Jerusalem has many layers – ancient and historic, new and renewed, above ground and far below. Many nations have settled in Jerusalem, and the city’s roots go back more than 3,000 years.
Have you always dreamt about visiting Jerusalem? Have you been to Jerusalem, but want to discover more? Jerusalem Simcha boasts a wide range of tours: Bar Mitzvah tours to the Western Wall, school tours, bride and groom tours, study tours or business and family events. All tours are led by our professional guides, who have vast knowledge of Jerusalem and its history.
In the Footsteps of Synagogues
On this tour we will visit several synagogues and hear their exciting stories. We will come across synagogues that were destroyed and might be renovated in the near future; synagogues that survived the bombings of 1948 and those that didn’t and were rebuilt several times.
Visiting Synagogues in the Old City
These are the sites where thousands of prayers were heard for many generations, these are the stones that our forefathers stood on, and these are the walls that hold the sanctity and miracles, the stories of bravery and the long history of the Jewish People.
The Hurva – a synagogue in the heart of the Jewish Quarter. Established in the 18th century and, after being destroyed and rebuilt several times, was finally constructed in 2010, giving it its name Hurva – meaning “ruin” in Hebrew. The interior design includes photographs of the synagogue from the early 20th century, reconstructed medals from the Cave of the Patriarchs, Rachel’s Tomb, Tiberius and Safed, and other ancient works of art.
Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue – also known as the Nissan Beck Shul, is located in the Jewish Quarter. Its façade was inspired by the ancient synagogue in Baram in the Upper Galilee and remnants of a mikve (ritual pool) can still be seen in its basement. The synagogue was found entirely destroyed after the Old City was captured from the Jordanians in 1948, and in May 2014 a budget of NIS 50,000 was approved for renovating the building.
Nahmanides’ (Rambam) Synagogue – the oldest synagogue in the Jewish Quarter is attributed to Nahmanides and is divided into several rooms for learning and prayer. A 16th century inscription, engraved on one of its walls with the names of the three Forefathers, was found during renovations and is displayed in the synagogue.
Four Sephardic Synagogues – in a compound including the Istanbuli, Emtzai, Yochanan ben Zakai and Eliahu Ha’navi Synagogues, belonging to the Sephardic community are located on the edge of the Jewish Quarter. The Rishon Lezion (Sephardic Chief Rabbi) is appointed in these synagogues. A shofar and jug of pure olive oil is found in their dome, which many believe will be used in the future to serve the Messiah. Several ancient pieces of Judaica are found in a small museum in the synagogue compound.
Or HaHaim – located in the Or HaHaim Street in the Jewish Quarter, close to the Old Yishuv Court Museum, and named after Rabbi Haim ben Atar, the synagogue was abandoned in 1948 with the fall of the Jewish Quarter and was opened again with the return of Jewish residents to the Old City in 1967.
Ohel Yitzhak – located on the southern border of the Muslim Quarter, Ohel Yitzhak is a magnificent synagogue that was demolished by the Jordanians after the War of Independence. During its reconstruction in 2008 the synagogue was connected by an underground passageway to the Western Wall Tunnels, enabling direct access to the Western Wall.
The Western Wall – one of the four walls that have surrounded the Temple Mount for 2,000 years and in the 14th century was set as a place of prayer, a site for pilgrimage from all over the world and having religious and historical significance. The IDF holds many swearing-in ceremonies there and Bar Mitzvah boys are called up to the Torah for the first time at the Western Wall.
In the Footsteps of King David
We will follow in the footsteps of King David, one of the most significant personalities in the Bible and in Jewish History.
The Story of King David
City of David – from time immemorial, during the late Bronze Age, Jerusalem was located in the City of David, which today is an archeological site in Wadi Hilweh, Silwan.
The Davidson Center – a museum located in an archeological park alongside the Western Wall, the Davidson Center displays archaeological findings from the Second Temple period and onwards and ancient remnants from palaces and other structures, in a modern setting, including the use of multimedia.
Mount Zion – the burial place of King David, Mount Zion is considered part of the Old City even though it is not within its geographical boundaries. Important sites to Judaism, Christianity and Islam are found on Mount Zion, including locations of battle heritage, museums and cemeteries.
The Tomb of King David – Judaism’s main connection to Mount Zion is King David’s Tomb. According to tradition Jesus had his Last Supper on the second floor of this structure. The Museum of King David is located close to the tomb, displaying works of art and ancient displays and presentations from extinct Jewish communities.
