Friday, December 2, 2011

Hamshushalayim Happenings

The annual Jerusalem festival of Hamshushalayim is currently underway here in the holy city. This ongoing event will be taking place during the 1st four weekends of December, from Thursdays through Saturdays: December 1-3, December 8-10, December 15-17,  and December 22-24.  This event series is here for the 7th year in a row, offering the public an amazing array of events, entertainment and dining options at cultural institutions and restaurants throughout the city.

If Museums & Galleries are your thing, then Hamshushalayim is the time for you to go. During the four December weekends that the events series will take place, the following museums and galleries will be open free of charge from 9 p.m. onward:
  • The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • The Bible Lands Museum
  • The Museum of Underground Prisoners
  • The Davidson Center
  • The Science Museum
  • Jerusalem Design Week Exhibitions
  • Jerusalem Artists' House
  • Agrippas 12 Gallery
  • Barbur Gallery

Next, if it's Music Performances that you are craving, then you also have dozens of options from which to choose either for free or for a limited fee:
  • Open Air Performance and Parade by the Zik Group at the Old Train Station
  • Nightly Performances by the Mystery Theater in Mamilla Mall
  • Opera Performances and San Remo Songs at the Museum of Italian Judaism
  • Jewish Soul Music at the Hechal Shlomo Jewish Heritage Center
  • Acappella Singers at the Scottish Church
  • Performance by Shlomo Gronich and the Shva Choir at the Confederation House
  • Turkish Jazz Music at the Museum of Islam 
  • Rock Concerts and Greek Music at the Maabada
  • Chamber Music at the Eden Tamir Music Center
  • Russian Folk Songs at the Tower of David
  • Concerts at the Sisters of Zion Monastery
  • A Tish at the Yeshurun Synagogue

Interested in Theater & Dance instead? You will have a plethora of cultural options in that department as well, including the following:
  • Flamenco Dancing at Gerard Behar Center
  • Kolban Dance Troupe at Maabada
  • Tamar Borer at the Jerusalem Theater
  • "Where is Mrs. Gabay?", an outdoor performance at the Karon Theater
  • Theatrical Story Performances at the Agnon House
  • "Jerusalem Up and Down", a theatrical performance set to lights and music
  • Performances by the Jerusalem Theater Group

One of the more exciting options, I believe, are the Tour Offerings taking place during Hamshushalayim, such as the following tours in and around Jerusalem either for free or a nominal fee:
  • Traveling Plays in the Old City
  • Photo Tour in the Musrara Neighborhood
  • Old City Tours guided by oil lamps
  • Nachlaot Tours
  • Love Stories on Haneviim Street
  • Jerusalem Intellectuals Tour
  • Bukharan Market Tour
  • Women in the Jewish Quarter Tour
  • Jerusalem Rooftop Tour
  • Night Tours in the Footsteps of Light

And what would a wonderful event series be without Food & Restaurant Deals at your beck and call? My husband and I enjoyed a night out just yesterday at Kadosh, a local favorite where we had our fill of two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts and two coffees (or teas) for just 118 NIS, a great value.
  • Nearly every restaurant will have specials of 78 NIS for singles and 118 NIS for couples
  • Many restaurants will be offering soups for 20 NIS to warm up in this cool weather

Lastly, if you happen to be staying in Jerusalem during one of these weekends, you will receive 50% of the first night of your stay when staying at least two nights at almost all major Jerusalem hotels. The above listings are just a small sample of what you can do and see during the four December weekends of Hamshushalayim. Check out further details at the event website here. Whatever you do, keep warm and bring a jacket, it's COLD out there! On a final note, as the festival wraps up, Hanukkah will have arrived here in Jerusalem -- by far one of the most exciting times of year in Israel, so there's certainly lots to look forward to this month.


  1. The museums are free AFTER 9PM? What time do they close? Does anyone sleep?

  2. I also thought that was a little weird, but then I realized that the deals are only during the weekends from Thursday to Saturday, so people make a night of it to go check out an exhibit!


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