Israel for Jewish travelers

Israel is the Jewish Homeland, where Old Testament events took place, and where the Jewish people settled, after centuries wandering in the diaspora. A Jewish tour of Israel should include biblical locations but also modern Israeli culture. The highlight of any Jewish itinerary is the Western Wall that was once part of the Holy Jewish Temple on Temple Mount. Wandering through the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City, Jewish travelers can encounter 18th-century synagogues and archaeological remains from the Second Temple Era. A Jewish itinerary could include King David’s Tomb on Mt. Zion, and the excavated ancient city of King David. Go beyond Jerusalem and visit the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, the Negev, and Mount Carmel. Travel south to Masada, and north to Safed, the center of Jewish mysticism. In Tel Aviv experience the markets, beaches, street food, graffiti art, café culture, and dynamic nightlife. The Israel Museum, ANU Diaspora Museum, and the Tower of David Museum help shed light on Jewish history, and culture. No trip to Israel is complete without visiting Yad VaShem, Israel’s Holocaust museum. One of the best ways to connect with your roots is on a Jewish heritage tour in Israel. These tours cover top Israel Jewish sites and world-class attractions like the Dead Sea. In this section you will discover Israel from the Jewish perspective. You will find here lists of kosher restaurants and holy sites, practical tips and our recommendations.

Pesach – The Jewish Pilgrimage

The Jewish religious calendar is full of events and holy days, most of which commemorate historic Biblical events. Each religious holiday comes with its own traditions and religious ceremonies. However only three religious holidays require Jews to make a pilgrimage – Pesach (Passover), Sukkot and Shavuot together they are called Shlosh HaRegalim. Of the three pilgrimages Pesach was the most important as it marks the birth of Israel as a free nation.In ancient times the pilgrimage was to the Temple which stood on Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem up until 70CE. Pilgrims would come to the Temple and bring a sacrificial offering. Today, because the Temple no longer stands, prayer has replaced the sacrifices and the pilgrimage is no longer a Torah obligation. However many thousands of Jews choose to make the annual journey to visit the City of Gold during the pilgrimage festivals. As the Temple is no longer standing the pilgrimage is made to the Wailing Wall, the last remaining wall of the Temple where pilgrims come to prey. There is a point within the Wailing Wall Tunnel which is the closest point to where the Holy of Holies of the 2nd Temple once stood. Many pilgrims go to this point to prey. Other less religious Israeli Jews make the pilgrimage during Passover but turn it into a fun day out in the country’s capital without the religious implications.Pesach is a celebration of freedom, from slavery into independence from a foreign land into their own. Pesach lasts for 7 days (8 days outside of Israel) it begins on the 15th Nissan (usually in March and on the eve of 25th March in 2013) with Seder Night, a celebratory meal when the family comes together. At the Seder meal symbolic foods are eaten and the Hagadah, the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, is read. The first and last day of the holiday are observed like a Shabbat so no work is done and most businesses are closed. The intermediate days (Chol-ha-Mo’ed) are like a regular holiday, businesses may open half-day and schools are on vacation. For the entire holiday of 7 days Jews abstain from eating bread or anything containing fermented grain. This is a reminder of the hasty exit from Egypt when the bread didn’t have time to rise.The Pesach Pilgrimage in the New TestamentChristians will recognize the Passover pilgrimage as an event in the life of Christ when Jesus traveled to Jerusalem with his parent for the Passover pilgrimage. At the time Jesus was only 12 years old, on this visit his parents lost him and finally found him preaching in the Temple (Luke 4:43). Many years later when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem in the days preceding his crucifixion it was also leading up to the Passover pilgrimage.
By Petal Mashraki

Holidays in Israel - A Short Guide to What, When and Why?

