Walking in the footsteps of repentance
As darkness falls over Jerusalem each Thursday evening during the Hebrew month of Elul, groups of visitors will make their way to Mount Zion. Among the ancient ruins, a tour guide begins to talk about King David, who, according to Jewish tradition, conquered the city and built its first temple.
Behind the walls of the Hansen hospital
Jerusalem through my father’s eyes
In the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, a small shop called Elia Photo Service, offers a window to the city’s past. The glass cupboards, walls and countertops are covered with black-and-white photos that Elia Kahvedjian took in and around Jerusalem and other parts of Israel for more than six decades, beginning in the 1920s. There are photos of camels in the desert, horse-drawn carts on Jaffa Road, and the interior of the Old City’s Hurva Synagogue before it was destroyed in the 1948-49 war.
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.
The Anna Ticho house
A Place for Art and Culture; old and new
Before the state of Israel was established, botanist Baruch Chizik and artist Aharon HaLevy traveled around rural Palestine, cataloguing all of the plants they encountered. Chizik studied and identified the various flowers and cacti while HaLevy painted them.
It was part of a larger cooperative scene of scientists, artists and linguists who worked together to find, document, and even create modern Hebrew names for the plants growing in the Holy Land.
Along the shop-lined cobblestone pedestrian Yoel Solomon Street in the city’s Nahalat Shiva neighborhood, one store stands out among the others because it has two names. The door reads Cadim, but the sign on the building says Altogether 8. While it can be confusing, the shop does indeed have have two names because two different ceramic art cooperatives–among the oldest businesses on the popular street– recently joined forces.
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..
A book cafe for lovers
So many married and long-term couples have visited the cozy Tmol Shilshom cafe while they were dating that the cafe published a book about some of those who met their life-partners here. That book, Stories of Love, features ten couples, and is just a glimpse of the important role this place has played in the lives of so many people in Jerusalem
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.