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Jerusalem/Old City/Jewish Quarter

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Coffee and tea are drunk in European or American-style cafés.  Espresso is offered, but is weak compared to ''katzar'', a stronger coffee.
Coffee and tea are drunk in European or American-style cafés.  Espresso is offered, but is weak compared to ''katzar'', a stronger coffee.
*<drink name="" alt="" address="Tiferet Israel" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="5-12 NIS" lat="" long="">This place will be recognizable by its slushie and smoothie machines. It has bottled drinks as well.</drink>
*<drink name="?" alt="" address="Tiferet Israel" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="5-12 NIS" lat="" long="">This place will be recognizable by its slushie and smoothie machines. It has bottled drinks as well.</drink>

Revision as of 19:30, 2 June 2011

Jewish Quarter Map

The Jewish Quarter is in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel.


Jerusalem had a thriving Jewish Quarter until Jordan seized control in 1948. Over the next 19 years of occupation, they expelled the Jewish residents, demolished their homes and synagogues, and used what was left for various purposes. The Old City as a whole decayed under Jordanian rule and when Israel captured the Old City in 1967, they found living conditions squalid. Redevelopment projects were enacted and today the entire Old City is alive, clean, and thriving.

Get in

  • Dung Gate - on the southern side of the city, it provides direct access to the Jewish quarter and the Western Wall. This is the terminal of buses 1 and 2. Parking is available outside of the city walls near the City of David.


The Jewish Quarter feels distinctly different from the rest of the Old City. Razed by the Jordanians after the partition of the former British Mandate of Palestine in 1948, most buildings in it have been rebuilt from scratch since Israel assumed control of the Old City in 1967.Despite strict laws mandating the use of Jerusalem sandstone in all facades in order to maintain uniformity, the buildings look and feel new. In a somewhat tit-for-tat move, the current wide plaza in front of the Western Wall was created by bulldozing a neighborhood called the Moroccan Quarter.

