsidiary Moriah. The first stops to be replaced will be those near the central bus station on Jaffa Road.
Klezmer international
For the first time in 2,000 years, there will be an international klezmer festival in Jerusalem. For years, the aficionados of the Jewish traditional music from Eastern Europe have had the summer Klezmer Festival of Safed, but now one will take place in the holy city, with an added international flavor.
Nigun Olami (world melody) will take place across the city between August 26 and 31. Maestro Giora Feidman of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, singer Yehoram Gaon and singer and pianist Shlomi Shaban will open the festival with a program titled “From Here and There” in the unique setting of the Hulda Gate stairs to the Old City (a place where the Levites used to chant their canticles in the Second Temple period).
Klezmer concerts will be held at various venues in the city, such as Safra Square, Mahaneh Yehuda, the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall and the First Station. Performers will include clarinetist Hanan Bar-Sela, American bandoneon player Raul Haruna, Israeli–Moldavian accordionist Emil Einbinder and American clarinetist Caroline Hertig. The festival will also include a march in the city’s streets and a parade of klezmer musicians, as well as some cantorial singing.
Jerusalem exports justice
Tevel B’Tzedek, an organization based on the Jewish notion of justice, is extending its activities to an African country – Burundi.
As of September, the Israeli staff and founder of Tevel will start to work in this underprivileged country in East Africa, ranked as the third-poorest nation in the world.
“Burundi has suffered deeply from violent inter-ethnic conflicts between Hutus and Tutsis, similar to its neighbor Rwanda.
However, unlike Rwanda, Burundi did not receive the same extent of international media attention and subsequent aid necessary to recover from the conflict,” says Rabbi Micha Odenheimer, founder and director of Tevel.
Burundi has the highest rate of child malnutrition in the world.
Tevel’s way of working, as it has been doing for the past decade in Nepal, is to help develop the country’s capacities and facilities in order to increase the ability of the locals to attain some financial independence.