Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Vertigo Dance Company's new production was an entertaining exhibition of grace and athleticism, but without the program notes I would not have recognized that the lines of sand on the ground must represent separation of one person from the group or the outer from the inner. Even with the sparse notes I could not see how most of the dance related to relating. Still, I enjoyed watching.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Monday, February 27, 2017


The Confederation House is a good lace to find eastern music. Last Thursday we went to a concert in which a Mroccan old player wh o studied with an Iraqi master played that graceful instruument with his ensemble f accordionist, two percussionists, bass fiddler and kanonist. Wonderful.

Beit HaConfederatsia also holds a vegetarian restaurant (no fish) with vegan dishes marked.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Monday, February 20, 2017


Any new building that rises more than three stories (or is it three?) above the ground has to include an elevator. The government provides incentives to add elevators to existing buildings. Almost all mulrtistory residential buildings are condos (although often the apartments are rented out), and the house committee has to arrange the retrofit. Even more difficult is placing the elevator shaft.

Jerusalem is home to lots of old people. We see them walking with their caretakers, canes, and walkers. They must have a hard time with the stairs home.

Starwells are too narrow to contain the tiny elevators that rise between stairs in European buildings. Owners are reluctant to have an elevator close off windows or shroten balonies.

But here and there you can see a tower, perhaps at a corner, of an older building. The style of the stonework facing indicates that this is an add-on.

In 2006 we lived in a building with an added elevator, buit it went only to the apartment that occupied the entire top floor. Thatflat's owners had paid the families below them to allow them to add the elevator. I'd guess those lower families could now pay the upper dwellers to add entries on the 2nd amd third )counting American) floors. There'd be no advantage to the ground floor flat, though.

The entrance to that building was tenn stairs or so above the street, so even with the elevator, the housing was not handicapped-accessible.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

David D'or and Sassi Keshet

DavidD'or (family from Lybia) and Sassi Kesshet (family from Poland) entertained us Monday evenig at a concert of rather denatured western and eastern Jewish songs. At first, the Sherover Auditorium's sound system distorted D'or's lovely voice, but after a while (perhaps when D'or left the stage for a while he was talking with the sound crew) the reproduction wasbetter. David D'or sounded better last month in the Rivka Crown auditorium. I'd love to hear him in his countertenor range without any amlification.

The familiear and new-to-me songs were mixed with stand-up comedy bits -- much of which was non-PC.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Hebrew Music Museum

The Hebrew Music Museum is new and wonderful.

Entry is on Yoel Moshe Salomen, the narrow pedestrian street off Kikar Tsion, which used to be restaurant row and is still worth a walk down. The museum is part of the developing Kikar HaMusika complex.

It is larger than I expected. Although some exhibits do discuss ties to Jewish music, the museum is really about musical instruments, particularly from eastern lands. Your ticket gets you earphones and a tablet. Get the tablet's camera to catch each exhibit's barcode label. You'll see info. Click on the arrow and you'll hear the instrument.

The museum includes an impressive VR of the second temple.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Armenian Music

How many people will come to a concert of Armenian music? asked a relative who wondered why I was coing so early to be sure to get a good seat. For this concert, every chair in the room, on the bottom floor of the Mayer Museum for Islamic Art, was full, people sat on the stairs, and at least two people sat on the floor. We were not disappointed.

The four musicians were not Armenian. the ensemble plays music from various cultures in the area using local instruments, fiddles played with slack bows, wooden flutes, exotic drums. The vocalist sang with great beauty and depth, and yet in the folk tradition. I doubt she makes a living doing this. I am surprised there are so many lovely voices are there that this one is not famous.

I seem to remember the museum formerly being called something like, "Art of Islamic Areas," which makes more sense, as Armenia became Christian about 1700 years ago and stayed that way.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Thursday, February 09, 2017

Through the Wall

Rama Burshtein, who created the excellent film "To Fiil the Void," has now made a good film called "Through the Wall." It is fun, a romantic comedy of sorts. I'm told the kharedim can authorize a wedding very quickly, though the time it takes to get his family to the wedding hall would still be awfully short for getting everything agreed.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox


Thursday, February 02, 2017

Intimate Grammar

At Beit Avi Chai we saw the movie of David Grossman's book "Intimate Grammar," followed by a short, not terribly informative, lecture. Now I'll look for the book to find out things like whether the family's refrigerator is as prominant as in the film.

