What’s Happening for Purim in Jerusalem this Year?

Purim is celebrated in Jerusalem on Shushan Purim – a day after the rest of the world.

As I mentioned most years, it feels so strange to those of us who grew up elsewhere.

Megilat Esther in Israel Museum

Megillat Esther, Scroll of Esther, is read at night and again during the day.

Purim past megillah reading on Jerusalem street corner

Ten years ago Chabad Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg was at a megillah reading on Azza Street.

His initiative AZZA ZAZA has grown to hourly readings, day and night, on more Jerusalem streets.

Strange creatures have been spotted on Jerusalem streets for many days before Purim.

A princess was seen in a park ably managing the play equipment in a big hoop skirt.

Make-up stores were busy before the holiday began.

Wine for the festive Purim meal was on display in Jerusalem shopping malls.

Jerusalem celebrates Purim

Remember the large sign for the Purim parade Adloyadah?

Due to complaints from hostage families, the name has been changed to the United Purim Parade.

As the hostage tragedy drags on into a sixth month, the concerns about their welfare heightens.


This Purim, the fillings for hamentashen have taken less attention than in some years.

While there are many more IDF costumes this year.

Happy Purim on Jerusalem Montefiore Windmill

The Montefiore Windmill was dressed up during the pandemic when no events were allowed.

This year the Purim events in multiple locations around Jerusalem are too many to list.

Happy Purim bus sign in Hebrew

Purim Sameach!

Happy Purim!

10 New Things to See in Jerusalem

As usual, there is too much happening to share in one Real Jerusalem Streets photo essay.

This week it was again hard to cut down, but here are highlights of just 10 new events that may have not made your regular media headlines.

  1. The first of two Jerusalem Marathon 2024 finish lines is up over the Jerusalem street for all to see.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization’s annual National Leadership Mission, February 18-22, began with Minister Benny Gantz speaking to delegates at the Inbal Hotel.

2. The mission concluded at the StandWithUs Center with Michael Dickson moderating a panel on social media featuring the new success in numbers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Digital Diplomacy.

Check out them out, trying to combat the billions of hate posts out there.

It is worth a visit to the Jerusalem Shalva Center if only for the writings on the walls.

3. But this time a new sign was also worth noticing, happy that one of the hostages has returned home.

4. The Taub Center Conference at Shalva focused on municipal elections, with more women on a panel of experts than men.

5. New advertising boards are showing election posters for the February 27th Jerusalem municipal elections.

6. The new entrance to the Tower of David Jerusalem Museum is to open soon to the public.

7. Also new, is a public area to sit and enjoy the view outside. Notice the entrance is intentionally not visible from the street. The new modern look respects the old stones of the ancient walls.

On a personal note, I was surprised to see my photo in the informative session for media before the tour of the new entrance and Tower of David’s historic galleries.

The Tower of David is an iconic symbol of Jerusalem – used on everything, including cheese.

8. The new technology used in the exhibits could fill a book and fill the galleries.

Of course, a favorite when visiting the Tower of David is to climb to the top for the views.

Especially on a clear day after a few days of rain, the scenes are amazing.

9. But new to the view is the white Dome of the Tiferet Israel Synagogue nearing completion. The Hurva Synagogue is closer on the right side. In the distance, you see the mountains in Jordan over the Dead Sea.

The Tower of David Museum finished its accessible entrance near Jaffa Gate, and now plans are underway for the area revealed under the plaza outside of Jaffa Gate.

Some southern families are returning home, however, there are still thousands of evacuated people living in various hotels in Jerusalem and throughout the country.

An opportunity to be on the roof of the Aish Center Building in the Old City is hard to pass up.

In the dark is the model of the Temple shines, with the Dome of the Rock in the background.

10. New is the gold lighting on the Al-Aqsa Mosque at night, in contrast to how it looks during the day.

Rabbi Eitiel Goldwicht was inspiring a solidarity mission from the West Side Institutional Synagogue. 