  • The Western Wall, [1]. open 24/7 and 365 days a year. Known in Hebrew as Ha-Kotel Ha-Ma'aravi (הכותל המערבי), the Western Wall, which dates back over 2,000 years and marks the western edge of the Temple Mount, is a surviving remnant of the Temple Mount. As part of the retaining wall of the Temple Mount, it was built by Herod the Great during his expansion of the Temple in 20 BC. The wall became the Jews' chief place of pilgrimage during the Ottoman Period where they lamented the destruction of the temple by the hands of the Romans in AD 70. For this reason it has also become known as the "Wailing Wall". As some authorities on Jewish Law (halakha) consider Jews to be forbidden from the Temple Mount, this is the only part of the structure those authorities say they are allowed to approach. (Note: Other halakhic authorities disagree, and there is usually no government prohibition against Jews ascending the Temple Mount, so long as those Jews don't actually pray up on top of the mountain.) The plaza in front of the Wall is divided by a fence, with a large area for men on the left and a smaller area for women on the right. Anyone is allowed to approach the wall as long as their heads are covered, (for men complimentary kippahs are provided upon entry), behave with decorum, and dress appropriately (no shorts and shoulders and midriffs must be covered, shawls are available to borrow on the women's side). (Controversy has occasionally erupted when Reform Jews conducted their services at the Wall, as the Reformim prefer the women and the men praying together.) The wall acts as an outdoor synagogue with written prayers inserted into the crevices between the large stones. Photography is not allowed on the Sabbath. Monday and Thursday mornings many bar mitzvahs are held, drawing large crowds of families and guests. Friday night at sundown there is the welcoming of the Sabbath (kabbalat Shabbat) which includes prayers, singing and dancing.
  • Western Wall Tunnel Tour, [2]. This is a tour of the underground parts of the Western Wall, including the evolution of the Temple Mount from the First Temple period to today. A wonderful tour for those interested in the archeology and history of the Temple Mount. You will see enormous stones underlying the Western Wall, an underground synagogue (the nearest spot to the Temple site, where Jews are allowed to pray), a pool and a water tunnel from Herod's time. The tour must be booked in advance but is well worth the advanced preparation. During the low season, you can also try your luck and join an excursion without the reservation.
  • Saint Mary's Hospice. The ruins of a 12th century German Crusader Hospice within view of the Temple Mount. Worth a short visit. A Jewish art gallery/shop is to the left of the door to the hospice's church (it's pretty obvious which of the buildings is the church).
  • The Cardo. Once running nearly the entire length of the Old City from north to south, the Cardo is an excavated and partially reconstructed section of the Jerusalem's main thoroughfare in the Byzantine era. Visitors can get a good idea of how the whole once looked by descending to the 200 m (650 ft) section alongside the Jewish Quarter. The central roadway was 12.5 m (41 ft) wide and lined with shops. The pillars from that time still stand. Today in part, the Cardo contains an exclusive, covered shopping arcade.
  • Hurva Square. In a maze of narrow and winding streets, Hurva Square is the heart and social center of the Jewish Quarter. Its open areas offer cafes, souvenir shops, and snack bars with outdoor seating. On the west side of the square is the site of the Hurva Synogogue (Hurva means "ruins"). Burnt down by its creditors in the 18th century, the synagogue was rebuilt in 1864 only to be destroyed during the fighting that took place in 1948 between the Arab and Jewish armies. After the Israeli assumption of control in 1967, a lone arch was reconstructed from the remaining shell, making it a popular photographic attraction. In 2006, however, the arch was removed and reconstruction of the synagogue commenced. The synagogue was re-dedicated on March 15, 2010, and is now available for tours (must be pre-booked).
  • The Broad Wall. Following the 1967 Israeli victory, a vast reconstruction program in the Jewish Quarter resulted in many important archaeological finds. One of the most significant was the unearthing of the foundations of a massive wall. These fortifications, measuring 7 m (22 ft) thick and 65 m (215 ft) long, are possibly part of the fortifications built by King Hezekiah in the 8th century BC.
  • Wohl Archaeological Museum. 9 AM–4:30 PM Sunday through Thursday. Lying 3 to 7 m (10 to 22 ft) below street level. This Museum offers a vivid excavation of daily life during the Herodian era, 2,000 years ago before the Romans rampaged and burned the wealthy Upper City in AD 70. Photography inside the museum is not allowed. Admission is 25 shekels for students and 35 for non-student adults and also covers the entrance fee to the '''Burnt House''', another building from the same era.
  • Ophel Archaeological Park, [3]. 8 AM–7 PM Sunday through Thursday and 8 AM–2 PM on Friday. This area on the southern side of the Haram esh-Sharif (Temple Mount) was been rebuilt many times over the centuries. Remains of Herodian (34–4 BC), Byzantine (AD 395–661) and Omayyad (AD 661–750) can be found on the grounds. Entrance fee is 25 shekels for adults and 15 for students. Audio guides are available but for 6 shekels but the map given at the front desk does not follow the audio guide's number arrangement towards the end of the tour. Audio guide is recommended though. There is an admission fee.
  • Temple Institute, [4]. 9AM-5PM Sunday-Thursday; 9AM-2PM Friday; Closed Saturday.. A fairly interesting place which has reconstructed most of the more obvious ritual tools to be used in the Temple services in the hopes of one day restoring the Temple itself. The front of the store is a book store while the back is a four room museum with one room set aside as a theater to show a 15 minute movie. Dress appropriately when going here. Long pants and sleeves for men, and modest wear for women. 20 shekels.
  • Karaite Synagogue, HaKaraim Street (Take a left when you see the ruined synagogue and look for the sign KARAITE SYNAGOGUE), 02-628-6688, 02-627-4728, 050-212-1045. Open Sunday to Friday (until sunset). The Karaite Jews, numbering 30-50,000 worldwide, are a unique sect of Judaism that has been at odds with mainstream rabbinic Judaism for centuries. The Karaites reject the Talmud (Oral Law) and only rely on the Torah, Prophets, and Writings. You must call ahead for a tour of the synagogue. Tours are only in Hebrew, but it might be possible to pre-arrange English or Russian.



