As we enter the holiday season, we are also marking several interesting events here in Jerusalem in the coming month, and some very exciting changes at our our website - including the opening of our forums, places where you can share Jerusalem online with others.

The Jerusalem Insider’s Guide Newsletter: Contents for Issue #5

  • Happy Holidays
  • What's New in Jerusalem
  • What's New on the Jerusalem Insider's Guide website
  • Jerusalem and Israel News from Around the Web

Happy Holidays!

Winter and the holiday season are officially upon us. How do we know? Two sure signs: It has started to rain, and doughnuts have appeared at the neighborhood grocery stores all over town.

All over the world, Jews celebrate Hannukah by lighting channukiot. What's a channukiah? Israelis are very adamant about this term. There was only one menorah and that was the one in the Temple. It had seven branches. A channukiah – an eight-branched candelabra – is what we light for Hannukah. Whatever you choose to call it, Israelis light them in their windows, or even outside their buildings, so that walking down the street, you can see the lights glittering in all the windows or by the entrance ways.

While the lights burn, we indulge in latkes – potato pancakes – just like Jews around the world do. But in Israel, doughnuts are also a Hannukah time treat. If you'd like to be a little Israeli this Hannukah and gather around the channukiah with your family, enjoying piping hot, fresh doughnuts, here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Don’t have a channukiah yet? (It’s OK – you can call it a menorah!) Take advantage of the holiday sale at Most Original Judaica Gift Store on selected menorahs, dreidels and other gifts by Israeli artists.

For everything you ever wanted to know about Hannukah, visit the Hannukah Website. Want to learn how to play dreidels? When and how to light the candles? Need to send a free holiday e-card or to find a holiday prayer, story or a video for adults or kids? It’s all there.

What’s New in Jerusalem

Jerusalem 9/11 Monument

Jerusalem's new monument to the victims of 9/11 was dedicated on November 12. Located in Arazim Park, the new monument is visible from afar as you approach the entrance to Jerusalem.

A 30-foot high sculpture depicting an American flag morphing into a memorial flame sits on a granite block that once was part of the Twin Towers. Designed by award-winning artist Eliezer Weishoff, the monument is surrounded by a crater-like, circular plaza.

The Jerusalem monument is the only one outside New York City to list the names of every single person who perished in the attack. Click here to view the dedication ceremony (and the monument itself).

New Exhibit at the Davidson Center

There's a new exhibit at the Jerusalem Archaeological Gardens (the Ophel), at the foot of the Temple Mount. The display features coins from the Second Temple period – coins from as far as Persia and France, which shows Jerusalem was already a city of international allure. There’s also 2,000 year old sarcophagus from a priestly family, and other artifacts found during excavations at the base of the Temple Mount.

What's New on the Jerusalem Insider's Guide Website

Doughnuts for one thing! We’ve inaugurated our Israeli Foods department, where you can not only read about traditional Israeli food, but make it yourself, too, from our growing collection of authentic Israeli recipes. So the next time you crave a falafel or shwarma, you don’t have to wait until your next visit – just step into your kitchen and invite your friends!

Want to make some new, like-minded friends? YOUR Jerusalem is our most exciting addition yet. We share our Jerusalem with you – now you have the opportunity to share your experiences of Jerusalem with us and each other as well. Join our growing community and share your most moving or funniest Jerusalem experience or a best travel tip in our forum.

Do you have an opinion about Jerusalem? Feel strongly about what's going on in Israel? (Let's face it, who doesn't?) From now on, you can get all your Jerusalem and Israel news in one place!. You'll find updated headlines about Jerusalem and Israel from news sources around the world, plus you can also search for any topic from the archives of the Jerusalem Post or Arutz 7 – Israel's largest English-language news sources.

Want to throw your two cents in? Jump right in our News Forum and leave a comment, start a debate, or tell us about any Jerusalem news you want to post. This is your news center.

So get started and let's get to know each other!

Jerusalem and Israel News from Around the Web

For archaeology and history buffs, Rav L. Resnick traces the Jewish history of Jerusalem through archaeological evidence.

How many gadgets do you use on a daily basis that are Israeli inventions? You’d be surprised. Here’s just a partial list.

And last, but by no means least, yesterday, November 29 was the 62nd anniversary of the UN vote on the partition of Palestine that paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel. (Read more about it and its aftermath here.) Judea Pearl, father of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, recalls that historic moment in The Miracles of November. A truly moving article – well worth the read, especially as we go into the Hannukah season.

No matter which holiday(s) you'll be celebrating this coming month, may the lights of the season illuminate your lives with joy, friendship, love, freedom and peace for all of us.

Happy Holidays!

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