Leaving the Walls
We will hear the story of the Old City Jews as they left the walls towards the new city of Jerusalem. At the various sites we will meet many personalities who, through dedication and self-sacrifice, paved the way for many after them to build the city of Jerusalem.
The Old Yishuv Court Museum – in a 500 year old building, a Jewish family lived in a building on the seam between the Jewish and Armenian Quarters in the Old City, until the destruction of the Jewish Quarter during the War of Independence. Today this building houses the Old Yishuv Court Museum, named in memory of Yitzhak Kaplan, which describes the life of Jews in during the first years of Jewish renewal in the Old City. The museum displays many items of daily and family life, including furniture, clothing and rooms of those times.
The Jewish Quarter – located in the southeastern area of the Old City in Jerusalem, alongside the Muslim, Christian and Armenian Quarters, the Jewish Quarter is home to about 6,000 residents, mainly religious Jews. There are many synagogues, archaeological and tourist sites, souvenirs and Judaica, grocery stores, restaurants and cafes. The Jewish Quarter lies on the upper section and eastern slopes of Mount Zion. The Temple Mount is to the east, the Old City walls are to the south, the Armenian Quarter to the west and the market on David Street to the north.
Mishkenot Sha’ananim – situated opposite the walls of the Old City and the Tower of David, and above the Sultan’s Pool, lies Mishkenot Sha’ananim – the first Jewish neighborhood outside the walls of the Old City. Mishkenot Sha’ananim was built in 1860 by Sir Moses Montefiore from the inheritance of philanthropist Judah Touro from the USA. A windmill that ground flour was built above the neighborhood, for the use of the residents. Today, after being renovated, the houses in Mishkenot Sha’ananim are used as convention centers, music schools and guest houses.
Nachalat Shiva – the third neighborhood that was built outside the walls of the Old City. Since 1989, after renovations and preservation works, Nachalat Shiva has become one of the most popular entertainment areas, with many restaurants, pubs and cafés, in Jerusalem.
The Story of the Six Day War
“The City that Sat Alone, with a Wall within it” Naomi Shemer
Alone on the Walls Museum – the Battle for the Jewish Quarter in 1948 – is displayed in the open Cardo. Set up in memory of the defenders of the Jewish Quarter during the War of Independence in 1948, the exhibition displays quotes from John Philips, Abdalla A-Tal, the leader of the Jordanian Legion in Jerusalem and Moshe Rosnak – officer of the Jewish Quarter.
Batei Machaseh – a compound of apartments built during the 1980’s in the Old City of Jerusalem. it is the first social housing built in Israel. planned by a Jewish organization in Holland and Germany, known as the Kollel of the Vav”Daled, it was set up to be used as housing for the poor and for emissaries of the Jewish people, such as Moshe Sacks and Azriel Zelig Haudorf, who were sent around the world to collect donations from Jews in many countries. An especially generous donation was received from Wilhelm Carl De Rothschild in Frankfurt.
Zion Gate – one of the gates of the Old City in Jerusalem that is used as an entrance to the Jewish Quarter. The Zion Gate is also known as David’s Gate, the Jewish Quarter Gate and the Gate of the Jews. Fierce battles were held here during the War of Independence, and to make things more difficult for the enemy, the entrance lies at a 90 degree angle. The Gate is named after Mount Zion on which it lies.
The Ramparts Walk – built by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman 450 years ago, the walls circumvent the Old City of Jerusalem. The walking route begins at Jaffa Gate and ends close to the Dung Gate, offering breathtaking views, a panorama of old and new Jerusalem neighborhoods and historic sites in the Israeli capital.
During this tour we will experience the yearning for Jerusalem, as expressed in various generations, when Jews could visit the City and when they could not. We will see Jerusalem in its destruction and its revival, again and again.
The Tower of David – located on the highest point in the Old City, the Tower of David, also known as the Jerusalem Citadel, protected the city for thousands of years. There is no connection between King David and the Tower, which got its name from an incorrect Christian interpretation of Joseph Flavius’ writings. The Museum of the History of Jerusalem opened at the Citadel in 1989. Holograms, 3D models and multimedia emphasize events in the city’s history, from the Temples through the British Mandate and modern Israel, in regular displays.