The Jewish calendar has a surprising number of holidays and they are observed today in Israel in a wide variety of ways. Whilst some of the population are more observant of religious tradition than others, there is a cultural element even to the most solemn holidays and, across Israel, you will find families and communities coming together to celebrate them in their own different ways.Pomegranates, traditional Rosh Hashanah fruit. Photo credit: © Delfina IacubIn the Home, in Schools and in the Street….Celebrations!Holidays in Israel aren’t just celebrated in the synagogues either - in the home, families raise glasses to them, in schools children learn about them and in the streets, people dance to celebrate them. Such holidays are woven into the fabric of everyday life, and it’s worth remembering that many of them have been practiced for over 2,000 years! Each one has its own traditions and special quirks and here’s a short overview of what they are, when they happen, and why Israelis love them so much…Shabbat, the Day of RestThe Jewish Shabbat is celebrated weekly and always begins on a Friday night (when dusk falls). It is just as important as any other holy day in the festival calendar and, many argue, the cornerstone of Jewish tradition. Jews who observe Shabbat diligently will not use electricity, write, travel other than by foot, and will spend the day at prayer, eating celebratory meals (including the famous Friday night dinner), and resting.The Jewish Shabbat, as a tradition, is observed in homes across Israel (whether religious or not) with families coming together to catch up after their hectic weeks. If you are invited to one, you are sure to enjoy it.Traditional Shabbat Challah.Photo credit: ©Evgeni TcherkasskiRosh Hashanah, the Jewish New YearRosh Hashanah (in Hebrew, literally, ‘Head of the Year’) celebrates the Jewish New Year and is a joyous festival. The festivities include prayers at synagogue (where a shofar - ram’s horn - is blown), a large meal (including challah bread and apples dipped in honey - to symbolize the hope for a sweet new year), and - in Israel - the exchanging of gifts. The ancient ceremony of ‘tashlich’ is carried out on the first afternoon - it is traditional to go to the sea, or any body of water, and throw breadcrumbs or pebbles in - this symbolizes the ‘casting away’ of one’s sins. For religious Jews, all of this is a chance for ‘spiritual renewal and great contemplation. Indeed, the days beginning with Rosh Hashanah and culminating in Yom Kippur (see below) are known in Hebrew as the ‘Yamim Noraim’ - the Days of Awe.Apples and honey, traditional Rosh Hashana treat. Photo credit: ©Vladimir GladkovYom Kippur, ‘Day of Atonement'Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar and, in Israel, all life comes to a standstill. Every business and school is closed, airplanes do not take off or land, and the streets are deserted by cars. Religious Jews will fast for 25 hours (no food and no water), wear white, and spend large parts of the time in synagogue, praying for forgiveness from God for their personal sins. According to Jewish belief, this is the day in which God will pass judgment on every individual for the coming year - so it is seen as a chance to repent and ask for a chance of forgiveness. Less observant Israelis take the opportunity to enjoy the silence, in the streets and highways or simply sit at home, quietly, with a book. It really is astonishing to be in Israel at this time and watch the entire country grind to a halt.Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv. Photo credit: ©Yoav AzizSukkot, ‘The Festival of Tabernacles’Another fun festival, especially for children, is Sukkot which follows Yom Kippur and lasts 7 days. Historically, it was one of the three pilgrimage festivals where the Israelites were commanded to travel to the Temple. Today, Israelis celebrate by building a succah - a temporary, free-standing structure with three walls which they decorate with palm leaves. It is traditional to eat meals inside and decorate the interior with the ‘four species’ (four different plants, mentioned in the Torah). These are a lulav, etrog, hadass and aravah. At the synagogue, people walk around carrying these four plants and recite special prayers known as ‘Hoshanot’. In Israel, families often take vacation time and travel around the country there are many attractions, concerts, and activities for kids to enjoy.A man holding etrog. Photo credit: ©Esther WechslerSimchat Torah, Rejoicing of the TorahSimchat Torah immediately follows Sukkot and is a festival of unbridled joy. Jews dance around the synagogue holding Torah scrolls, to mark the reading cycle of these holy manuscripts, and, in Israel, it is common to see Israelis dancing in the street. This is a major religious holiday so, like Shabbat, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, religious Jews will not work, drive or watch TV.Hanukkah,‘Festival of Lights’Hanukkahis celebrated in the winter and commemorates the ‘miracle of the oil’ at the time of the Second Temple. It lasts for eight