Tag Archives: israel

Snowy Jerusalem

When I got off the plane in Tel Aviv three weeks ago, I thought I’d be escaping the harsh Boston winter for a while. Israel is not exactly known as somewhere that gets to be extremely cold. However, Jerusalem and the surrounding area seem to get a small snow storm every few years, which always brings the country to a screeching halt.

This week, Jerusalem was hit with a mix of rain, sleet, and a bit of snow. While I thought it was nothing, especially compared to the climate in my home town of Boston, the natives acted as if it was something like an apocalypse. Most people cleared the shelves at supermarkets and hunkered down in their homes, while roads, businesses, and schools were closed. In reality, the country was hit with about an inch of snow.

There is nowhere more picturesque in Jerusalem than The Old City, so I decided to go there to show the magnitude (or lack thereof) of the storm. I started at The Kotel (Western Wall) and meandered around the city for the rest of the day. 

The first thing I did was just look around for general things happening near the wall. It was pretty deserted, besides a few people and birds:

A bird walks on the plaza near The Kotel as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

A bird walks on the plaza near The Kotel as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A man holding an umbrella prays at the Kotel as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A man holding an umbrella prays at the Kotel as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)People are seen on the plaza near The Kotel as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)People are seen on the plaza near The Kotel as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

For a while, it seemed that the only person who wanted to be out in the rain was this young boy:

A young ultra-orthodox boy runs on the plaza as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

A young ultra-orthodox boy runs on the plaza as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A young ultra-orthodox boy is seen on the plaza as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A young ultra-orthodox boy is seen on the plaza as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A young ultra-orthodox boy is seen on the plaza as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A young ultra-orthodox boy is seen on the plaza as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

I then decided to duck into a small cavern that some people were sitting in to stay out of the rain. As I was about to walk out, I noticed that it wasn’t only humans that were staying out of the snow:

A lizard is seen on the wall of a small cavern near The Kotel as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

A lizard is seen on the wall of a small cavern near The Kotel as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

When the rain began to change to a fluffier snow, more people seemed to come out and see the Western Wall up close:

A man prays as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

A man prays as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A man is seen on the plaza as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A man is seen on the plaza as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)An Israeli emergency medical technician (EMT) prays as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)An Israeli emergency medical technician (EMT) prays as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)People approach The Kotel as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)People approach The Kotel as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A man covers his face as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A man covers his face as snow and rain fall at The Western Wall on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

After about 15 minutes of snowfall, it turned back to rain. I then made my way back out of The Old City:

A general view of The Western Wall, Dome of the Rock,  and surrounding area are seen as snow and rain fall in The Old City on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

A general view of The Western Wall, Dome of the Rock, and surrounding area are seen as snow and rain fall in The Old City on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A street sign is seen as snow and rain fall in The Old City on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A street sign is seen as snow and rain fall in The Old City on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A man walks in the rain on David Street in The Old City on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A man walks in the rain on David Street in The Old City on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A man walks in the rain on David Street in The Old City on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A man walks in the rain on David Street in The Old City on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A car is seen driving as snow and rain fall in the Beit HaKerem neighborhood on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)A car is seen driving as snow and rain fall in the Beit HaKerem neighborhood on January 7, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

You can see my full set of photos, here: http://www.elankphotography.com/gallery/Snow-in-Jerusalem-1-7-2015/G00009vGxVm24wwg/C0000LImWlKJccQs

 

 

 

From The Depths: Dialogue and Portraits

Much of my work for various clients focuses around historic aspects of Judaism. It’s almost impossible to talk about the history of the Jews without mentioning the Holocaust.

I recently covered, and continue to cover the projects of an organization called “From The Depths,” which is based in Warsaw, Poland. Jonny Daniels, the founder and head of the non-profit recently visited Boston to speak at some local universities, including Harvard, Emerson, and Clark. I had the pleasure of photographing his discussion at Boston University, where he spoke to local young professionals and students. He also showed some artifacts found in and around Poland:

Jonny Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of "From The Depths," speaks at Boston University Hillel on December 2, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

Jonny Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of “From The Depths,” speaks at Boston University Hillel on December 2, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

Jonny Daniels at BU 12022014

A few days later, we shot some portraits of Jonny for various publications. When thinking about a location to shoot, we realized that The New England Holocaust Memorial would be a powerful backdrop. The last time I was on assignment in that area, a rainbow appeared over the iconic memorial:

A rainbow appears over The New England Holocaust Memorial following the "Rally in Solidarity with Israel" at City Hall Plaza on August 7, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

A rainbow appears over The New England Holocaust Memorial following the “Rally in Solidarity with Israel” at City Hall Plaza on August 7, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

So we went down to the memorial and shot a combination of general portraits with clean backgrounds, as well as environmental portraits due to the importance of the location:

Jonny Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of From the Depths poses for a portrait at The New England Holocaust Memorial on December 5, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

Jonny Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of From the Depths poses for a portrait at The New England Holocaust Memorial on December 5, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014 Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014 Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014 Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014 Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014 Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014 Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014 Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014

We capped off the day by photographing some of the artifacts that Jonny brought to Boston, including dreidels, patches, and soap:

Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014 Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014 Day with Jonny Daniels 12052014

Thanks to Jonny for being such a great subject and making this all happen! I’m looking forward to traveling to Poland in 2015 to cover more of the important programs that From The Depths puts on.

Israeli-Hamas Conflict Spills Over Into Boston – Part 3

This is the third and final (for now) blog post in a series. You can read the previous parts, here

After a slew of protests, rallies, and demonstrations took place in the Boston area in a short period of time, they began to slow down, with a few less taking place each week. As of now, my coverage of these events has begun to slow down, even as the escalations in the Middle-East have not yet stopped.

To cap off the coverage, I covered a pro-Palestinian protest and “die-in” with a small pro-Israel counter protest that took place by Park Street Station in Downtown Boston:

A pro-Palestinian protest is held outside of Park Street Station on July 19, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch/The Times of Israel)

A pro-Palestinian protest is held outside of Park Street Station on July 19, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch/The Times of Israel)

Pro-Palestinian Protest in Boston 07192014 Pro-Palestinian Protest in Boston 07192014 Pro-Palestinian Protest in Boston 07192014 Pro-Palestinian Protest in Boston 07192014 Pro-Palestinian Protest in Boston 07192014 Pro-Palestinian Protest in Boston 07192014 Pro-Palestinian Protest in Boston 07192014 Pro-Palestinian Protest in Boston 07192014

The protest was followed a couple of weeks later with a pro-Israel rally that drew in thousands of people. Held in front of Boston’s City Hall, the rally featured speakers such as the Consul General of Israel to New England Yehuda Yaakov, Consul General Patrick Binns of Canada, and a few others. In addition, a letter from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was read to the crowd:

Rally in Solidarity with Israel at City Hall Plaza on August 7, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

Rally in Solidarity with Israel at City Hall Plaza on August 7, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elan Kawesch)

Rally in Solidarity with Israel 07072014 Rally in Solidarity with Israel 07072014 Rally in Solidarity with Israel 07072014 Rally in Solidarity with Israel 07072014 Rally in Solidarity with Israel 07072014 Rally in Solidarity with Israel 07072014

The crowd got distracted for a moment when a double rainbow appeared over The New England Holocaust Memorial, just a few hundred yards from the rally:
Rally in Solidarity with Israel 07072014 Rally in Solidarity with Israel 07072014As I cover more events, I will share the photos here on my blog. In the mean time, you can keep up with the latest by following me on Instagram.

This is the third and final (for now) blog post in a series. You can read the previous parts, here