Bringing king david to life
A red-headed boy leads his sheep across a grassy field, interspersed with trees. The music of a flute plays and the rolling, rocky hills of Judea rise in the background. These are the opening scenes of the new evening sound and light show King David, which transforms the 1,000-year old stone walls of the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem’s Old City into a surround-sound movie theater five nights a week. Once the sun sets, David and his story come to life in this Crusader-era citadel via 18 laser projectors and 20 speakers.
Hearing Jewish history through music
In one corner of Jerusalem’s Hebrew Music Museum, a group of visiting children and adults are sitting in a circle, playing drums. All the drums and other instruments they are using are from Yemen and Ethiopia and other lands in the region which have been home to Jewish communities throughout the centuries. Nearby, in the sprawling museum built inside ancient stone buildings in the city’s central Nahalat Shiva neighborhood, other rooms are filled with instruments from Europe, Morocco and Central Asia, also home to historic Jewish communities..
Paint your own piece of Jerusalem
An urban wildlife refuge
In the middle of Jerusalem, a large expanse of wild grasses, trees and ponds is now once again home to a growing herd of gazelles. This spring, 11 babies were born, bringing the total number of gazelles to 38. Nestled between the central Katamonim and Givat Mordechai neighborhoods, and bordered by the busy Menachem Begin Expressway, Jerusalem’s Gazelle Valley is a rare patch of nature in the city.
Jerusalem’s secret garden
From Jerusalem’s bustling King David Street, the tiny Elimelech Admoni Street leads down hill to reveal a sprawling green park, shaded with palm, pine and olive trees. Rather than city traffic and honking car horns, here it is quiet, with birds chirping in the background. This magical hidden park in the center of Jerusalem is called Bloomfield Garden, and is tucked between King David Street and the Old City. In addition to a quiet atmosphere, filled with stone paths and benches, there are also sweeping views of the Old City Walls.
Every morning Alen Kacal arrives just after sunrise to the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, near the Knesset, to see if any birds were trapped overnight in the large nets that cover many of the trees and bushes here. On a recent March morning she found a blue and orange kingfisher, a bright yellow warbler and an owl that usually lives in Siberia.
Jerusalem by the light of the moon: segway tours
As the sun sets in Jerusalem, a small group of people glide along the city’s sidewalks on Segways, exploring the city by the light of the moon. Leaving from the First Station complex, these nighttime segway tours explore the picturesque Yemin Moshe neighborhood with its sweeping views of the illuminated Old City Walls, as well as the vibrant Mamilla outdoor shopping corridor, and several alleyways inside the Old City itself.
Sweet Ein Kerem chocolate-making
Along the street up to Ein Kerem’s famous St John the Baptist Monastery is a small shop with a glass case full of handmade chocolates and gourmet ice cream. Called Sweet Ein Kerem, this little space is what owner Ofer Amsalem calls the “window” to his business’s larger location, which includes a chocolate factory and cafe, another 100 meters up the street.
Out of the blue
Searching for hidden clues in Jerusalem
Ten years ago, a Jerusalem tour guide asked educator Tali Kaplinski Tarlow to organize a scavenger hunt for a group of tourists who had already seen practically everything in the city. So she put together a route through Nachlaot that took visitors down the lesser-known alleyways and introduced them to the hidden stories of the neighborhood surrounding the Mahane Yehuda market.