Jerusalem Biggest and Best of Hanukkah

Jerusalem Biggest and Best of Hanukkah

Jerusalem, Israel, for Hanukkah is a very special place.

This year, more than in past years, there were more tourists and more things to do.

New events were planned, though some got rained out.

As the eighth-day ebbs, here are some favorites of the biggest and best Jerusalem happenings.

Hanukkah paper goods for party in Jerusalem

Jerusalem paper goods stores were ready long before Hanukkah, with all you needed for your table and parties.

Hanukkah suffganiot rising in a bakery in Jeremiahs Israel

Jerusalem bakeries had sufganiyot, donuts rising by the tens of thousands.

Hanukiah at Beit Hanasi

Beit Hanasi, the Israeli President’s Residence had a large hanukkiah, Hanukkah menorah, ready outside for all to see.

There were dozens of hanukkiot, Hanukkah menorahs. placed on street corners.

Around Jerusalem and the world, Lubavitch-Habad emissaries put a hanukkiah in public squares.

Chabad chanukiah in Jerusalem near Israeli President's Residence

This one near Beit Hanasi was at Schneurshohn Square on the third night of Hanukkah.

Photo of Lubavitcher Rebbe with Chanukah in style of Ramban yle of Rmaban.

These Hanukkah menorahs come in all sorts of styles and shapes now, but this style hanukkiah was preferred by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Jerusalem candle lighting at Mamilla Mall

At Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall a large one has been lit for the past eight years.

Mamilla Mall Hanuka candle lighting crowd with live music

Huge crowds come to Jerusalem for the lighting and live music and free sufganiyot.

Jerusalem’s Mamilla Mall was full of tourists and holiday celebrants most nights.

Mamilla Mall on Hanukkah woman with puppet taking video with musician

Musicians, in more than one location, even a woman with a hand puppet making a video were entertaining holiday-goers in Mamilla Mall.

Hanukkah cafe with Arab women sitting and eating.

With tens of thousands of people crowding, pushing, standing in line to buy sufganiyot, these Arab women found a quiet table in a Mamilla cafe.

Jaffa Gate at night in Jerusalem Israel

Jerusalem’s Old City is an annual best-of Hanukkah. Near Jaffa Gate, the signs were up for special events.

Hanukkah in the Old City lights on wall of Tower of David

Light projections of a hanukkiah were screened on the wall of the Tower of David.

Large Hanukia outside a home in the Old City Jerusalem

In the Old City at night,  hanukkiot both large

Jerusalem Old City on Hanuka street with four hanukiot on wall as boy walks past

of more modest size are lit outside of homes. These four were in special boxes mounted on the stone wall.

Hanukiah at the Kotel for Hanukkah

This large hanukkiah was again placed next to the Kotel, the Western Wall.

I tried to get a clear view, but men and boys were posing continuously for photos.

Kotel Plaza on Hanuka with crowd and sign on Western Wall building

The crowds on the Kotel Plaza, both by day and by night, were impressive.

Wedding on Hanuka and couple gets photos at Kotel

But crowded or not, wedding photos were taken. Many weddings were held during the busy holiday time, to be celebrated with international guests.

Signs outside Aish Hatorah building on Hanuka

One way to get a view of the Kotel and area is from the Aish HaTorah building. This Happy Chanukah Bear was at the entrance to the rooftop observation deck

Jerusalem Old City man on bike with a menorah riding through narrow street

On a street in the Jewish Quarter, there was even a hanukkiah on a bicycle.

Hanuka menorah on top of train in Old City Jerusalem

If you looked carefully, there was another one on top of the Old City tourist train.

Free shuttle bus from Old City to First Station in Jerusalem

That train cost money to ride, but the shuttle vans from First Station to Old City are free.

They could be the only thing in Jerusalem that runs on time, on the hour, and every 20 minutes.

But they do not make stops, and they go from First Station straight to the gate nearest the Kotel.

Oh, I felt sorry for the tourists from England who found out too late and were taken far away from where they wanted to be.

Indoor activity in Jerusalem Israel new for Hanuka

At First Station, there is a new attraction. Jump Up opened before the holiday season.

Jerusalem First Startion Jump in Hanger

With rainy, rainy days of Hanuka and holiday from school, Jump Up should have been really jumping.

Fast train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem ticket from one of first riders

The big excitement this Hanuka! Another miracle. The fast train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was running. It took over 10 years. But the ride was 32 minutes!

Jerusalem residents one hour free parking sign at Kikar Safra

Another excitement for Jerusalem residents, one-hour free parking! This sign was posted on the main municipal building below the Mayor’s office.