days and each night, candles are lit on a special candelabrum (similar to a menorah). Two special foods that are eaten are latkes and sufganiyot. Latkes are potato pancakes, fried and served either with apple sauce or sour cream. Hanukkiyah, the Hanukkah Menorah.Photo credit: ©Element5 DigitalSufganiyot are donuts with jelly inside (although, in the last few years, all kinds of creations have hit the bakeries in Israel, including those with creme patisserie and chocolate inside!) Children spin a ‘dreidel’ (a toy with Hebrew letters on the side) and it is traditional to give them ‘gelt’ (chocolate money) and small gifts. Truly, a holiday loved by kids and dreaded by adults for the weight that can be put on!Tu B'Shvat, the New Year for TreesThis holiday of tree planting for trees is fun for all the family but especially young children. Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL or the Jewish National Fund) was established in 1901 and to this day remains committed to developing the land by planting trees.Fun fact: Israel is one of the few nations in the world that began the 21st century with more trees than it had 100 years previously. KKL is committed to sustainable forest management and planting greenery in arid parts of the country. Tel Aviv’s mayor, Ron Huldai, is also a huge advocate of tree planting and the boulevards, like Rothschild, are testimony to his commitment.Olive trees in Latrun.Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinPurim, the Feast of LotsPurim commemorates the bravery of Esther who saved the Jews of Persia from being wiped out. It is a festival of enormous merriment in Israel and it is a great tradition both for children and adults to dress up and attend parties. Jews also attend synagogue in costume, where they read from the Book of Esther and shout and boo at the name of ‘Haman’ (Esther’s enemy) and drink a lot of wine! Attending an adloyada (carnival parade) is a wonderful tradition, as is the eating of ‘Hamantaschen’ cookies (triangle-shaped, to look like ears) filled with poppy seeds. Religious Jews also send ‘mishloach manot’ (baskets of food) to family, friends, and charities.Yom haAtzmaut, Independence DayYom haAtzmaut is a fantastic national holiday, loved by all Israelis, it celebrates Israel’s independence day. The evening kicks off with torch lighting in Jerusalem and fireworks displays all over the country. There are parties that continue late into the night and the following day, it’s a time-honored tradition to attend a barbeque and eat until you can’t move! If you’re at the shoreline at around midday, make sure to watch the flyovers that the Israeli Air Force carry out - their daring skills bring shouts of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from every child who dreams of becoming a pilot!Israeli flag over Masada Fortress. Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinThe Eight-Day Festival of PassoverThis joyous festival falls in the spring (March/April) in Israel and commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Israel, who fled slavery under the laws of the cruel Pharaoh. It is a real holiday of freedom and loved by everyone. It is traditional at this time of the year to hold a ‘seder’ (in Hebrew ‘Order’) where the ‘Haggadah’ book is read, recounting the story of the Jews flight, including the miraculous parting of the waves of the Red Sea. At Passover, bakeries in Israel close because it is a religious commandment to eat only ‘matzah’ (unleavened bread) for the holiday. This lets Jews remember that their ancestors fled Egypt in such haste that their bread had no time to rise. In the Haggadah, the matzah is called ‘the Bread of Affliction’ but the festival is also a reminder of liberty and the fact that, after 2,000 years, with the establishment of the State of Israel, the Jews became a free people in their own landThe Read Sea.Photo credit: © Francesco UngaroShavuotShavuot, ‘Festival of Weeks’, falls seven weeks after Passover. It is a pilgrimage holiday that marks the end of the spring harvest and also the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai and is much loved in Israel. It is traditional to eat dairy produce (Israelis love to serve cheesecakes and blintzes) and wear white clothing, with flowers. Shavuot is celebrated in earnest on the kibbutz, with the tradition of ‘bringing forth the first fruit’. Historically, this was an opportunity for the farmers to display their achievements, after a year of hard work in the fields. Today, families take their children there to enjoy the produce, and youngsters often even have a chance to ride a tractor! Cheesecake, a traditional treat for Shavuot. Photo credit: © Chinh Le DucTu b’Av, the Israeli Version of Valentine's DayCelebrated as the ‘Day of Love’ this is the ‘kosher’ alternative to Valentine’s Day! In ancient times, young Jewish men and women would go out, dressed in white, and dance in the vineyards of Judea. Early zionist writers (such as Y.L Gordon and Mapu) tried to breathe new life into the tradition, but Tu B’Av didn’t really catch on again until the 