Wednesday, September 5, 2012

News from the Jewish Quarter


Until a few years ago, I used to be in the Old City many times whereas today, I hardly ever go. Years ago, I used to have plenty of friends in the Old City but those friends went back to the US after finishing their Yeshiva.

Jerusalem has changed and so has the Jewish Quarter in the Old City. Lets just take the alleyway, leading from the parking lot (at the Sephardi Center) to the Cardo, as an example. Until not too long ago, most of those shops in the alleyway were owned by Armenians selling Pizza. Today almost all of the shopkeepers are Jewish. The shops are newly renovated, clean and right at the Cardo you even find a new branch of Jerusalem's cafe chain NE'EMAN. When you are visiting the Jewish Quarter and you feel like an affordable cup of coffee and some Borekas, go to NE'EMAN.

Cafe Ne'eman

Photos: Miriam Woelke

The famous Square, the heart of the Jewish Quarter, has significantly changed its appearance. The Hurvah Synagogue was rebuilt, the expensive burger place found a new owner (who is, hopefully, not such a rip off as the previous one), and a brandnew Shwarma place opened right next to the burgers. What I do miss though is the grass which used to be in front of the burger place and next to the old Hurvah ruins. Today the entire Square basically consists of too much concrete.

Leaving the Square and walking down towards the Kotel: Bonker's Bagels is still around but everything else is new. Fancy SISSALIK ice - cream, souvenirs, the Jerusalem brand BURGERSBAR, Bagel or Pizza. Even the AISH diningroom (where there used to be Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services) doesn't exist anymore. 

The change of the Jewish Quarter does have its positive sides but the neighbourhood itself as well as the Kotel should never loose their Jewish character due to tourism. 

At the Square


Photos: Miriam Woelke

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