The Best Things to Do in Jerusalem in January
Jerusalem events in January reflect that winter settles in at this time of year. There are concerts, museum exhibits, performances - but almost all have moved indoors.
The year 2016 is a bit unusual, however, in that the Jewish holiday of Tu BiShvat - which usually happens in February - is coming extra early this year, on Sunday night to Monday, January 24-25.
It’s a holiday that celebrates trees and nature, with many Kabbalistic overtones, and always heralds spring. In the wake of winter rains, I’m sure we’re all looking forward to a foretaste of spring.
A reminder, too, that this is when registration starts for the Jerusalem Marathon.
The Jewish National Fund organizes tree planting events all over Israel to plant trees on Tu Bishvat. Planting a tree has become a Tu BiShvat tradition, as well as a way to mark life cycle events, such as births, bar/bat mitzvahs or weddings, or to memorialize a loved one.
To participate in one of these free Jerusalem events, get a group together and contact the KKL-JNF Forest Hotline: 1-800-350-550
The week before Tu BiShvat is the best time to pay a visit to Machane Yehuda, Jerusalem's fruit-and-vegetable market. In the lead up to the holiday, in addition to the glorious produce that you'll find here year-around, the vendors stock up on weird and wonderful fruit that you're unlikely to find at any other time.
It's kind of thrilling to see what you'll discover...
Want to make it an exciting, fun group adventure? Why not a shuk dash?
This holiday is always a nice time to visit the Jerusalem Botanical Garden.
At the Medicinal Plant Center, kids can learn about herbs and their many uses - as well as brewing up cups of tea. There are creative wood-working workshops for kids, giant puzzles, and of course, the little train to ride around the park. For details, please call: 02-679-4012
Admission: Adults NIS 35; children, senior and students NIS 30; Family (up to five people) NIS 130. Children under18 from Jerusalem enter free when accompanied by one parent with an ID card showing a Jerusalem address.
One of the longest-running Jerusalem events, the Monday Afternoon Concert series as Hebrew University offer a chance to come in from the cold and warm your heart with some classical music. The free, 45-minute performances have been going on for 40 years. For more information, call 02-588-3936.
Where: Room 2715, Humanities Building, Mt. Scopus campus