This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘Maale Adumim’

Project365 after One Month: More Outside Photos

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 2, 2018

14/365: Streetlamp in rain

Streetlamp during a heavy rainstorm. I had to force myself to go out to take this photo.

28/365: View towards Jerusalem

Entrance to Maale Adumim in foreground, Jerusalem in background, taken with LG G3 phonecam while on one of my rather infrequent runs.

8/365: Tram stop

City hall tram stop, Jerusalem.

11/365: Conservatory

Maaleh Adumim conservatory.

24/365: Jerusalem Technology Park tower

Jerusalem Technology Park office tower, Har Hotzvim, Jerusalem.

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Independence Day, 2015

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 23, 2015

Maale Adumim. This is a single exposure, not a composite or multiple.
More fireworks photos are posted on Flickr.

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Summer of Missiles

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 10, 2014

Bomb Shelter at work

They posted new signs at work so that we can find the bomb shelters. However, the one on our floor doubles as a travel agent’s office and it was much to crowded to enter when the siren sounded at 6 p.m. I went into the stairwell, waited until I heard a few loud booms and then went outside to catch the minivan home.

Four missiles were fired at Jerusalem and Maale Adumim. Two were shot down by the Iron Dome antimissile system and two fell into open areas. My husband was in a nearby store, buying wine for Shabbat. Someone said, “Is that a siren?” Everyone agreed, and continued what they were doing. When he got outside, a small crowd of people were photographing the missile being shot down with their cellphones.

For people in Jerusalem, missiles are a bit of a novelty, although we are well within striking distance of Gaza. By, the way, 96 missiles were fired at Israel today. The total, since Operation Protective Edge began, is 442. The majority of Israel’s citizens live within range of Hamas missiles. This article shows the range of the M-302 missile, relative to large cities in the US, Canada, and UK (What if Terrorists Could Shoot This Rocket at Your Country?). In our area, we have 90 seconds to get to shelter, which is a lot more time than most people (15-45 seconds), but doesn’t seem like very much time if you have to deal with scared children or pets.

We are trying to lead normal lives, although it does make some activities more difficult (a friend’s daughter who is getting married tonight had to find a new wedding hall yesterday because the hall they booked cancelled all its functions). Our local buses are targeted by stone-throwers and no one wants to risk a trip to the hospital for a dinner in town. My husband’s bus was stoned on his way home the other day but no one was injured. I feel safer at work than at home, because our building is a massive block of concrete. Our soldier son won’t be home this Shabbat. We’re not too concerned about his safety because he works in air force intelligence and that building is probably as well protected as any. I hope we all have a peaceful Shabbat.

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Sukkot Children’s March, Maale Adumim

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 23, 2013

Sukkot Children's March, 2013

I don’t photograph many neighbourhood events these days, but I happened to be at home and I hadn’t seen the children’s march organized by the Mussar Avicha synagogue in Maale Adumim. So I hiked up the hill and took a few photos.

Before the march began, the younger kids made and decorated paper flags.

Sukkot Children's March, 2013

Getting organized…. The bundle of sticks and cloth on the man’s shoulder is a chuppah (canopy) made from a tallit (prayer shawl) tied to four poles, traditionally used to cover a bride or a Torah scroll. The children carried toy Torah scrolls.

Sukkot Children's March, 2013

Music provided by a drummer:

Sukkot Children's March, 2013

Sukkot Children's March, 2013

Dancing in the Kikar Keren park. By this time it was dark and I had to use a flash. The park is lit by halogen street lamps, which looks horrid in photos.

Sukkot Children's March, 2013


Sukkot Children's March, 2013

Close to the end of the procession, at the back door of the Mussar Avicha synagogue. They turned right, went down the steps, and across the street, to finish in Rav Katz’s sukkah.

Sukkot Children's March, 2013

Rav Katz, seated at the far left, addresses the children.

Sukkot Children's March, 2013

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Super Moon over Maale Adumim

Posted by Avital Pinnick on June 23, 2013

Supermoon over Maale Adumim

Although I had a tripod with me, this was taken by hand, braced against a fence, as I was sprinting to get to lower ground. It was a bit hazy when the moon cleared the horizon, so the moon wasn’t very impressive (moon too dark, sky too light). Next time I’ll try to photograph from a lower point so that I can get the moon clearing some buildings when it’s brighter. Unfortunately, I don’t live near the Taj Mahal or Acropolis, so the foreground will probably be apartment buildings.

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Photo Walk, Passover 2012

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 11, 2012

Bird of Paradise

I had planned to visit the Ein Hod artists’ colony today but my plans fell through. A friend in Maale Adumim suggested a photo walk together, since she was planning to go out to photograph a few flowers anyway. So we wandered around central Maale Adumim and took a few photos in the early afternoon. Afterwards I walked to the mall to buy some fish for yom tov lunch.

The first photo I got was a young gazelle buck grazing close to haGittit Street. This was about as challenging as photographing a cow at a dairy. He didn’t know he was supposed to bound away over the hills. After a while I started posing the critter, by walking to the other side and making chirping noises so that he would turn his head towards me. I like this photo because you can see his budding horns quite clearly.