1990s when merchants in Israel suddenly realized the economic benefits of selling flowers and chocolates!Where’s the Best Place to Spend Some of These Holidays?The other good question is where in Israel should you try to be over some of these holidays, in фorder to get the most of the experience? Well, at Purim, there are parties all over the country but don’t miss the opportunity to see an adloyada. These ‘carnivals’ are so much fun, with floats, music, and dancing. The two most popular take place in Holon (near Tel Aviv) and Sde Boker, in the Negev desert. If you’re in Israel over ‘the Day of Love’ then why not take a romantic escape to a guesthouse in the Galilee, wander in a nature reserve (Banias or Tel Dan), or simply watch the sun go down on Tel Aviv’s Mediterranean coastline, before enjoying a good meal?Banias Nature Reserve, Golan Heights.Photo credit: © ShutterstockShabbat, of course, comes around weekly, and, after a short Friday night service at the synagogue, is celebrated in the home. Israelis are very hospitable so it’s quite possible you’ll be invited as a guest to someone’s home for a meal.There is also aGet Shabbatprogram running where you can be paired with a host family, and we’d highly recommend it. Most of the families are traditional and observe Shabbat customs, so you’ll see blessings made over candles, wine and bread too and really get a feel for the whole experience.For Passover, you’ll feel the spirit of freedom everywhere but, of course, if you want to see more of the religious traditions then head to Jerusalem, and in particular the Western Wall, for the ‘Birkat Kohanim’ (Priestly Blessing). In terms of being a tourist, the only day you really will be limited is Yom Kippur, so if you’re visiting at this time make preparations in advance (or with your Israeli tour operator) for a ‘day off.’ In the meantime, as we say in Hebrew ‘ Chag Sameach’ or ‘Happy Holiday!’Jerusalem Day Celebration at the Western Wall, Jerusalem. Photo credit:©Western Wall Heritage Foundation
By Sarah Mann

The Mountain Top City of Safed

Safed (Tsfat) is often overlooked by tourists but is another fascinating corner of this amazing and diverse country. The mountain top city of Safed in the Galilee is known as the birthplace of Kabbalah, the ancient mystic side of Judaism. The city is in the clouds perched 900 meters above sea level; it has a spiritual and mysterious atmosphere, old synagogues, and is steeped in history. Its location offers gorgeous mountain views, the weather is mild and there is even snow in Safed in the winter.Galilee landscape near Safed.Photo credit: © ShutterstockThe History of SafedA legend tells us that Safed was established by the son of Noah after the flood. During the Roman era, it was a fortified Jewish town and it is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud as one of five elevated locations where bonfire would be lit to announce the timing of the new moon and festivals during the Second Temple era. The city was a Crusader city in the 12th century and the site of the largest Knights Templar fort in the Middle East. In the 13th century, the Egyptian Mamluk Sultan Beibars took the mountain top city but a community of Jews remained further down the mountain. The Muslim city grew and new structures were built; this continued into the Turkish Ottoman era when Safed was the capital of the Safed Sanjak (district). The Seraya Ottoman fortress has survived.After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 many respected rabbis settled in Safed including Kabbalists Moshe Kordovero, Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz, Isaac Luria, and Joseph Caro. During the 16th century, Safed became known as the center of Kabbalah thanks to the many learned Jewish scholars in the town and Safed’s close proximity to the area where Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi) wrote the Kabbalistic Book of Zohar.Safed street. Photo credit: © Dmitry MishinAlthough still a Muslim town there was a strong Jewish community. In 1577 a Hebrew printing press was established in Safed and there were 32 synagogues in the town. Safed was affected by an earthquake in 1759 and again in 1837 and the town also suffered at the hands of Druze rebels and the plague. Moses Montefiore visited Safed several times and helped finance the repair of the town.During the British Mandate Jews and Arabs continued to live in Safed under tense relations. By 1948 and the establishment of the Jewish state Safed was home to about 1,700 Jews and about 12,000 Arabs. A battle ensued when the Muslim Arabs attacked the Jewish Quarter; after an intense conflict the Jews prevailed and almost all the Safed Arabs fled. In the 50s and 60s, the city became known for its artists’ colony; Jewish artists from around the world settled here to enjoy inspiration from the beautiful scenic surroundings and spiritual atmosphere. In the 2000s many Ethiopian and Russian Jewish immigrants settled in Safed joining the predominantly Ashkenazi Jews and adding to the diverse culture of the city. The city remained a place of