11. Nearby on a rooftop, a new couple was posing for photos and video – mazel tov.

Akiva Turgeman and Ishay Ribo were at Aish for a benefit concert for soldiers and evacuated Israelis.

I didn’t get a video of their performance, but I did get a short video of one of the exhibits at the entrance of the Tower of David Jerusalem Museum.

And it was good just to have a chance to walk through the Rova, Jewish Quarter, and see the golden menorah outside the Hurva Synagogue at night.

New things are happening on the Jerusalem streets,

hope you can come soon to see for yourself.

Look at Sukkot in Jerusalem

The best time to be in Jerusalem, Israel, is for the Sukkot holiday.

The sounds of Selihot and Yom Kippur prayers leave the Jerusalem streets. Then the Jerusalem streets fill with tourists. Too many drivers do not know which way to turn, excited to be for the first time, or back again to look and see the changes since their last trip.

For those of you not able to look for yourselves, here is a bit from the beginning of Sukkot 5784.

Look up and count the number of porches with a sukkah.

Look how volunteers made sure lone soldiers had a sukkah in Jerusalem, Israel at the Michael Levin Base.

Look closely to get the perfect etrog and lulav, here at the Arba Minnim Market off of Jaffa Road.

You did not have to look far for your Arba Minnim, right after Yom Kippur the stands pop up everywhere.

Look who we found at Machane Yehudah Market, walking in the shuk – the amazing singer Shulem Lemmer. Tens of thousands of visitors have arrived for the holiday, it’s fun to see who is on the Jerusalem streets.

Look out for those new heavy ad boards being installed at new tower construction sites.

An annual fun photo is the kosher Pizza Hut hut ready for the Sukkot holiday.

Look how along Jaffa Road, there is one sukkah after another with food to serve to hungry visitors.

Look out for a runaway sukkah! The girls walked by after this sukkah rolled away into me as I walked by.

Take a look at the huge sukkah in Safra Square, which covers an area of 800 square meters and holds up to 650 people. The work on the sukkah began weeks before the holiday, with a team of engineers and designers planning the design, and formulating safety measures, so it should stay in place.

Look how decorations are installed in the largest sukkah where programs are scheduled all day every day of this week during Chol Hamoed Sukkot.

Not only are daytime activities planned, but also at night. At the First Station sukkot line the center of the space filled with people, while smaller sukkot were off restaurants on the side.

The annual Sukkot Street Festival on Derech Beit Lechem was held on Sunday night, October 1, 2023.

A bit of something for everyone, but loved looking at this multi-generational chess setup.

Wondering where else chess games are part of street festivals instead of beer and liquor?

Arts and crafts jewelry and everything from shoes to colorful sukkah decorations lined the street.

Martial arts, music, and activities for children. Lots of children! Look out below, for the little ones walking.

Painting a wall mural was another colorful family activity. One young artist had a special advantage.

At the same time, Rabbi Goldberg of Chabad on King George Street welcomed everyone to his party.

Grand Sukkot Celebration Simchat Beit Hashoeva, featuring Chassidic Rock Superstar Barak Grossberg, had a drum circle and crafts for children, and dancing along with the live music of Chabad of Rechavia.

On the way home the sukkah of Chabad of Talbiya-Mamilla ready for the public to use.

And a look at our modest sukkah at home lit up at night – before the rain started. It was cloudy, cooler, and humid, but the sound of rain was still a surprise.

The cloudy damp weather did not deter the tens of thousands who attended the first of two Birkat Kohanim Priestly Blessings planned for Sukkot this year. Here is one photo published by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation showing part of the crowd this morning.

But there seemed to be more cell phones than Kohanim (those saying the blessing) this year.

The service ended with a call for shalom and unity, and Shema Yisrael.

Another annual popular event is tomorrow at Beit Hanasi, Israel President’s House Open sukkah with a sports theme this year. It’s one of the very few times the public is invited inside the gates.

The signs are up and the Jerusalem streets will fill with tens of thousands on Wednesday for the Jerusalem Marches. Look out for more next week from these busy Jerusalem streets!