Photos: D.C. Prepares for 57th Presidential Inauguration.

"A supporter reacts in front of the CNN news set on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as she watches a telecast of the swearing-in of President Barack Obama Sunday, January 20, 2013."

“A supporter reacts on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as she watches a telecast of the swearing-in of President Barack Obama Sunday, January 20, 2013.”

"he sun rises as a pedestrian passes by the entrance of Union Station in Washington, D.C. on the day before the 57th Presidential Inauguration Sunday, January 20, 2013."

“The sun rises as a pedestrian passes by the entrance of Union Station in Washington, D.C. on the day before the 57th Presidential Inauguration Sunday, January 20, 2013.”

"Anderson Cooper, anchor of CNN's AC360, acknowledges spectators from atop the CNN press riser on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on the day before the 57th Presidential Inauguration Sunday, January 20, 2013."

“Anderson Cooper, anchor of CNN’s AC360, acknowledges spectators from atop the CNN press riser on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on the day before the 57th Presidential Inauguration Sunday, January 20, 2013.”

"CNN chief national correspondent John King reacts atop the CNN press riser on the National Mall in Washington on the day before the 57th Presidential Inauguration Sunday, January 20, 2013."

“CNN chief national correspondent John King reacts atop the CNN press riser on the National Mall in Washington on the day before the 57th Presidential Inauguration Sunday, January 20, 2013.”

Here are a few shots from the activity around the National Mall as Washington D.C. prepares for the 57th Presidential Inauguration.

I’m not going to post much now, but I will say that the mall was far more subdued a day before this inauguration than it was back in 2009.

More to come from Inauguration Day soon.

Photo: Oren, Adelson family attends Birthright Israel event at Washington’s Newseum.

"Michael Oren (center), Israeli Ambassador to the United States, poses with philanthropists Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson during a Birthright Israel event at the Newseum in Washington, DC Tuesday, November 29, 2011."

Any time I get to cover an event related to Birthright Israel, I’m overjoyed. My experience in Israel was like none other in my life, so I jump at any opportunity that I know will bring me back to that trip. 

This was the latest of that type, a fundraising event at the Newseum in Washington, DC. (The Newseum, home to an exhibit full of Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, is of course, my favorite museum out there).

This was a wonderful event, and, as a Birthright alum who had an incredible ten days in Israel at zero cost, it was interesting to witness what actually goes into making that gift possible for myself and thousands of others around the world. 

I was in great company, as well. Here’s a photo of the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson, who have donated over $100 million to Birthright Israel since 2007, posing with Michael Oren, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States.

It will certainly be a nice addition to the Philanthropy and Foreign Policy portfolios.