After many years of infrastructure work and renovation, tens of thousands of Israelis, tourists, gap year students and others, returned to celebrate Independence Day on the newly upgraded Jaffa street corridor in downtown Jerusalem. Stages were set around the area including at Zion Square, Safra Square (Jerusalem municipality building) and outside the Hamashbir department store at the top of Ben Yehuda Street.
Mahane Yehuda was the site of another big attraction featuring an Independence Day party held by the Student Association. Unfortunately, the demand for the party was larger than the market could accommodate leading to an early closure for safety reasons.
The return of the crowds to downtown’s Jaffa Street brought great joy and momentum to local business owners. With the light rail’s operation slated to begin soon, the Jerusalem municipality intends to increase cultural events and restore the beating heart of Jerusalem to the city center.
All photos courtesy Mel Brickman.