We're heading into the winter holiday season and Jerusalem is as exciting a time as ever. Here are some highlights of the coming weeks:


  • What's New in Jerusalem
  • Happy Chanukah
  • Jerusalem: Israel's Eternal Capital
  • Jerusalem and Israel Around the Web
  • Join Our Jerusalem Community

What's New in Jerusalem

It is hard to tell it's winter, here in Jerusalem, as we still enjoy sunny days and balmy evenings on our balconies. (Although we are hoping for rain.) Winter or not, it seems the summer time of festivals is still with us, with one exciting festival or exhibit after another on the Jerusalem cultural calendar.

Three upcoming events not to be missed:

The Jerusalem International Jazz Festival starts this week and runs from November 24-December 1, 2010. Musicians from around the world come to town for an exciting time of great concerts and workshops. Check out the program of performances at the Jazz Fest’s official website. Tickets are 80 NIS and can be bought in advance by calling 02-621-1777.

Hamshushalayim – the first three weekends of December are the days of Hamshushalayim, a city wide festival during which hundreds of street events take place, tourist attractions remain open until the wee hours, often running special programs and restaurants and hotels offer specials. The Municipality still hasn't released a full program of events and participating restaurants, but if you're in town then, keep your eyes out for the posters and banners that will cover the city and ask your hotel or dining establishment if they’ve got any special deals to offer you.

If you can't get to Lake Hula, one of Israel’s wildlife treasures – you can visit it here in Jerusalem through the current photography exhibit at Beit Avi Chai, The Story of Lake Hula. Admission is free. Hours: Sun-Thurs 10:00 to 19:00, Fri 10:00 to13:00. 44 King George St. Tel: (02) 621-5300.

Happy Chanukah

Of course, the brightest festival of the season is Chanukah, which celebrates the victory of light over darkness and the Maccabee liberation of Jerusalem (and the rest of Israel) from the Ancient Greeks. The festival of lights comes super early this year: The first night of Chanukah is December 1. Plan ahead and schedule in some time to make our delicious Jerusalem baked doughnut recipe, the traditional Israeli treat for this holiday.

If you're inclined to include latkes as well, you'll find free recipes, a Chanukah FAQ, menorah-lighting guide, kids' stories and videos, and even free e-cards at Chabad's Chanukah site.

Fortunately, you still have time to stock up for the holiday – shop for your menorah, candles, music and other gifts at our Chanukah store. By purchasing from our store, you’ll also be helping us keep the Jerusalem Insider's Guide going strong.

And by the way, our guidebook, Introduction to Jerusalem: A Guide to the Holy City, makes a great gift, too. You can download the e-book or order a printed copy right here.

Jerusalem: Israel's Eternal Capital

Jerusalem united or Jerusalem divided? You've read the history of Jerusalem on our website. (What do you mean – you haven’t yet? Click here now!)

We are a tourism site – not a political one. But if you've subscribed to our newsletter, you obviously have more than a passing interest in Jerusalem, whose fate is once again at the center of world politics.

So if you're interested in the legal status of Jerusalem in international law, download Jerusalem: Israel's Eternal Capital, a free e-book that provides concise facts on the history and legal status of Jerusalem, as well as a fantastic suggested-reading list.

The book is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, where you can subscribe to daily updates on political news related to Jerusalem and test your knowledge of Jerusalem’s history with an online quiz. (In the new window that will open when you follow this last link, click the "next" button on the lower right hand corner to start the quiz – good luck!)

Jerusalem and Israel News on the Web

November 30 has been designated Buy Israel Day, to support Israeli companies that do business internationally. Shoppers around the world – buy Israeli! Among the companies anti-Israel boycotts are specifically targeting is Ahava, Israel's leading skin-care company.

So please pamper yourself – and Support Israel: Buy Ahava products, for yourself, for your friends and family!

Two Israeli companies are among the five winners of GE's Ecomagination Challenge, an international competition meant to "accelerate development of the next generation power grid and global energy transformation through open collaboration."

Israeli biotech continues to stun the scientific world as well, with the development of a new plastic that can knock out acne, prevent milk from spoiling, make juice boxes bacteria-free, and kill even antibiotic resistant microorganisms.

Join Our Jerusalem Community

Do you have a memorable anecdote from a trip to Jerusalem? Photos or a travel tip to share? Want to connect with other lovers of Jerusalem? Have an event in Jerusalem you want to advertise? (It's free!)

Drop by our forum – YOUR Jerusalem – and let's get to know each other.

And if you enjoy the Jerusalem Insider's Guide – please let others know about us. Every bit helps!

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Happy holiday season to all. One small candle can dispel a lot of darkness, so may light always shine in your lives and may your own light shine ever brighter.

Blessings from Jerusalem,

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