Young gazelle buck

Poppies in the ruins of the St. Martyrius Monastery, which I’ve never seen. (Need to find a tour group that’s going there.)

Poppies in the ruins

Succulent plant

Three gerbera

Rose with split toning:


Kalanchoe flowers:

Kalanchoe flowers

Bird of Paradise

Palm fronds

Sun flare through palm leaves

Masses of flowers on the road divider between the mall and the library.

Masses of Flowers

Masses of Flowers

The Death Star. It’s a disco ball hanging in front of a big digital screen with ads running all the time. I underexposed it to make it look a little more mysterious:

The Death Star

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Torah Scroll Dedication (Oct. 9, 2011)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 10, 2011

Torah Scroll Dedication

I was on my way home from the grocery store yesterday after work, when I heard the music coming from Gilgal Street and remembered that there was a hakhnasat sefer torah/Torah scroll dedication that evening. Fortunately, I had my DSLR camera with me, so I stashed my groceries in my backpack and ran down with my camera. (Yes, I do love my new point&shoot and carry it everywhere but I really missed the speed and versatility of the DSLR, so I started carrying it with me again.) I really enjoyed the opportunity to photograph a challenging subject. Capturing photos of people moving around at night, without using a flash or tripod, can be tricky. The still photos were taken with a Canon Digital Rebel XSi (aka 450D), 18-135mm lens, no flash, RAW format. The Sefer Torah was dedicated by the Spector family in memory of Ziva Spector, z”l.

The photo above shows the Torah scroll being carried under a chuppah, since the scroll is like a bride. The bearded man facing the camera might be Rav Katz, the chief rabbi of Maale Adumim. I’m not sure. I’ll have to check the notice to see who was scheduled to speak. I liked the face of the little girl looking up.

They organized a children’s section with lit torches but it had become somewhat disorganized by the time I got there.

Torah Scroll Dedication

Torah Scroll Dedication

It’s not often that I get such a good view from above. I went back to my flat, dumped the groceries, and went out on the balcony to take a few photos from above.

Torah Scroll Dedication

I zoomed in to show the other Torah scrolls that are brought out of synagogue to “greet the bride.”

Torah Scroll Dedication

Torah Scroll Dedication

Here’s a short video clip of the procession. I’ve always wanted to try recording one of these events and now I finally have a camera that do a decent job of shooting HD video at night. This was shot with the Canon PowerShot S95. The strong yellowish cast is really how it looks. It’s very difficult to correct the colour of these streetlights, even shooting with tungsten white balance, which is why the colour correction is a little uneven. I was processing these photos quickly to get them up on Flickr. (If they were for a paid job I would have done a batch colour correction.)

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Olim Arts & Crafts Fair, Maale Adumim

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 29, 2011

Olim Arts & Crafts Fair, Maale Adumim

Last Friday (May 27, 2011) I went to the Olim (Immigrants) Arts & Crafts fair at the Maale Adumim mall, despite the freakishly hot weather. The photo above is a panorama of 4 photos stitched together with Photoshop, handheld. I’m surprised it turned out because I’m usually terrible at holding my camera level when I take pictures quickly.

Most of the booths had the usual jewelry, crafts, food, pottery, that you see at these shows. Especially the jewelry. Everything looks like it came out of Bead&Button Magazine. ;-( There was also the usual Judaica, mainly paper cuts and little house blessings and pictures of Jerusalem.

Olim Arts & Crafts Fair, Maale Adumim

A table run by Russian immigrants had a pretty funky mix of stuff, from modular origami and stuffed animals to carved clocks (the back of the clock face appears to have been a sheet of stickers of Hebrew letters, the kind you buy at craft stores).

Olim Arts & Crafts Fair, Maale Adumim

Olim Arts & Crafts Fair, Maale Adumim

The only table that evoked more than a passing flicker of interest was the one with Ethiopian crafts. I bypassed the embroidered challah covers and anything in the colours of the Ethiopian flag, but I did buy this shawl for 25 NIS (about $7). It measures 26×70 inches and is woven of synthetic fibers. There’s a mistake in the warp threading, so that the twill chevrons get messed up a little, but I think that’s part of its charm. It was also very wrinkled.

When I showed it to my husband, he asked whether it was shatnez (mixture of wool and linen, forbidden for Jews to wear). I could have sent it to a shatnez lab, but they would have charged probably more than the shawl was worth, so I did a burn test at home. It’s certainly not shatnez. Neither is my hair. Note to self: it’s not a good idea to do burn testing when tired…. Maybe I’ll write up how to do shatnez testing on your own for simple things like a shawl (not for men’s clothing, which has to be taken apart). If you’re familiar with natural fibers, it’s a useful skill to have.


I bought the shawl from a lovely young woman named Mati, who let me take her photo:

Olim Arts & Crafts Fair, Maale Adumim

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Castel Museum, Maale Adumim

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 13, 2011

Castel Museum

On Yom Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) we finally visited the Moshe Castel Museum. Although the museum has been open for a couple years, it’s one of those cases where we’ve been putting it off because it’s almost in our backyard. The museum is located in Maale Adumim with a spectacular view of Jerusalem and the Judaean hills. Because it faces west, I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the building during our morning visit. After our mandatory “mangal” (barbecue) I hiked back up the hill with a wide angle lens to photograph the building lit by the setting sun.