Orange Lamborghini in Jerusalem parking lot on Chanuak

Perhaps free parking is not the first thing this car owner thinks of?

This orange Lembourgini matched nicely with the graffiti art.

Could it be the priciest Hanukkah gift of all?

Hanukkah events for Jerusalem nights ad signs

Big signs for a new Hanukkah Festival of Lights were displayed around the center of town.

Hanukkah Sameach on Museum of Tolerance for Hanuka

This festival light projection was shining on the yet to open Museum of Tolerance.

Across the way was a new larger than life hanukkiah with music.

Shuk on Hanuka and candles lit in a store

A more modest hanukkiah in the Machane Yehudah Market shop had candles burning.

Jerusalem Israel rainy night on Jaffa Road

Outside, the rain had kept away the crowds and dampened the streets.

But inside the restaurant was full and candle lighting added to the warm party atmosphere.

Lighting Chanukah candles at dedication of Studio of her Own on Hanuka

At Jerusalem gatherings of all sorts, as this dedication of Studio of Her Own, a women’s art center, candles were lit.

Suffganiah on Hanuka at Jerusalem family holiday party

Ah, that first bite on the first night,

First candle, first night of Hanuka as child watches the flames

or the first light on the first night.

The Greeks are long gone.

Scene of Jerusalem Cardo in time of Rome

The Romans of the Cardo are long gone.

But the Jerusalem streets and crowds at Mamilla Mall on Hanukkah were going strong.

Much more was happening over Hanukkah on the Jerusalem streets.

Jerusalem Hanuka menorah near Friends of Zion Museum

I hope you enjoyed a few highlights and this the biggest of Jerusalem Holiday of Lights.

Remember last year’s favorites?

Many are the same, to see you can click  HERE

Winter and Holiday Lights in Jerusalem

Winter and Holiday Lights in Jerusalem

Oh, what a week in Jerusalem, Israel!

A new survey stated that 57% of the Israeli public is unhappy with their existing work-life balance.

However, in response to various initiatives to shorten the workweek in Israel, 62% of the employees prefer leaving the situation as is – vacation on Friday and working on Sunday.

Wonder what the results of a survey asking about having three elections in a year would be?

Israeli Knesset at night with lights on

The lights of the Knesset were burning brightly Wednesday after midnight, as another government fell. Or did never get started?

Photo on King George Street in Jerusalem of future Knesset Museum

The only thing taking more time is the future Knesset Museum. Though it appears little is happening inside, the outside got a new construction fence.

Road work on Jerusalem Israel street

Construction seems to be everywhere, with streets and sidewalks closed.

One never knows when traffic will come to a stop or when you will have to walk in the street.

Road work and street closings seem to pop up as often as pre-holiday sales.

Winter morning on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem Israel

It is winter. Even Jaffa Road starts slowly on cold mornings.

New building in Jerusalem across from the Jerusalem Theater

With the short winter days, construction goes on as the sun sets.

Jerusalem is getting a new look.

Jerusalem rubbish truck

New signs for a pretty Jerusalem are displayed on the garbage trucks.

Water for fire emergency

Fire hydrants got a fresh coat of paint.

Lion of Jerusalem near Montefiore Windmill

The Lion of Jerusalem looked freshly painted and regal over the empty flower bed across from Liberty Bell Park near the Montefiore Windmill.

Cleaning the notes from Kotel in Jerusalem Old City

Record numbers of tourists in Jerusalem and visitors to Kotel, the Western Wall, means more notes to remove before the holiday crowds next week.

Jerusalem Education Week

It’s Jerusalem Education Week from December 15 -20. The opening event was held at the Jerusalem Cinematheque with the Mayor and Education Minister attending.

However, though I planned to go, I skipped that one.

Jerusalem Israel final of Talmud Israeli Hiddon participants

The same evening, in the Jerusalem Theater, Rebecca Crown Auditorium the first International Israeli Talmud competition was held.

Talmud Israeli international competition at Jerusalem Theater

From over 1000 participants, the final round winners posed with Education Minister Rav Rafi Peretz.

Mayor Moshe Lion and the Education Minister went from the Jerusalem Theater to the Jerusalem Cinematheque for the Education Week event. I decided to go home for some hot soup.

Winter festivals and events included a sports morning at First Station.

Ethiopian music festival at First Station and other Jerusalem locations

The 10th Hullegeb Festival Jerusalem is at the Jerusalem Theater and other locations from December 19-24. Ethiopian Music from the “golden age” to hip hop is to be featured.

Van Leer Institute sign for winter programs in Jerusalem Israel

The Jerusalem Van Leer Institute has a full program for December.

