This week in Jerusalem: And the winner is …

Approximately 20,000 people ran between the Knesset, along the Old City walls, the Sultan’s Pool, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Mount Zion, the German Colony, Rehavia, the Commissioner’s Palace promenade, the Hill of the Ammunition, Sacher Park, Mount Scopus, Mount of Olives and other sites. The first to finish in the 10th men’s Jerusalem Winner Marathon was Aymaro Almiya, a 29-year-old from Jerusalem, with a result of 01:07:52, which broke an Israeli record. Among women, the first place went to Anna Price, 45, with a time of 03:25:50. The winner of the half marathon was Bracha (Beatty) Deutsch, a famous Haredi mother of five and former Israeli champion, with a result of 01:20:40.

This year, for the first time, Mayor Moshe Lion also participated, and on the occasion of the 10th marathon, he ran the 10K with the number 10 on his jersey.

Lion congratulated the marathon runners and invited everyone to the next marathon in March 2022.

More towers

The municipality, through the local planning and construction committee, has approved a new construction plan for the Gilo neighborhood. Focusing on Rosemary Street, where the light rail will run, the plan has the current 183 housing units increasing to a total of 800 units, in a complex of two 35-story towers and two 17-story buildings. The ground floors of the towers along the light rail will be commercial, with about 2,200 m2. of public buildings.

This is yet another project in the municipality’s expanded plan to accelerate the construction of urban renewal projects to increase the supply of apartments, “combined with an adequate infrastructure response to this increase.” In other words, where possible, new towers will replace existing buildings, with no sign of prices falling.

Get on the bus

Starting today (Friday, November 5), Superbus, the new bus company operating in the city, will launch its second phase in the center of Jerusalem. These are changes and innovations that are being carried out as part of the bidding deadlines promoted by the Ministry of Transport through the Transport Master Plan, which Superbus won half a year ago. To the first four service lines that already exist in the city center – 136, 83, 82 and 38 – a new high-frequency tourist line (line 2) will be added, which will serve as a circular route to the tourist sites of the city. Old City area and the Western Wall. This line, which begins its journey in the Karta parking lot, through the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall, has received an impressive response from Jerusalem residents and those who pass through its gates.

More lines will be added in the coming months as Superbus is gaining its share of the capital’s mass transit after more than 50 years of an Egged monopoly, which has now come to an end.

Education and happiness

The Municipal Education Administration (Manhi) has launched a program to promote organizational happiness for the city’s educational staff. School program directors and coordinators will be trained to equip them with tools that promote a sense of meaning, belonging, and enjoyment.

After the challenging period of the coronavirus, the importance of participating in the mental well-being of educational staff was reinforced. As studies show that workplaces that promote organizational happiness benefit from a decrease in the rate of employee absenteeism, a low turnover rate, and an increase in entrepreneurship, creativity and satisfaction, it was clear that at some point this program would be instituted here. For now, there is no such training for students who have been exposed to the same challenges, but time will tell.

Difficult process to handle

The mechanism for tax deductions in the municipality is very cumbersome, so say the members of the Hitorerut list in the town hall. And at the last town hall meeting on October 28, they made a motion to improve it.

RUNNERS PARTICIPATE in the 10th Annual Jerusalem Marathon, October 29, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM / THE JERUSALEM POST)

According to Adir Schwarz, the Hitorerut member who filed the motion, about 180,000 tax refund applications are filed each year, and the municipality is struggling to deal with the largely outdated system used by the Assessment and Collection Division. For example, the Tax Administration (Arnona) in Safra Square needs to scan the forms one by one and re-upload them to the municipality’s website.

As a result, the average time to respond to each request is four to six months, too long a wait, especially compared to other municipalities in the country, Schwarz added. In addition, the means of payment and tax refund requests are not accessible enough to all residents, making shared apartments especially difficult, with the result that the rights of many residents are violated.

Schwarz and his list proposed some possible alternative solutions to the current payment method, among them the option of the bimonthly payment, and the “personal area for residents” function, which is already practiced in most of the main municipalities of the country.

Stay tuned to know the next step of the municipality.

The sky is the limit

A good initiative by three residents of Pisgat Ze’ev in partnership with the local council, which has been supported and funded by municipalities, culminated earlier this week with the launch of an observatory and telescope in north Jerusalem. The municipality inaugurated the Kochbia – Aramaic World for the Stars – Observatory in Pisgat Ze’ev as part of a larger project to save and develop the natural park around Nahal Zimri (a seasonal stream that runs through the neighborhood, in the center of an important project of neighbors and environmental activists). The observatory is located in the Kraus parking lot in Pisgat Ze’ev, in a location chosen for its relatively clear light, and will include a portable telescope and binoculars. The site will be used as a community gathering place, where classes, workshops and more will be held.

Take us to heaven

For the first time at the Biblical Zoo, starting this month, visitors will have the opportunity to see a biodiversity exhibit and a tropical butterfly farm.

In this microcosm of a tropical butterfly forest, some 15 species of tropical butterflies will fly freely among visitors; Four complexes will show the wide variety of large and small animals that exist in the system.

Now what in Sheikh Jarrah? The residents of Sheikh Jarrah earlier this week rejected the compromise proposed by the Supreme Court justices that would define them as protected tenants and thus allow them to remain in their homes. In return, they had to deposit a low rent to the right-wing organization Nahalat Shimon, which owns the plot.

Sources within the group of families admitted that in recent days internal tensions have increased between opponents of the proposal and their sympathizers within the neighborhood. The reason these families finally decided to reject the court’s proposal is that they fear that making a payment, which is perceived as an acknowledgment of ownership of the houses by the settlers, will erase what they consider to be their national rights over the property. plot. Sources say that among Palestinian families there was talk that if they agreed to pay the settlers, then they were traitors; Hence, despite the proposal that allowed them to stay in the houses until the end of their lives, they rejected the offer. The proposal was presented in August by three Supreme Court justices, Yitzhak Amit, Dafna Barak-Erez and Noam Solberg.

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