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Happy Hannukah from Jerusalem
December 05, 2012

Happy Hannukah from Jerusalem!

As we prepare to light the Hannukah candles here in Jerusalem, we want to wish you and your family a very blessed holiday and a successful, joyful 2013.

If you'll be celebrating the holiday season in Israel this year, be sure to check out what's going on in Jerusalem on our December monthly events calendar. There are some real treats this year, like scavenger hunts by candle-light and the International Jazz Festival.

Each time I walk past a bakery or grocery store in Jerusalem these days, I catch a sweet whiff of sufganiyot, the deep-fried doughnuts that are a typically Israeli Hannukah treat. It makes me want to go right back home and bake a batch, which is something I've got scheduled for the end of this week. There's something very heartwarming about rising dough in the kitchen at wintertime. If you're home for the holidays and want to add a taste of Israel to your table, try our baked sufganiyot recipe for a healthier take on this tradition.

Looking for some last-minute holiday gifts? Stop by our Hanukah store for an assortment of menorahs and other holiday gifts. Of course, I think our Introduction to Jerusalem: A Guide to the Holy City is the perfect gift for anyone planning a short visit (yes, that's a shameless plug for my own book!).

I also recently reviewed the new book by Petra Van der Zande, Remember Observe Rejoice: A Guide to Jewish Feasts Holidays and Memorial Days for Christian Pilgrims. If that's you, then I highly recommend it, and you may also want to read about what it's like to spend Christmas in Jerusalem.

I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to Orah and Shaul Sofer, who joined our team this past month. They are both licensed Israel tour guides and while they're available – singly or jointly – for trips all over the country, they specialize in day trips to Jerusalem from Ashdod Port. So if you'll be taking a cruise to Israel, they're the folks to have pick you up in port and help you discover Jerusalem. What's more, Orah and Shaul are French-speaking too, so if you have any francophone friends or relatives visiting Israel soon, have them get in touch with us!

We've got some new neighborhood walking tours to suggest and some fun group tours that even include seeing Jerusalem by Segway and a challah-baking workshop.

It's hard to believe 2012 is coming to a close – what a year it's been since last Hannukah. We've seen so many changes, not least to our revamped website. Renovations are almost done – if you haven't stopped by in a while, come and visit and let us know if you like what you see!

As the year winds down, it's time for some introspection. As we wish you the best for the holidays and the coming twelve-months, remember that we're here to deliver your prayers to the Western Wall in Jerusalem for you. (Your prayers are strictly confidential and are deleted from our system as soon as they are delivered to the Wall.)

This is a free service that we consider a privilege to provide. Jewish tradition, however, teaches that prayer and charity, together, have the power to change Divine decrees. So please consider super-charging your prayer with a donation to our charity fund for disabled children in Jerusalem. Your donation, however small, would help provide much needed services, therapy and medications for severely disabled children in Jerusalem.

May the lights of the holiday illuminate all the days of your coming year and bless you with warmth, good health, sustenance and safe journeys. And may we see you soon, here, in Yerushalayim.

Happy Holidays!

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We hope to see you soon in our favorite city. May you have a wonderful holiday!

Blessings from Jerusalem,

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