Hamshushalayim: Cold winter, hot nights in Jerusalem

By: Samantha Hulkower

It's easy to be in denial about winter when you live in Israel. Just a month ago, the temperature was hovering around 80 degrees (F). And even when it's only in the 60s, listening to how cold it is in the US, suddenly that number feels a lot warmer. However, we've been feeling the cold and expecting some real rainy days here in Jerusalem - cold and blustery. There's no way around it, winter is finally here. Fortunately for us, it's arrival coincides with Hamshushalayim

A play on words in Hebrew for Thursday, Friday, and Shabbat "HamShuSh" it also sounds a little in Hebrew like 'Hot Jerusalem'. Every weekend in December there are different free and discounted activities to encourage tourists and residents to brave the winter weather and see what the city has to offer. 

There is the Jewish Film Festival overlapped with Hanukkah, but there is still a chance to catch a few more locally made movies.

The always popular Israel Museum is free on Thursday nights, and open from 9pm-1am, so even Israelis working American hours will have a chance to get in on the fun. You can check out guided tours of new exhibits, listen to some music, and check out the much-raved about Herod Exhibit while it's still there. 

The Museum of Islamic Art in Katamon is having special lectures and concerts. 

Starting on December 12 is Jerusalem Design Week. Anyone who has been to the Bezalel Street Fair knows Jerusalem has it's fair share of innovative artists. Stop by the Jerusalem Center for Design to see  creative spins on traditional products. And you may just come across something for your home you didn't know you needed! The page is in Hebrew, but it's easily translated with a Google Chrome browser.

The Botanical Garden is open specially at night and provides visitors with a light show. And if you aren't too tired from staying at the Israel Museum until 1am, the Gardens are free on Fridays. 

There are also discounts at some restaurants and hotels. 

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