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…

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…

Mahane Yehuda Market in West Jerusalem

8 April 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Sir kiss

© Sir kiss

Mahane Yehuda Market (Shuk Mahane Yehuda), often referred to as “The Shuk“, is a marketplace (originally open-air, but now partially covered) in West Jerusalem. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the market’s more than 250 vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables; baked goods; fish, meat and cheeses; nuts, seeds, and spices; wines and liquors; clothing and shoes; and housewares, textiles, and Judaica.   read more…

Theme Week West Jerusalem – Rehavia

9 November 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Terra Sancta College on Keren HaYesod Street © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Terra Sancta College on Keren HaYesod Street © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Rehavia, also Rechavia, is an upscale West Jerusalem neighborhood located between the city center and Talbiya. The Prime Minister‘s Official Residence is the “Aghion House“, at No. 3 Balfour Street near the corner with Smolenskin Street. Most of Rehavia’s streets are named after Jewish scholars and poets from the Golden Age of Jewish culture in Spain. Among them are Abravanel, Ben Maimon, Ibn Ezra, Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, and Radak. A glaring omission is the name of Yehuda Halevy, celebrated physician, poet, and philosopher. Zionist leader Menachem Ussishkin, who lived on Rechov Yehuda Halevy, changed the name of the street to Rechov Ussishkin in honor of his 70th birthday in 1933, and installed new ceramic signs crafted by local Armenian craftspeople.   read more…

Theme Week West Jerusalem – The Mamilla Mall

5 November 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© flickr.com - Ana Paula Hirama/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Ana Paula Hirama/cc-by-sa-2.0

Mamilla Mall, also known as Alrov Mamilla Avenue, is an upscale shopping street and the only open-air mall in West Jerusalem. Located northwest of Jaffa Gate, directely at the City Line, the border between East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem, which has survived to this day due to the repeatedly annulled Jerusalem Law by the UN and part of the wider Green Line, the mall consists of a 2,000-foot (610 m) pedestrian promenade called Alrov Mamilla Avenue lined by 140 stores, restaurants, and cafes, and office space on upper floors. The mall sits atop a multi-story parking garage for 1,600 cars and buses, and a bus terminal. Designed by Moshe Safdie and developed by Alrov Properties and Lodgings Ltd. of Tel Aviv, the mall incorporates the facades of 19th-century buildings from the original Mamilla Street, as well as the original structures of the Convent of St. Vincent de Paul, the Stern House, and the Clark House.   read more…

Theme Week West Jerusalem – Israel Museum

17 October 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Union for the Mediterranean

Hadrian bronze bust from Tel Shalem © Oren Rozen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Hadrian bronze bust from Tel Shalem © Oren Rozen/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Israel Museum was established in 1965 as Israel‘s national museum. It is situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood of West Jerusalem, ajacent to the Bible Lands Museum, the Knesset, the Israeli Supreme Court, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Among the unique objects on display are the Venus of Berekhat Ram; the interior of a 1736 Zedek ve Shalom synagogue from Suriname; necklaces worn by Jewish brides in Yemen; a mosaic Islamic prayer niche from 17th-century Persia; and a nail attesting to the practice of crucifixion in Jesus’ time. An urn-shaped building on the grounds of the museum, the Shrine of the Book, houses the Dead Sea Scrolls and artifacts discovered at Masada. It is one of the largest museums in the region.   read more…

Theme Week West Jerusalem – The Knesset

8 August 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Adiel lo/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Adiel lo/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Knesset (lit. the gathering or assembly) is the unicameral national legislature of Israel. As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister (although the latter is ceremonially appointed by the President), approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government. In addition, the Knesset elects the State Comptroller. It also has the power to waive the immunity of its members, remove the President and the State Comptroller from office, dissolve the government in a constructive vote of no confidence, and to dissolve itself and call new elections. The Prime Minister may also dissolve the Knesset. However, until an election is completed, the Knesset maintains authority in its current composition. The Knesset is located in Givat Ram neighborhood of Western Jerusalem.   read more…

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