Mea Shearim in West Jerusalem

11 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Shabbat Square © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Shabbat Square © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Mea Shearim (“hundred gates”; contextually, “a hundred fold”) is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. It is populated by Haredi Jews, and was built by members of the Old Yishuv. The oldest Sephardic Haredi dynasty, Levi Kahana of Spain, has a religious cultural center in the neighborhood. The name Mea Shearim is derived from a verse from Genesis, which happened to be part of the weekly Torah portion that was read the week the settlement was founded: “Isaac sowed in that land, and in that year, he reaped a hundredfold; God had blessed him” (Genesis 26:12). According to a tradition, the community originally had 100 gates, another meaning of Mea Shearim.   read more…

Beit Aghion in West Jerusalem

14 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

U.S. Vice President and possible future U.S. President Joe Biden meets With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu © U.S. Department of State/Matty Stern

U.S. Vice President and possible future U.S. President Joe Biden meets With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
© U.S. Department of State/Matty Stern

Beit Aghion, also known as Beit Rosh HaMemshala (House of the Prime Minister) is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Israel. It is located at 9 Smolenskin Street, on the street corner of Balfour Street in the upscale West Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia, situated between the city center and the Talbiya neighborhood. The private residence of Netanyahu is located in Caesarea, north of the ancient city of Caesarea Palaestinae, where the official residence of the Roman praeses Pontius Pilate was located (Pilate stone).   read more…

Tiberias in Israel

2 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Pacman

© Pacman

Tiberias is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Established around 20 CE, it was named in honour of the second emperor of the Roman Empire, Tiberius. In 2019 it had a population of 45,000.   read more…

Israeli development towns

25 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Or Yehuda © Oyoyoy/cc-by-sa-4.0

Or Yehuda © Oyoyoy/cc-by-sa-4.0

Development towns were new settlements built in Israel during the 1950s in order to provide permanent housing for a large influx of Jewish immigrants from Arab countries, Holocaust survivors from Europe and other new immigrants (Olim), who arrived to the newly established State of Israel. The towns were designed to expand the population of the country’s peripheral areas while easing pressure on the crowded centre. Most of them were built in the Galilee in the north of Israel, and in the northern Negev desert in the south. In addition to the new towns, West Jerusalem was also given development town status in the 1960s. In the context of the Arab–Israeli conflict, Jewish refugees from Arab states were initially resettled in refugee camps, known variously as immigrant camps, ma’abarot and development towns. Development towns were subsequently considered by some to be places of relegation and marginalisation in often remarkable architectural monotony, with a strong reference and a mixture of socialist classicism and modernism, which is reminiscent of the socialist orientation of the state after its foundation. Many towns gained a new influx of residents during the mass immigration from former Soviet states in the early 1990s. By 1998, 130,000 Russian-speaking immigrants lived in development towns. Despite businesses and industries being eligible for favorable tax treatment and other subsidies, with the exception of Arad, most of the towns (particularly those in the south) have fared poorly in the economic sense, and often feature amongst the poorest Jewish Areas in Israel. In 1984, the Development Towns project was awarded the Israel Prize for its special contribution to society and the State of Israel.   read more…

Chapel of Notre Dame in West Jerusalem

19 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Notre Dame of Jerusalem © Mislishka/cc-by-sa-3.0

Notre Dame of Jerusalem © Mislishka/cc-by-sa-3.0

The “Chapel of Our Lady of Jerusalem” (French: “Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Jérusalem”) or “Chapel of Notre Dame”, is a religious building affiliated with the Catholic Church which is located in the “Complex of Notre Dame of Jerusalem” (formerly known as “Notre Dame de France”, or “Our Lady of France”) which was built by French religious between 1893 and 1894 in West Jerusalem, as part of a larger group of buildings known as the “Hospice of Our Lady of France”, which was built mostly in stone with “defensive” purposes.   read more…

Negev in Israel

25 May 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Arad © Neukoln/cc-by-sa-3.0

Arad © Neukoln/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The region’s largest city and administrative capital is Beersheba, in the north. At its southern end is the Gulf of Aqaba and the resort city of Eilat. It contains several development towns, including the nuclear reactor, built by France and paid for by Germany, in Dimona (Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center), Arad and Mitzpe Ramon, as well as a number of small Bedouin cities, including Rahat and Tel as-Sabi and Lakyah. There are also several kibbutzim, including Revivim and Sde Boker; the latter became the home of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, after his retirement from politics.   read more…

Nazareth, home town of Jesus

1 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Grotto of Annunciation © Ramessos/cc-by-sa-3.0

Grotto of Annunciation © Ramessos/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nazareth is the largest city in the Northern District of Israel. Nazareth is known as “the Arab capital of Israel”. Nazareth Illit (lit. “Upper Nazareth”), declared a separate city in June 1974, is built alongside old Nazareth. In the New Testament, the town is described as the childhood home of Jesus, and as such is a center of Christian pilgrimage, with many shrines commemorating biblical events. With the exception of the Old City, the two Nazareths are architecturally uninspired, as are most of the other development towns of Israel, too. In March 2010, the Israeli government approved a $3 million plan to develop Nazareth’s tourism industry. New businesses receive start-up grants of up to 30 percent of their initial investment from the Ministry of Tourism.   read more…

Jesus Trail in Israel

24 December 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Walking the Jesus Trail near Nazareth © Zeromancer44/cc-by-sa-3.0

Walking the Jesus Trail near Nazareth © Zeromancer44/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Jesus Trail is a 65 km (40 mi) hiking and pilgrimage route in the Galilee region of Israel that traces the route Jesus may have walked, connecting many sites from his life and ministry. The main part of the trail begins in Nazareth and passes through Sepphoris, Cana (Kafr Kanna), the Horns of Hattin, Mount Arbel Cliffs, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Tabgha, and the Mount of Beatitudes. An alternate return route passes by Tiberias, the Jordan River, Mount Tabor, and Mount Precipice. The Jesus Trail runs within the 1967 border.   read more…

Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv

13 November 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries, Union for the Mediterranean

© Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5

© Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5

The Yitzhak Rabin Center is a library and research center in Tel Aviv, Israel, built in memory of assassinated Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.   read more…

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