The Muslim Quarter – we will walk through the streets of the neighborhood close to the Western Wall that once was bubbling with Jewish life, cut short in the 1929 and 1936-1939 pogroms. About thirty years ago Jewish life was revived in the Muslim Quarter and many Jews live there, with an exquisite view of the Temple Mount grounds.
The closest sites to the Western Wall are:
The Western Wall Tunnels – where you can walk through the underground section of the Western Wall, below the Muslim Quarter, past the spot closest to the Holy of Holies (the holiest place for the Jewish People). The tour lasts about 75 minutes and is not recommended for people with difficulty in walking.
Chain of Generations – a museum taking you through a tunnel, where special effects, glass exhibitions and a light-and-sound show depict the history of the Jewish People. The tour lasts about 50 minutes and is suitable for children and people with difficulty in walking.
Other sites outside the Western Wall compound, but within close vicinity, are:
The Davidson Center – an amazing archeological site, below the southern Western Wall, with a museum that displays many findings from different generations and a light-and-sound show that describes the Second Temple Period.
City of David – travel to the period of King David and the Temple, with a variety of routes, including through an aqueduct.
Jewish Quarter – only several minutes’ walk from the Western Wall, offering several sites:
The Hurva – a synagogue built in the 17th century was destroyed several times and renovated in 2010, today also hosts many guided tours.
The Herodian Quarter – the Jewish Quarter in the Second Temple period that tells the story of the Priests, the ritual baths (mikves) and the destruction of the Temple. The Quarter was built during Herod’s reign and passes under the houses of the modern Jewish Quarter.
The Burnt House – a journey in time to the destruction of the Second Temple and the Priests’ houses, including a light-and-sound show.
The Temple Institute – an experience combining Temple instruments, a light-and-sound show and guided tour.
The Old Yishuv Court Museum – a journey to the lives of residents of the Old City in the 19th century, including exhibits from that time. The Ari and Or HaHaim Synagogues are located on the site.
Ramparts Walk – a walk on the walls of Jerusalem, from Jaffa Gate and the David Citadel to the Western Wall.
Mount Zion – walking tour around King David’s Tomb, with exquisite views of ancient Jerusalem.
David Citadel – Herod’s palaces, tour to the Second Temple period and a light-and-sound show held at night.
Museum of Underground Prisoners – a jail during the British Mandate, telling the story of Rabbi Arye Levin, Rabbi of the prisoners.
Museum of Italian Jewry – an Italian synagogue with exhibits from the local Jewish community.
Ammunition Hill – the story of capturing Jerusalem in 1967, with a light-and-sound show and tour through the battle trenches.
Time Elevator – modern technology takes you on a journey through time to different worlds.
Mishkenot Sha’ananim – built by Sir Moses Montefiore, including a walking tour and the story of the brave residents who ventured outside the walls of the Old City to build the modern city of Jerusalem.
To be noted that most sites require an entrance fee and pre-booking.
There are many options for shopping, at Mamila, the First Station, Cinema City, the Israel Museum, the Bible City Museum, etc.
Our dedicated staff will arrange your happiest event. We will take care of the biggest and smallest details. We will adapt your event to all your personal wishes.
Jerusalem Simcha has ten years’ experience in producing events and organizing tours in Jerusalem and at the Western Wall. Most of our events are for returning satisfied customers because our experience says it all.
We believe that a high-class event does not necessarily have to break the bank. We will adapt your budget to the celebration, while ensuring the highest professional standards, with no compromises on quality or taste.
Following is a list of optional services to enrich your personal experience:
- Professional team to accompany you throughout the day
- Transportation from home to Jerusalem and back
- Photographer and videographer + video clip and personal album
- Cantor and Rabbi will accompany you in song and dance
- Drummers and shofars will enhance your happy day
- Rich buffet brunch at the Western Wall Plaza
- Reserved spot at the Western Wall Plaza, close to the women’s section
- Top Jerusalem restaurants at attractive prices
- Exciting tours of the Old City with Jerusalem’s best tour guides
- Releasing blue and white balloons, with blessings for the Bar Mitzvah boy
- Torah Scroll workshop – the Bar Mitzvah boy will learn to write on a scroll like a real scribe
- Receiving a signed and framed certificate from the Rabbi of the Western Wall
- Personal mementos for your guests – skull caps, siddurs, magnets, mini photo albums, etc.
Simcha is us!!! Jerusalem Simcha your experience in Jerusalem.