religious learning and spiritual enlightenment and has a community of both religious and secular Jews as well as small Russian Christian and Maronites communities.The city of Safed, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.Photo credit: © ShutterstockWhat is Kabbalah?Kabbalah is a Jewish discipline and school of thought consisting of esoteric teachings intended to explain the relationship between man and God; the nature of the universe and the meaning of existence. It is the philosophical study of the nature of being through Jewish writings; the origin of evil; the role of man; reincarnation and the concealed and revealed God. Kabbalah has become more widely known in recent years thanks to well-known followers like Madonna and Justin Kuchner.Visiting SafedAny visit to Safed should start at the Tourist Information Center on Alkabetz Street. The center provides information to tourists as well as hosting several impressive exhibits and an introductory film about Safed. The Tourist Center encompasses excavated homes from the 1500s which are open to the public for free.The Old City of Safed is built of stone similar to Jerusalem with narrow cobbled lanes flanked by stone houses. There are ornate arched entrances to the homes, colorful wooden shutters on the windows, bright window boxes, domed ceilings, and other features reminiscent of a Spanish Kahal (Spanish Jewish Quarter) of the Middle Ages.The Safed Artists’ Quarter consists of several lanes with artists’ studios, stores, and galleries. Most of the artwork is inspired by the Kabbalah, Torah, or the general spiritual feel of the city. The works include paintings, drawings, textiles, metalwork, and sculptures. There are also handmade candles, religious items, Judaica, glassware, handmade musical instruments, and microcalligraphy where a picture is created using minute Hebrew letters and texts from the Bible as the lines and shapes in the design.At Safed Synagogue, the Old City of Safed, Israel.Photo credit: © ShutterstockSafed’s has two famous synagogues with similar names both of which are top tourist attractions. The Ari Synagogue is named after Rabbi Isaac Luria (The ‘Ari Hakadosh‘) who arrived here in 1570 and developed the Lurianic Kabbalah which teaches that secrets embedded in the Torah can reveal how to strengthen our relationship with God and our fellow man. The synagogue has a small alcove where the Ari is believed to have sat and studied with the spirit of the Prophet Elijah.The Gerigos Synagogue was built by Spanish Jews who had adopted Christianity under duress during the Spanish inquisition and arrived in Safed via the Greek island of Gerigos. On arrival in Safed, they were not readily accepted by Safed Jews and built their synagogue on the outskirts of the city. The Ari would come to the field next to the Gerigo Synagogue to sing Psalms on a Friday afternoon welcoming the Sabbath. Following Ari’s death, the Gerigos Jews were accepted into the Jewish community and their synagogue was renamed Ari Ashkenazi after Ari’s Ashkenazi mother. The Ari Ashkenazi Synagogue holds the precious Elijah’s Chair where traditionally the godfather would sit during a baby’s circumcision ceremony. Abuhav Synagogue, Safed. Photo credit: © ShutterstockTradition holds that if an infertile couple sits on the chair they will be blessed with a child within the year. The Joseph Caro Synagogue is named after Rabbi Joseph Caro a 15th-century Spanish exile who had settled in Safed. He is believed to have been charged by God with the task of compiling an easily understandable yet comprehensive book of Jewish Law which would ensure the continued practices and customs of the Torah by Jews at the time. It is believed that God sent an angel to sit with Caro in a Safed cave where he wrote this summary of Jewish Law called the Shulhan Aruch. Rabbi Caro was head of the Rabbinical Court in Safed. The Joseph Caro Synagogue was built on top of the cave where he wrote the Shulhan Aruch. The synagogue has an ornate handmade wooden Ark (where the Torah scrolls are kept) and it is possible to see the famous cave beneath the synagogue.The Abuhav Synagogue is an ornate place of worship with a domed ceiling painted with Kabbalistic images. The synagogue holds ancient Torah scrolls which are still used in religious services including a 100-year-old scroll written by Rabbi Abuhav.If you have time to include a visit to Safed in your Israel itinerary, you won’t be disappointed! Liked this article? If you do, you are welcome to join our one-day to tour to Safed.The artist's studio in Safed, Israel.Photo credit: © Shutterstock
By Petal Mashraki

Hanukkah in Israel

