I was invited to a launch of a new map of the old city’s Jewish Quarter that is intended to raise the awareness of both tourists and Israelis to the historic gems and attractions within. In parallel, the city is launching a new touristic discount city-card called ‘JTicket’, which I will describe below. Following the launch ceremony, I visited some of the locations and am happy to share them with you.
Trip Agenda Options
- The Hurva Synagogue and Plaza
- Heroes on the Way to You - a multi-sensory experience through virtual reality glasses
- Bible Heritage Center - Karaite Community
- Live the Bible
- The Jticket
The Hurva Synagogue and Plaza
The map launch of the Jewish Quarter on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, was conducted at the Hurva Plaza, the center of the Jewish Quarter by the Minister of Construction and Housing, Yoav Galant (top tier and center in my photo and in the map reveal photo), in cooperation with the Society for the Rehabilitation and Development of the Jewish Quarter, headed by Chairman Moti Rinkov (low tier in my photo) and the Israel Mapping Center (middle tier on the left: Ronen Regev, Director General of the Survey of Israel and on the right, Herzl Ben-Ari, General Manager of the Jewish Quarter Development Company).
The new map presents the Old City of Jerusalem in a special manner using an ortho-photo – a combination of an aerial photograph with a street map. On one side, is a map of the entire Old City and on the other - a map of the Jewish Quarter. On the margins of the map there is a lot of information about the tourist attractions and the main sites in the Jewish Quarter as well as a detailed index of sites and streets. The main tourist routes and sites were marked and, for the first time, all the underground attractions in the Quarter were highlighted. Another new feature is that the map integrates barcodes that can be scanned by smart phones, enabling visitors to hear and read information about the sites they visit. Among other things, one can find rare historical pictures of Jerusalem, as well as the possibility of connecting to the Wall cameras live, Segway tours and more.
Visitors to the Hurva Synagogue are offered free explanatory notes in Hebrew, English, French, Russian and Spanish and a children's version.
The breathtaking tour includes the renovated Hurva Synagogue, that has a spectacular 360-degree view of all of Jerusalem from the top of its dome and a visit to the archeological floor of the synagogue. In addition to the synagogue, visitors to the Jewish Quarter will enjoy the huge gold lamp that was transferred from the plaza above the Western Wall to the Hurva plaza following the work on the Western Wall elevator.
A walk in Jerusalem is always a delight. The ‘Jerusalem Festival of Lights’, was taking place during this visit and I got some incredible night photos as well. Do you recognize the big building?
Heroes on the Way to You
A new technological project in the Jewish Quarter brings the Bible to the year 2018, with technology that allows visitors to experience the Bible stories - to be in the pit with Joseph and to fight Goliath together with David. Using virtual reality (vive-vr), the participant meets heroes from the Bible.
The attraction begins with a number of group challenges suitable for families of varying ages such as an interactive tablet monopoly, a trivia game, and even tefillin games that can be seen on a large screen, followed by a variety of virtual reality games in which each person plays by himself in the Biblical story settings.
Bible Heritage Center - Karaite Community
The Karaites reminded me of the Samaritans whom I wrote about recently, in that they also believe only in the written Torah without the oral rabbinical interpretation. However, there are a number of differences in ancestry and history that impacted their beliefs and practices that make them a unique ethnoreligious group.
The Heritage Center in the Jewish Quarter is built on three levels surrounding their synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the world. The tour begins with a short film about the Karaite community, continues through a museum that provides a more in-depth explanation.
Live the Bible
This new family attraction in the Jewish Quarter provides you with a special and unforgettable souvenir. With the help of accessories, costumes, backgrounds and advanced technology, you enter into the magical world of the biblical period and become a central part of the story, the best part of which, is that you get to take home a colorful keepsake of your visit to Israel.
The company for the rehabilitation and development of the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem initiated the JTICKET - a combination discount ticket of the attractions and sites in the Old City.
The ticket enables you to choose entry into five sites/attractions available from a list of over twenty including the ones mentioned above and other major sites for example: The Burnt House, the Four Sephardic Synagogues, the Walls Promenade (Northern or Southern), the archeological park Davidson Center, the Western Wall Railway (one way), the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and much more.
Tickets can be purchased at the tourist attractions in the quarter and are usable for a month. Each ticket allows single entry to each site or attraction. I don’t put prices on my website since I don’t update them, but the combination JTicket offers a valuable deal and you should ask about it at the ticket booth.
A few nearby restaurants include: The Quarter Cafe’, ‘Between the Arches’, ‘Holy Café’, ‘Friends Restaurant’, ‘Burgers Bar’, ‘Keshet HaHurva Café Restaurant’ and ‘B’Shaarayich’.
A few nearby suggestions include: ‘The Sepharadic House’, ‘New Victoria Hotel Jerusalem’, ’Dan Panorama Jerusalem’, ‘Dan Boutique Jerusalem’, ‘Mamilla Hotel’ and ‘Notre Dame Guest House’.
This trip filled up a day.
This is what it looks like on the map: