It's here – Passover time in Jerusalem.

In the days of the Second Temple, all of Israel's population flocked to the Holy City. We’re still short a temple, but it sort of feels like that again. Every Passover, all of Israel takes a week long vacation and it seems like most of the population, swelled by an influx of visitors from abroad, is headed this way.


Jerusalem is getting ready, with a wealth of things going on. Here's just a taste of what’s in the air.

Contents for Issue No. 7

  • What's New in Jerusalem
  • Happy Passover - This Year in Jerusalem!
  • Find the Best Deals on Discount Hotels in Jerusalem
  • Join the Jerusalem Insider's Guide Forums
  • Send Passover Wishes with Our Jerusalem Greeting Cards
  • Jerusalem and Israel News from Around the Web

What's New in Jerusalem

It’s a time of bridging the past and future in Jerusalem.

Hurva Synagogue Reopens

This month saw the reopening of the Hurva synagogue in the Old City, a historic event that was 40 years in coming. Once the center of activity in the Jewish Quarter, the synagogue was razed by the Jordanian Legion hours after expelling the Jews from the Old City in 1948.

It opened again, faithfully reconstructed down to the last detail, on March 15, 2010. It was a proud and moving moment.

Stop by when you're in the Jewish Quarter.

More Finds at the Ophel

There was also the recent announcement that archaeologists have unearthed a wall dating to the time of King Solomon (10th century BCE). The wall, 6 meters tall and 70 meters long, is part of a complex that also includes a gate house, part of a royal building and a fortified tower.

The excavations are taking place in the Ophel, the area adjacent to the Temple Mount.

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities is celebrating its 50th anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, it will be putting on display for the first time ever what many scientists refer to as the "Magna Carta" of Physics: the full manuscript of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Albert Einstein, who was one of the founders of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, donated the manuscript to the University when it opened in 1925.

The manuscript has never been displayed in its entirety. It is part of a larger exhibit designed to put Einstein’s pivotal work in context.

The exhibit, timed to coincide with Einstein’s 131st birthday on March 14, runs until March 25.

The Academy of Sciences and Humanities is located at 43 Jabotinsky Street. Call 02-5676222 to schedule an hour tour.

Calatrava Bridge of Strings Wins Award

Jerusalem’s new landmark, the Calatrava Bridge of Strings, which spans the intersection at the West entrance of Jerusalem, was just awarded the Travel and Leisure Design Award for Best Bridge. On the jury were Calvin Klein, Lisa Phillips (director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York) and Laurie Beckelman (formely of New York’s Museum of Arts & Design), among others.

Read more about the Calatrava bridge here or view T+L’s slide show of the winning entries, which also included awards for hotel design, best travel accessory, fashion, luggage and museum design.

Happy Passover!

Passover is the Jewish holiday that commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. It's a time ripe with family traditions and rituals and the portent of sweet things to come.

There'll be lots of activities planned by the Municipality to keep visitors and locals busy during the holiday season, but much of the Passover holiday revolves on the home. There are some great guides available online to help you bring Passover into your own home. Our favorites include this Passover website, where in addition to recipes, stories and how-to-guides, you can even download a free Passover Haggadah with English translation.

Our favorite printable guide from that site is The Seder Wizard, an inspirational companion to walk you through the Seder.

For the paraphernalia you'll need to host a Seder yourself, look no further than Amazon, which carries a great variety of Seder Plates to suit many styles and budgets, from a gorgeous Spode Seder Plate which also has a matching Kiddush Cup and matzah plate to a cute kids' melamine Passover Seder plate.

Passover – This Year in Jerusalem!

Many of the city's museums and attractions are hosting special programs during the week of Passover. Here are just a few:

The Tower of David Museum will have children's activities during the day, including games, workshops and theater, and guided tours of the museum for the grown ups in English at 11:00 a.m. daily, and a light and sound extravaganza in the evening, weather permitting, on Mon. Wed. Thurs. and Sat. night. (This is held outside – dress warmly!)

The Underground Museum tells the story of the establishment of the State of Israel. On March 31 and April 1, it will be running weaving and other workshops, mystery mission games and interactive drama. Hours: Sun – Thurs 09:00-17:00. Tel: 02-6233166. This week, until March 28, there will be guided tours at 12:00 and 14:00.

The Old Yishuv Court - Bake Yemenite matzos at the Old Yishuv Court Museum on March 28. There will also be guided tours at 11:00 and 14:00 focusing on how the residents of the Old City prepared for Passover in the days of the Old Yishuv. Call 02-628-4636 or 052-400-2478 to register.

Free Walking Tours - Meet at Kikar Safra (the Municipality headquarters) for free walking tours of downtown Jerusalem on Wed. March 31 and Thurs. April 1, at 11:00 and 13:00.

Find the Best Deals on Discount Hotels in Jerusalem

Still haven't booked a hotel for your stay? Use our search box to find the best deals on discount hotels in Jerusalem.

Join the Jerusalem Insider's Guide Forums

Remember to stop by our forums to share your Jerusalem news or events with us. And if you’ve had a memorable Jerusalem experience, please share your stories at YOUR Jerusalem, the place where you can meet like-minded lovers of Jerusalem.

Send Passover Wishes with Our Jerusalem Greeting Cards

Send Passover wishes with our unique Jerusalem greeting cards. Choose your card, customize your message online and have it mailed directly to your loved one, or order blank cards for yourself. The cards, designed especially by us, feature photographs of Jerusalem that have appeared on our website.

Jerusalem and Israel News from Around the Web

A pioneering new therapy from Israel for ear infections and allergies, salt therapy is set to make headway as an Israeli export to the U.S., too.

Think kosher cuisine can’t compete with the best of them? Think again – Chef Shalom Kadosh has been spreading the challenge and delight of kosher haute cuisine among the world’s other leading chefs. (Check out our primer on Israeli foods and recipes.)

Happy Holidays!

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