Each year Jews celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah which is often called the “Jewish Christmas” because it occurs in December. If you happen to be in Israel during Hanukkah you will be lucky enough to share in this special celebration. Unlike Christian holidays the date of Hanukkah changes each year because of the Jewish lunar calendar. This year, 2017 the eight day Hanukkah holiday falls on the 12th to 20th of December. In Israel Hanukkah is a week-long school holiday but there are no days observed like Shabbat so all attractions and stores remain open as usual. There are many special events put on to keep Israeli school kids busy and to entertain locals and visitors alike.What is Hanukkah?The Hanukkah holiday celebrates an event which took place in the 160 SBC. During that time Palestine was ruled by Greek-Syrians and Jews were persecuted. Jews were forbidden to worship, many were murdered, scrolls were burnt and the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was desecrated. A small group of Jews rose up against their oppressors and fought back in the “Maccabean Revolt.” The Jews were victorious and proceeded to restore the Temple and rededicate it. Part of rededicating the Temple was lighting the Menorah (a seven-lamped candelabra) which had to remain lit eternally. When the Maccabees came to light the Temple’s Menorah they found that only a small jug of the required pure olive oil remained. The oil should have been sufficient only to light the lamp for one day. However a miracle occurred and it remained lit for eight days by which time more oil had been found.To commemorate the events of Hanukkah Jews light candles on an eight-armed candelabra (called a Hannukia). On the first night of Hanukkah one candle is lit and each successive night an additional candle is lit until all eight are lit. In addition there is a 9th candle in the middle of the Hanukia which is used to light the others. The symbols of Hanukkah are light, oil, the hanukiah and the dreidel – a spinning top.How is Hanukkah Celebrated in Israel?Bearing in mind the symbols of Hanukkah you will see a lot of fried foods (commemorating the miraculous oil) in Israel during Hanukkah. The most famous Hanukkah food is the doughnut or sufgania. This is a round doughnut with no hole in the middle but instead it is filled with jam. Every café, restaurant and kiosk will be selling sufganiot. These days there are many different kinds of sufganiot, from chocolate to alcohol flavored! An estimated 24 million sufganiot are eaten in Israel each Hanukkah. The symbol of light and the hanukia can be seen in Israel during Hanukkah. Each Israeli household displays a hanukia on the windowsill.Special Events in Israel during HanukkahHanukkah ShowsDuring the Hanukkah holiday in Israel there is a plethora of theatrical productions, musical shows, concerts and dance productions geared towards families. The most famous of these Hanukkah shows is the Festigal, a spectacular extravaganza of bright costumes, comedy, music and dance. Top Israeli performers often appear in the Festigal. The Festigal is held annually in Tel Aviv. A more recent addition is Motek Shel Festival which is the same idea but geared towards a younger audience.Hanukkah ToursSpecial walking tours of Jerusalem and the religious city of Bnei Brak are organized so that you can see the many hanukiot displayed in the windows of private homes. This kind of Hanukkah tour takes place at night and includes walking through neighborhoods where many hanukiot are displayed.Lighting of the HanukiaEach city has a large hanukia set up in a public square. The hanukia is ceremoniously lit on the first night of Hanukkah. On the subsequent nights of Hanukkah the city’s hanukia is often lit automatically. The most famous of the candle lighting ceremonies you can see takes place next to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. Each year on the first night of Hanukkah a torch Relay starts in the city of Modi’in and travels to the Western Wall in Jerusalem where the giant hanukia is lit.Museums during HanukkahMost museums hold special themed exhibits or workshops during Hanukkah. Science museums often hold demonstrations of light experiments. Other museums display artistic variations on the hanukia or hold kids workshops where they can create their own hanukia, spinning top or candles.You will definitely find special events and activities relating to Hanukkah at the Children’s Museum in Holon; the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv; the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem; the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and at the Tower of David Museum in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Bloomfield Science Museum holds an annual MakeLight exhibition.In addition there is the Museum of Edible Oil Products in Haifa which naturally ties in with the Hanukkah theme. The Hasmonean Village recreates the Hanukkah story each year; the Ein Yael Oil Festival is held in Jerusalem.Hanukkah Parties in IsraelOf course the Israelis party whenever there is a good excuse! And Hanukkah is no exception. You will find bars, pubs and clubs across the country holding Hanukkah parties throughout the holiday.Holiday of Holidays HaifaThe Haifa municipality holds special events on weekends throughout December. The Holiday of Holidays activities and shows celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Eid al-Fitr.
By Petal Mashraki
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