The Cardo is the most prestigious shopping precinct in the Jewish Quarter. Built on the excavated remains of late Roman era Jerusalem (many of which can still be seen), the shops here specialise in arts and crafts, jewelry, Judaica, Dead Sea beauty products, quality souvenirs and T-shirts, amongst other things. Although, be advised that similar products tend to be significantly more pricey than elsewhere in the Old City.

  • Steimatzky Books. A decent-sized bookstore, with a Judaica shop next door (you have to go through the bookstore to reach it). The prices are higher than in the US, so it is better to wait. However, the Judaica store has a large selection of Jewish religious books that may not be available elsewhere, as well as foreign language translations. There are also shelves for various Chasidic movements.


Ask if there is a discount or ask for the 'harova' discount. This is for people who are living or staying inside the Old City, but merchants dont know where you are staying or how long you have been here. If you are feeling cautious, say you are staying at the Heritage House. You can ask for the discount in English as there are many Anglophone guests and residents.

  • Bonkers Bagels, 2 Tiferet Yisrael St., (02) 627 2590. Open Sunday - Thursday 9:00AM - 6:00PM. Friday 9:00AM - two hours before Shabbat. Motzei Shabbat from one hour after Shabbat. Closed Shabbat. This restaurant is located between the Hurva Square and the Kotel. The menu consists of a wide selection of bagels and toppings, including vegetables and spreads. Under $5.
  • Burgers Bar, Tiferet Israel. Not Kosher.
  • CoffeeBagel, 18 Tiferet Israel. This cafe is in the Jewish Quarter, and is dairy-Kosher. Any combination of delicious things on a bagel is served with a smile. A quick and delicious bagel with just about anything you can imagine.
  • Menorah Cafe, 71 & 73 HaYehudim. This cafe is actually two restaurants, one dairy and one meat. The dairy menu has fish, pastas, salads, soups, sandwiches, and cakes. The meat cafe serves hamburgers, salads, kabobs, hot deli sandwiches, fries (chips), steak, and chicken. A meal for about $10.
  • Mozzarella, Tiferet Israel and HaMe'shoreram. Italian restaurant.
  • Ne'eman Pastries (מאפה נאמן), Habad Street. They sell two "personal pizzas" for 20 NIS. The cheese is thin and the bread is puffy, but good. There is little or no sauce. The bakery has a good selection of pastries.
  • Pizza Cardo Café, Habad Street. Standard triangle pizza that Americans will be used to. It is fairly comparable in quality. Kosher. 10 NIS per slice.
  • Quarter Cafe, Tiferet Yisrael St., (02) 628 7770. Known more for its scenery rather than for its food, the Quarter Cafe offers a view over the Western Wall and Temple Mount. Under $15.
  • Rami's Pizza, 131 HaYehudim. You can buy pizza, calzones, soft-serve ice cream (American ice cream) and a variety of drinks.
  • Tzaddik's Deli, Tiferet Yisrael St., (02)627 2148. At Tzaddik's you can find deli sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, a selection of drinks, and even Thanksgiving dinner during the appropriate season.
  • Papàs, Tiferet Israel. Pizza, Falafel, Ice Cream


Coffee and tea are drunk in European or American-style cafés. Espresso is offered, but is weak compared to katzar, a stronger coffee.

  • ?, Tiferet Israel. This place will be recognizable by its slushie and smoothie machines. It has bottled drinks as well. 5-12 NIS.


  • Heritage House (Men), 2 Ohr Hachaim Street, 02-627-2224 (), [5]. The Heritage House Jewish Youth Hostel is located just inside the Jewish Quarter from the Jaffa Gate. Learning opportunities and Shabbat hospitality are also available to non-guests. Sometimes free lodging is offered. 25 NIS.
  • Heritage House (Women), 7 HaMalach Street, 02-628-1820 (), [6]. The Heritage House Jewish Youth Hostel is located just inside the Jewish Quarter from the Jaffa Gate. Learning opportunities and Shabbat hospitality are also available to non-guests. Sometimes free lodging is offered.


There are plenty of internet cafés around and wifi is available in some hostels.

The Post Office (Do'ar Yisrael) is located on Habad Street. It is open Sunday to Friday 8am to 12pm. Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu it is open 330 to 6pm.

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