This week in Jerusalem: Good for the north

A round-up of this week's city affairs

Ammunition Hill (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Ammunition Hill
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Good for the north
Good news from Safra Square for the city’s northern neighborhoods, with the approval of a new state junior-high school in Ramot and a new state religious elementary school in French Hill – expanding educational options for families in those parts of Jerusalem. These will be the first new school openings in those neighborhoods for a while, ensuring access to quality education locally. The two new institutions, due to open by the next school year, will use modern and innovative educational and pedagogic methods.
White Noise
The Vertigo Dance Company and the Revolution Orchestra announce White Noise 2018, a new performance in the framework of the Israeli Opera. The acclaimed prize-winning work by Noa Wertheim, with music by Roy Oppenheim and costumes by Sasson Kedem, will open at the Jerusalem Theater on January 26 at 1:30 p.m. and then tour the country. Founded in Jerusalem, Vertigo recently moved to the ecological village in nearby Kibbutz Netiv Halamed-Heh.
Tu Bishvat at Ammunition Hill
Now that the Ammunition Hill memorial site has a new museum depicting the story of the heroic battle that took place there during the 1967 war, educational programs there are being promoted. One of them is the traditional Tu Bishvat planting ceremony, which will take place with families of the soldiers from the IDF soldiers who fell there and children from schools in the city. The ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, January 31, at 5.30 p.m. at the entrance to the museum at the site. More info at *2967.
Shoah – a Russian angle
There seems to be a change taking place in Russia’s attitude about what happened to the Jews during World War II. This is evident in a trilogy of new films made recently on “witnesses.” Director Constantin Pam and his partner, Anna Magin, who initiated the project, are in Jerusalem to present the third movie of the trilogy, Mavo. The two say that while the role of Russia confronting the Nazis has always been highlighted, the use of the word “Holocaust” was never mentioned and Russians know very little about the fate of the Jews during that period. The two Russian directors are visiting and presenting their works here this week in conjunction with the UN’s annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
Police and municipal action
The Jerusalem Police and the municipality conducted a joint operation in the Majlis neighborhood in the Old City, close to the entry to the Temple Mount and Mosque Esplanade. Illegal merchant stands, an unauthorized iron gate that obstructed the walkway, dangerous pirate gas containers and more were removed. Representatives of the tax authorities, under the protection of the police, distributed fines and summonses for some of the residents to report to the tax offices. The operation is one in a series of actions being taken to clear public spaces in various Arab neighborhoods that are occupied by illegal businesses.
Here we buy and sell
Jerusalem was one of the leaders nationally for house sales in 2017, with 1,002 residential units exchanging hands during the first three months of the year, according to figures provided by the Central Bureau of Statistics. Despite the shortage of plots and construction projects in the city, Jerusalem remains highly attractive to property seekers. The capital took a close second place to Tel Aviv, where 1,021 units were sold in the same period.
Bin there, done that
Pisgat Ze’ev, with more than 40,000 residents, is the latest neighborhood (after Ramat Eshkol and East Talpiot) to get hidden bins to replace the large and less aesthetic bins. But while this new system is cleaner, it has also proved to be a cruel trap for street cats looking for food. Cats that enter the bins when residents throw trash away get trapped inside, sometimes falling into a three-meter pit. Most of them do not survive. The municipality says it is aware of the problem, but will continue to implement the project in all of the city’s neighborhoods for the safety and health of residents. As for cats trapped inside, residents may call the sanitary services department. When possible, workers will come to help, as they did in a case recently in East Talpiot.
Hold on to your hat
The countdown is progressing: only 40 days from today, the journey from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv via Ben-Gurion Airport should take only about 28 minutes. No traffic jams, no stops on the direct route between the two cities, with trains reaching speeds of 160 km/h. The first three months will be free of charge to Rav-Kav holders. The plan is to eventually run as many as four trains per hour connecting the central station on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem with the Hagana station in Tel Aviv. There will also be a line from Jerusalem to Modi’in. The cost of the project is about NIS 10 billion.