Hamshoushalayim fever sweeps Jerusalem

The capital comes alive each weekend during December with annual festival that offers cultural events at reduced rates.

December 1, 2011 15:26
2 minute read.

Hamshushalayim 311. (photo credit: Elie Posner)


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The seventh annual Hamshoushalayim event begins Thursday in Jerusalem with exciting cultural and culinary events on offer every weekend in December.

Initiated by the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Ministry of Tourism, the festival aims to give Israelis the chance to experience what Jerusalem has to offer in the wintertime. More than 80,000 people are expected to attend.

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Every weekend offers something slightly unique with museum exhibitions, walking tours, theater, concerts, dance performances and other events either free of charge or at a reduced rate. The esteemed Jerusalem Design Week overlaps with Hamshoushalayim and includes innovative exhibitions, workshops, and design conferences.

Museums open their doors at 9 p.m. on Thursday evenings and remain open until the early hours for free. The exhibition “Where Food Meets Art” at the Israel Museum gives visitors the chance to explore food in art and includes live music and special tastings. The Science Museum examines the role of women in science with visitors treated to three dynamic new exhibits and The Bible Lands Museum provides a tour through song and dance. The Tower of David’s Eating in Jerusalem gives the public the chance to engage with respected Jerusalem chefs and culinary researchers on Friday mornings and to tour the bustling Old City market.

There will be dozens of music and dance performances on the streets and at famous institutions, such as opera at the Museum of Italian Jewish Art, acapella at the Scottish Church and Jewish soul music at Heichal Shlomo. Vertigo and Kolben Dance Company will give their characteristically powerful performances at the Gerard Behar Center in town. Several plays will take place at all major theaters across the city, with an English one, Fable of the Goat, at Agnon House. Adapted by Eli Kaplan-Wildmann, the dramatic play includes puppetry, acting and storytelling.

The public can look forward to special deals and discounts at various restaurants and hotels. Chefs from participating restaurants will prepare a traditional Jerusalem winter dish for NIS 25 as well as an elaborate set menu for NIS 78 – 118. There will also be a traditional English afternoon tea of pastries and fruit platters every afternoon at the YMCA. Guests of participating hotels who stay for two nights or more will receive a 50 percent discount on their first night stay and other benefits, such as Kabbalat Shabbat in the Old City.

The final week of Hamshoushalayim takes place over Hanukka and Christmas time and is geared for families. “Hamshoushalayim has something for everyone,” says Ilanit Melchior, Tourism Director of the Jerusalem Development Authority. “Visitors get to really experience the city’s unique, diverse and rich cultural offerings.”


Hamshoushalayim takes place on the weekends of December 1-3, December 8-10, December 15-17 and December 22-24.

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