Hamshushalayim Festival

With Hamshushalayim festival starting tonight, Jerusalem is about to offer just about everything: culture establishments, museums, theatres, guided tours and other attractions for visitors. www.2eat.co.il has put together a long list of restaurants in the city that offer visitors special menus. The festival will take place on December weekends: 29/11-1/12, 6-8/12, 13-15/12 and 20-22/12, here are some special recommendations:

Bloomfield Science Museum

Just last week, right after the truce declaration between Israel and the Hamas, kids from the South of Israel were still running wild in the museum that offered them free entrance. Tonight, a new exhibition will open, which is highly recommended for kids and adults: Other Lives, inspired by Alan Turing who is widely regarded as the father of modern computer. Through artists' work, this exhibition examines the relationship between people and computers. Take for instance the group of robots gently combing a doll head's hair; surely this display will make you wonder if we're getting more machine-like as these machines become more human. Two Macintosh screens talking to each other will probably get you thinking about the blurring boundaries between the human and the artificial.

The Bloomfield Science Museum will be open free of charge on Thursdays during Hamshushalayim festival, between 21:00-01:00. On Fridays and Saturdays, adult entrance fee is NIS43 and NIS27 for a child.

Back to Handicraft at Ein Kerem

Ein Kerem is a beautiful area in Jerusalem, but you already knew this. It is surrounded by a breathtaking view, and many pilgrims have discovered its magic and religious landmarks. The one thing a lot of people are not aware of is the abundance of artists residing here. The special Niflaot Ein Kerem (the wonderful women of Ein Kerem) project will present during Hamshushalayim festival each of these local women's work. On your visit, you might want to walk through the ancient houses, taste traditional dishes, watch the goldsmiths as they make jewelry and dancers perform. Of special interest is artist Hadar Kleidman's Behefetz Capeah women's crafts center, where women use old crafts: weaving, embroidery, ceramics and others. During Hamchuchalayim festival 20 minute workshops (NIS10) will demonstrate these ancient crafts. Each workshop will include 20 participants, and every hour a tour will leave the site's entrance.

About the Food

If you're in Ein Kerem, don't miss out on Brasserie Ein Kerem that resides in an ancient building with a beautiful balcony overlooking the view of Jerusalem. Brasserie's menu includes breakfasts, brunches, lunches and dinners, and during the festival it will offer a special deal for NIS118, breakfast for 2 for NIS118 and special meal for kids for NIS28.

Ma'alot, near Machne Yehuda market, is a bistro and intimate kosher tapas bar, headed by chefs Gad Yaari and Israel Bachar. From time to time this restaurant offers live jazz music, and you might want to take part in this. During Hamshushalayim you can get a meal here for NIS78 before 17:00 and later than that for NIS118.

1868 resides in the first house to be built outside the ancient city walls back in 1868. Chef Jacob (Yankale) Turgeman offers a New Jerusalem Cuisine that you have to taste. During Hamshushalayim festival a meal for NIS118 will include a first and main course.

Darna restaurant's design and menu reconstructs the Moroccan tradition. During Hamshushalayim it will offer its guests a meal for NIS118 that will include first and main course, as well as green mint tea.

Enjoy your visit.