The 21st Jewish Film Festival is on from Dec 19-26 at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.

The International Chess championships are at the Notre Dame Center.

Chanukiah on Jerusalem street

It’s official. The winter holiday season has begun – the first Habad Hanukia popped up on a street corner.

Haunkka in Jerusalem Israel Old City

It’s almost Hanukkah – however you want to spell it this year.

Fruit in Jerusalem shuk, Makane Yehuda Market

Fruits in the Machane Yehudah Market, the shuk are plentiful and colorful.

Hanuka donuts in shuck in Jerusalem

American style donuts are out along with traditional Israeli ones

Chanuka donute Roladin

and more exotic sufganiyot.

One way to burn off some of the holiday food calories is the Jerusalem Crossroads 6th annual Night Run, which is set for December 26.

Shuk fresh strawberries in winter Jerusalem

And a favorite in Jerusalem for winter – strawberries are piled up in the shuk.

Jerusalem Snowman

This snowman was looking rather sad and worn.

Jerusalem Christmas decorations at YMCA

But the YMCA is decorated for a month of holidays.

Holiday lights in Jerusalem Armenian Quarter

In an Old City Armenian Quarter restaurant, the lights burn brightly all day.

And holiday lights will line the Jerusalem streets.

The list of events, tours and Hanukkah holiday lights of the nights – too long for now.

Jerusalem Holiday of Lights

Jerusalem Happy Holiday of Lights.

Jerusalem Sukkot Ready or Not

Jerusalem Sukkot Ready or Not

Sukkot.

Ten years ago, the first RJS blog was published on Sukkot – Holiday Crowds in Jerusalem.

The holiday season crowds in Jerusalem, Israel, have arrived again.

The first day of the holiday was a beautiful day, but the next day there was a sound and and light show the likes of  I have never seen in Jerusalem.

Thunder and lightning went on and on, long enough to finally get a good video on the 7th attempt.

Open sukkah with President Shimon Peres

The late President Shimon Peres hosted the Beit Hanasi open houses back in the early days of RJS.

Beit Hanasi sukka decorating with Ruvi Rivlin and children

This year President Reuven Rivlin invited children into his sukkah to help him decorate.

Israeli Presidential cat in garden at Beit Hanasi

The Presidential Cat was in the garden to supervise.

Sukkah at Beit Hanasi for the Israel President

Children were busy making decorations and paper chains.

As Sukkot holiday approaches in Jerusalem,

Lookup!

Jerusalem building with a sukkah

Sukkot are popping out on porches,

Jerusalem sukkah on a porch made of wood

on a low balcony,

Jerusalem sukkah on a porch

or on stilts to support the sukkah as it extends off the porch.

Jerusalem large sukkah for a restaurant

Restaurants need a large sukkah to accommodate holiday crowds.

The sukkot in the above photos have bamboo mats used on top as s’chach. 

Jerusalem boy cutting palm branch for top of sukkah

This is the time of year in Jerusalem to trim the palm trees, so that the large branches can be put on top of the sukkah.

sukkos

Searching for the perfect species in the main market near Machane Yehuda is an annual sight.

Sukkos in Jerusalem people selling lulav and estrog

In Jerusalem, also, popup shops for lulav and etrog were easy to find.

Sukkot birchat kohanim 5780 at Kotel

Tens of thousands gathered at the Kotel, the Western Wall, for Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing which was broadcast live.

These were the usual sights throughout Jerusalem, Israel this week.

But I will end with ‘not your average sukkah’  –

Sukka photo, Image unusual sukkah

While nothing has been quite like this sukkah on a camel from years ago,

here is another unique sukkah, outside of Heichal Shlomo on King George Street.

Sukkah for Jerusalem Biennale reflective on King George Street

As part of the Jerusalem Biennale, is this ‘reflective sukkah’. The outside walls work as distorted mirrors. Look closely, see if you can find me in the photo?

The plaza in front of the Great Synagogue is in the background.

I hope this last photograph does not make you dizzy.

This week of Sukkot holiday meals and the overwhelming number of events did make me dizzy.

So much happening on the Jerusalem streets on Sukkot!

And you never know what will happen next.

Thunder and lightning on Monday night and again on Tuesday afternoon!

Jerusalem Sukkot thunder and lightning storm on Sukkot

When they say something moves as fast as lightning, yes, it moves fast and is hard to capture.

Many sukkot were blown down in the stormy weather.

Jerusalem home sukkah

I am now more satisfied to share this year’s modest decorations.

Happy that our sukkah is still standing!

Moadim L’simcha!