This photo of the view through the windows was taken from the upper floor in the atrium. Photography without flash is permitted in the museum. Hours and prices are posted on the Castel Museum site.

Castel Museum

Moshe Castel (1909-1991) was an Israeli painter and sculptor. Born in Jerusalem, he grew up in the Bukharim neighbourhood, studied at the Ecole de Louvre in Paris as a young man, and produced paintings and sculptures in a wide range of styles. The European influence is evident in his early paintings (1930s and 40s) of Sephardic Jews.

In the 1950s he began experimenting with a sculptural style in his paintings, by mixing ground basalt (apparently inspired by a visit to the ruined synagogue at Korazin) with sand and glue to form a relief. The museum’s atrium is dominated by a large piece, “Priests at the Wailing Wall” (1991) in this technique:

Castel Museum

Castel Museum

The museum is surprisingly large, built on a square floor plan. Most of the ground floor is an archive, not open to the public. A gift shop with reproductions  is located on the left side of the atrium. Cafe Castel, which is quite a good cafe, is on the right, with an entrance from the street. Note to Maale Adumim residents: the cafe is open all day and in the evening, serves decent food and is a lot quieter than Aroma in the mall. Prices are about the same. I have no idea how they manage to serve quiches and salads when they don’t appear to have any kitchen space.

On the second floor, the atrium and three large galleries surround an open courtyard, with two small study rooms in the front corners. The building was designed by Israeli architect David Reznik on the site chosen by Moshe and Bilhah Castel in 1981. (I saw Bilhah in the corridor; she was fed up with being photographed by a tour group, so I don’t have any photos of her.) The museum opened in 2009.

“Holy Ark at Sefat” (1943) shows the romantic European influence, combined with the rich saturated colours that are prominent in his later work:

Castel Museum

Study room with Castel’s drawings, largely studies of Mediterranean themes and symbols:

Castel Museum

Castel Museum

Castel Museum

Tours can be booked in advance in Hebrew, English, and Russian (extra 30 NIS, in addition to the 36 NIS entrance fee). An English language tour guide describes the “Eternal Menorah” painting. The building is wheelchair accessible and most pieces are hung at a low height, particularly the drawings.

Castel Museum

“Eternal Menorah” (1973), paint and basalt:

Castel Museum

“Flying Letters” displays Castel’s distinctive style, incorporating rich colours, archaic Hebrew and Sumerian letter forms, and mythological symbols:

Castel Museum

Two paintings from the 1940s, “Composition” (left) and “Ancient Figures” (right):

Castel Museum

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Star-Gazing in Maale Adumim

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 20, 2010


Actually, “moon- and Jupiter-gazing” would be more accurate. The observatory of the ORT technical high school and college in Maale Adumim has a small observatory, which is open to the public once a month. We signed up for the tour on Oct. 18. I assume that the day is determined by the phase of the moon, so it’s probably scheduled a few days before the full moon. The moon is large enough to see easily but not so bright that the details are washed out.

ORT schools in Israel are technical secondary schools and colleges run by ORT Israel, which broke away from World ORT, an international non-profit organization, in 2006. According to the ORT Israel site, the school in Maale Adumim prepares cadets for the Israeli Air Force:

ORT Ma’ale Adumim is a regional school that aims to prepare its 214 student cadets for the Israeli Air Force while maintaining a high academic level. The college offers tracks in Electronics, Scientific Engineering, Computers and Biotechnology. The school plans to extend its range of 10th-12th grades, offering a 13th and 14th grade level as well.

The tour costs 20 NIS and has to be booked in advance. If there is insufficient enrollment, they’ll call you the night before to let you know that it has been cancelled. Details (in Hebrew) are at their site. To register, call 02-590-0243/923, ext. 4, and ask for Viki. It’s rather difficult to reach her, so if you run into problems, call the school admin number and leave a message. There were 18 people the night we went.

The tour began with a fairly basic astronomy lecture and a demo of Stellarium. If you’re not familiar with Stellarium, it’s a free, open-source planetarium software program  (Wikipedia). We downloaded it as soon as we got home (download site, screenshot gallery, for Windows, Mac, and Linux). It’s a lot of fun!

After the presentation, we went out to the balcony to look at the moon and Jupiter. I could see the red stripe of Jupiter. Someone in the group managed to get a good photograph of the moon by holding his cellphone close to the eyepiece. I wish I’d thought of that but I’m not sure I could have manually focused a DSLR under those conditions. I still don’t have a medium zoom lens, so these photos were taken with a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and a 10-22mm wide angle lens.



We didn’t get to use the big observatory telescope for a number of reasons — it takes time to set up and calibrate, it’s intended primarily for researchers, and using it does involve wear-and-tear on a fairly expensive machine. The kids were allowed to operate the controls to open the roof and rotate the telescope. The entire tour is an hour long and it’s fun if you’re looking for something close to home.



Gratuitous B/W arty shot of the stairs:


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