1. The Priestly Blessing (Bircat HaCohanim)
One event not to miss, provided you're okay with crowds, is the unified Priestly Blessing (Birchat Hacohanim) service at the Western Wall on the third day of Passover. Last year more than 70,000 people attended either as participating Cohanim, regular Jewish worshippers, or tourists and onlookers.
The way it works is that a leader recites the blessings over a loudspeaker so that everyone can follow and bless in unison. It's a real experience but make sure to come prepared with water, snacks and sun protection, especially if it’s a warm day out. The Priestly Blessing is recited twice during the morning Passover prayers (times below).
When: March 28
Times: 9 a.m. (Shacharit service) and 10 a.m. (Musaf service)
Where: The Jerusalem Western Wall
2. The Tower of David Museum
If your kids enjoy exercising their imagination, the activities at the Tower of David Museum in the Old City are for them. Children will love “We Were Slaves in Egypt..”, the giant board game where they get to build a huge castle, as well as other games that get them thinking and moving. Another fun activity is “The Kaiser is Leaving …” that invites the public to step into the 19th-century, dress up and have a photograph with “the Kaiser and his wife Augusta Victoria” (members of the Balbalu Theater Troupe) against the backdrop of a massive photo of Jaffa Gate. Hebrew speakers can also enjoy a guided tour of the exhibition “The Kaiser is Coming” that is nearing its end and “All about Coins”, an experiential tour for children and families. The activities are ideally designed for children aged 5-12.
When: March 27-29
Times: Activities take place from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entrance to museum at 4p.m.); Friday: Activities take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last entrance to museum at 2 p.m.)
Where: Jaffa Gate, Old City
Phone: *2884 (Registration in advance necessary but not for events on Friday March 29)
Price: NIS 40 for children; NIS 30 for adults (Friday: NIS 25 for children; NIS 30 for adults
3. Israel Museum
The Israel Museum is renowned for its holiday programs and activities for the whole family, and an added bonus is that children receive free admission for the whole of Hol Hamoed, and everyone gets in free on March 31. While you're there, you won't want to miss out on the much talked about Herod the Great exhibition and related events. There are also additional Passover activities in the Recycling Workshop (Moses in a basket theme) and Illustration Library. In conjunction with the exhibition Sandbox, which is coming to an end on April 1, kids can enjoy a creative recycling activity in little sandboxes (NIS 15) and a unique sand casting workshop between 2 – 4:30 p.m. (NIS 10).
When: March 27 – 31 (sandbox activities March 27 – 28)
Where: The Israel Museum, 11 Ruppin Boulevard, Givat Ram
Phone: (02) 670-8811
4. Kol Haot Illuminated Haggadah and Shir Hashirim Fair
The Kol Haot Illuminated Haggadah and Shir Hashirim Fair is expected to be a real highlight for those who appreciate Jewish contemporary art. The event takes place in the elegant setting of the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel in the center of Jerusalem, and provides a platform for talented leading contemporary Israeli artists to exhibit their work with a Haggadah and Shir Hashirim-related theme. The public is invited to come and meet the artists, who include Avner Moriah, Maty Grunberg, David Moss, Eliyahu Sidi, Matthew Berkowitz, Ya'akov Daniel, Yaakov Boussidan, Enya Keshet, Liliana Kleiner and Asher Kalderon.
When: March 28
Times: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Address: 3 Jabotinsky Road, Jerusalem
5. Passover at the City of David
The City of David is offering three incredible tours in English during the intermediate days of Passover. These tours are geared to the more adventurous who enjoy hiking in narrow and often dark passageways, hiking outside in hot weather, or wading in shallow water.
The tours available over Passover include the Ascent to Zion tour that features, among other things, impressive architecture of the Second Temple area and a sound and light show. The Biblical City of David tour is very similar but without the show and includes the option to wade through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. At night the Enchanting Jerusalem Evening Tour brings the history of Jerusalem alive through a 3-D movie and a sound and light show on ancient walls. Since there is no option to register in advance, it’s best to arrive early.
When: March 27– 29
Where: City of David, Silwan, at the foot of the Old City
Price: NIS 50-80, depending on the tour, with discounts for children over 5
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