The municipality's strike are over, although all the mayor got in return was a meeting with the Prime Minister. When garbage is usually collected several times a week, a pause in collection quickly causes piles of garbage bags and bits and pieces.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. fox

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Once again the Jerusalem municipality is fighting with the Treasury over budget. I'm with Jerusalem. Having a capital with decent services and cultural life is a plus for Israel. I don't like uncollected garbage though, and I hope the central powers that be are enough moved by the piles of garbage bags to increase the budget. Yesterday garbage trucks festooned with a variety of professionally-produced slogans blocked Azza Road, the street leading up to the Prime Minister's office. Recently he has been distracted by police interrogation sessions, his statement after one of which was that everyone takes presents from friends.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tile Project

Walking from the shouk to King George to get a bus that would let me off at the top of a hill rather than the bottom, I reached the brick-paved section now a pedestrian mall. To the right, giant pictures of tiles and a sign explaining the Jerusalem Tile Project (http://muslala.org/en/projects/the-jerusalem-tile-project/).

In the older parts of Jerusalem courtyards a unmodernized rooms are often floored with decorative tiles, mostly from the last century. The project invites people to look for these, photograph them, and contribute the images. See also http://jerusalemblog.blogspot.co.il/2007/01/floor-tiles.html and (https://www.google.co.il/search?q=jerusalem+tile+project&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwic--j8mN3RAhWBOxoKHQy3Aq4QsAQIIA&biw=1242&bih=580 )

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Two Andalusian Orchestras

Last Sunday we were at a performance of the Ashdod Andalusian Orchestra; this week at a concetrt by the Jerusalem Andalusian Orchestra.

Generally these orchestras, both excellent, perform music, particularly Jewish music, from the Middle East -- mainly north Africa, Iraq, and Syria. Last week we heard a song from a Lebanese musical comedy of the 1950s, Arabic poems set to Arabic music, medeval Hebrew poems set to Arabic music, a modern Hebrew poem set to Israeli bedouin music, a Hebrew poem set to Israeli music in an Arab style, and similar pieces.

The Jerusalem orchestra tried something different: traditional French chanson with the music rearranged into the Andalusian style and rhthyms. Two vocal soloists sang, Ela Daniel much like the usual chanson style while the orchestral went excitedly Andalusian in accompanyment. David D'or was the other soloist, moving from counter-tenor to baritone. Ariel Brant soloed on the harmonica, though with eyes closed I'd have called it a saxaphone.

The conductor of the Jerusalem orchestra is wonderful to watch. He conducts with his entire body, a dancer directing the musicians.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Eucalyptus Restaurant

The Eucalyptus Restaurant at the Khutsot HaYotzer artists' colony https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutzot_Hayotzer is convenient to the Jaffa Gate as well as Beit haConfederatzia; the Hirsch Theater at Beit Shmuel; and the King David, Citadel, and Waldorf Astoria hotels. It is expensive and good.

The menu indicates which items include guten and which are, or can be prepared, vegan. As it is a kosher meat restaurant, no worries if you are sensitive to dairy products. A big plus, they understand food sensitivities and can tell you with assurance what is in every dish.

COpyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sick Man of Europe

A current temporary exhibit at the Islamic Art Museum http://www.islamicart.co.il/english/ is "The Sick Man of Europe" -- as the late Ottoman Empire was called. It combines photographs of the Turkish army in the Great War, diagrams of destroyed Armenian churches, and a 10-minute film on whose sound track we hear two Armenian composers of the early 20th century discussing music plus a very little bit of music.

We arrived two minutes past noon for the guided tour that started at noon. "Where does the tour start?" we asked the mand selling tickets. "Right over there," he said, pointing across the lobby. After a 10-minute wait we asked again about the tour. "Oh, it's already downstairs." OK, we had not originally asked where it was, and it had indeed started from the lobby.

Another temporary exhimit shows the work of a contemporary watchmaker, Itay Noy. For this the guide was extremely helpful, pointing out the various ways in which each watch plays with time -- with trasparent faces back to back or with faces opposing a city scene to a country scene. Well worth a visit.

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Teddy Kollek with Singalong

A lecture, a panel discussion and a singalong -- this is a combination I've seen only at beit Avi Chai bac.org.il where this month's was on Teddy Kollek https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_Kollek. We started with songs about Jerusalem, followed by a short film on his life. The panel inluded a current deputy mayor and the director of the Jerusalem Foundation who had a chip on her shoulder because she had not herself thought of marking the tenth anniversary of his death. As she told the moderator in her opening statement, "We at the Foundation should have organized an event, thought since we didn't I suppose it's good that you did, though you should have invited more people to speak and included different material."

Copyright 2017 Jane S. Fox

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Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Along Aza

Just because of the day's beauties, I walked to Aza and turned left. Beyond the hardware store and currency exchange, I passed a produce shop. New? Sushi restaurant that replaced Cafe Atara is still there. Never tried it. Past more condo apartment buildings I see a We Buy Everything store. Turned at Rav Berlin. From Azza to Berlin cafe is still there. First time I've noticed that in English it is Between Azza and Berlin. Along Berlin to Brody, up past the bookcase to Palmakh, and back to the apartment. No sweat. No shivers either.

Copyright 2016 Jane Fox