Some of the sites in Jerusalem are planning holiday activities for tourists and visitors.
- The Menachem Begin Heritage Center
- Plugat HaKotel Museum
- The Jerusalem Botanical Garden
- Beit Mazia Theater Jerusalem
The Menachem Begin Heritage Center
The Menachem Begin Heritage Center has a unique multi-sensory audiovisual tour that takes visitors on a fascinating journey through time into the life of one of the most significant leaders in the country's history. The experience appeals to all the senses through interactive touch screens, rare films, the accompanying soundtrack, multiple restorations, dramatic lighting, and original items.
The museum tours are suitable for the whole family and require prior registration to a guided tour. They take about an hour and 15 minutes with a 30-minute break between each tour.
In addition to the museum experience, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center has an archeological garden, the "Hinnom Shoulder" that is part of an ancient necropolis, surrounding the old city of Jerusalem.
Finally, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center serves as a cultural and educational tourist center in Jerusalem offering a range of activities for individuals and groups including lectures, singing evenings, workshops and tours.
Plugat HaKotel Museum
The Plugat HaKotel Museum is located within a walking distance from the Menachem Begin Heritage Center inside the Jewish Quarter. The museum tells the story of the Western Wall Platoon, a group of youngsters from the Betar revisionist movement that volunteered to maintain the Jewish presence at the Western Wall, during the period of British mandate before the State of Israel was established.
The museum was founded on the actual location of the platoon's former building and includes a 35-minute audio-visual film that recounts the activities of the platoon.
Both museums are included in the J-Ticket, a combination discount ticket for the attractions and sites in the Jewish quarter. Registration to the Plugat Hakotel Museum is through the Menachem Begin Heritage Center.
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens are owned by the Hebrew University and are next to the Givat Ram campus. They are the largest botanical garden in Israel, covering an area of 150 hectares, with the a plant collection of over 6,000 species of plants from around the world.
The gardens are featuring a new tropical greenhouse that was opened to the public a few weeks ago, after a year and a half of preparations, an investment of 7 million NIS.
In order to get to the greenhouse and enjoy all the variety that the garden has to offer, our tour took the children's train. The train takes you through the six geographical plots in the botanical garden, each simulating the landscapes in each region. The regions include South Africa, Europe, North America, Australia, Southwest and Central Asia and the Mediterranean respectively. The train is included in the entrance fee and is available to visitors on Sundays through Thursdays at any hour on the hour leaving from the garden entrance.
The greenhouse is divided into two areas: a tropical region and a desert region displaying plants adapted to their respective ecological environments demonstrating a large range of habitats.
In the tropical area, we were exposed to the special rain forest with tall trees, climbs and plants growing on the trees and a large pool with aquatic plants. There are even remains of an ancient columbarium carved in the rock that dated to the Second Temple period that was exposed during construction of the site.
In the desert area, we saw some of the plants that have adapted to extremely arid conditions, including the Jericho rose and several fragrant bushes that are used to produce perfumes.
The greenhouse is open to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays from 14:00 to 15:30 and there are guided tours.
The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens are leading a new educational campaign to save extinct wildflowers in Israel. The campaign is dedicated to Nechama Rivlin, the late First Lady of Israel, a true nature lover, who contributed greatly over the years to Israeli society and nature conservation. The botanical garden workers, as well as dozens of volunteers, have collected 12,000 wildflower seed bags that they are distributing to visitors. The purpose of the campaign is to enable people to integrate the wildflowers into their home gardens, thereby making them more widespread.
Beit Mazia Theater Jerusalem - The International Jewish Festival for Contemporary Art
A new festival entitled "International Jewish Festival of Contemporary Culture" produced by the Jerusalem Theater Group, is taking place between Dec 3-10, 2019.
Osnat Gispan, the festival's artistic director, reviewed this year's highlights. She explained that the festival has been successful these past three years, due to its integration of music, dance-theater, film and literature creators. It examines Jewish origins as sources of inspiration making the festival a pioneer in its field.
The rehearsals for the opening performance of "Rega, Rega" a theatrical musical world premiere by director Shahaf Berger and musical director, Ronit Roland based on Sasha Argov's songs were ongoing.
For more details on the activities and registration to the tours this Hannukah, please refer to the full article.
Photos Silvia G. Golan