The Passover holiday in Jerusalem, Israel, is always a busy time with so much to do.
After days of cleaning and shopping, and a late night seder, what next?
This year I decided not to spend hours in the car along with millions of other Israelis going to lush camping sights and sandy beaches, but rather to stay home and explore what Jerusalem has to offer.
Now to share with you some of the best of Jerusalem for Passover this year 5778.
Where else to start, but with food.
Some restaurants like this new humus place were closed tight for Passover.
But not to worry, in Jerusalem, there was an abundance of kosher for Passover places to eat. This Holy Bagel in the Old City is not only mehadrin kosher, but “KOSHER without fear of legumes!”
With baskets of matza on the table, this potato crust pizza looked good enough to eat. People were standing in lines for seats to taste for themselves.
Pizza, rolls, sandwiches, pies, cakes and more…one of the best places for Passover food is in Jerusalem, Israel.
Mamilla Mall was busy and crowded with local shoppers and international tourists, plus entertainment and performances for children.
Another favorite was seeing the clothing in the Old City, with many dressed in their holiday finest, wearing every type of outfit imaginable.
With so many activities for families, it was hard to decide what to do first, as dozens of museums and sites were free for children. The Tower of David had families walking, touring, and climbing.
From the Tower of David you could see the Old City ramparts walk with tourists going along the top of the walls of the Old City.
Days were warm and the sun beat down midday. But volunteers were in several locations in Old City offering cups of water, free to all who walked by.
The Golden Menorah was moved near the Hurva Synagogue, where tourists were busy taking photos.
This menorah is a photo posted near where the gold one was located. The Western Wall elevator is to be constructed here.
Remember I said every type of clothing imaginable? How about a Betar uniform from the 1920’s?
It was reported 100,000 people were at Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing, Monday morning.
In the afternoon and for most of the week, the Western Wall Plaza was still filled with families.
All day long tens of thousands of people came and went from the Old City.
This line was not at the security entrance leading to the women’s section, but just a long line of tourists waiting to access the Temple Mount.
The egalitarian section, however, was almost empty. On the right of this photo, if you look very closely, you can see children playing near the stones from the Second Temple.
While so many were in the Old City, other Jerusalem locations were also holiday destinations.
In Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, smoke filled the air with dozens of extended families grilling meat for large meals, with boxes of matza on the tables.
Children were playing as family members and friends were sitting and talking or playing sports.
Another extremely popular destination was the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.
Thousands of people wandered the grounds over Passover.
I was fascinated by these flowers in the pond. There is so much beauty in what was formerly a garbage dump.
There were planned and supervised activities for children,
as well as colorful flowers to capture their attention.
Nayot Park was one of dozens of Jerusalem parks where grills were going, smoke was rising, and matza was on the table.
Driving in many locations took much longer than usual. Finding parking was not always easy. A free parking spot in a good location was worth saving.
There were varied musical events at night, too numerous to list.
Old places like Hansen House were full of activity.
So much was happening in Jerusalem this Passover week.
I will end with a video of the Birkat Kohanim,
and one of my favorite photos, of these young cousins getting to know each other at a Gan Sacher picnic.
Wishing all a good holiday and Shabbat Shalom