New Walking Tour Series: Jerusalem, Meet Jerusalem

An early drawing of Mishkenot Shaananim, Jerusalem, Israel.
Mishkenot Sha'ananim, the first neighborhood built outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City, in a 19th Century engraving (late 1860s?)

For some time now I have wanted to apply my knowledge as a licensed tour guide in Israel to help my friends and acquaintances learn more about their country. Obviously, the bulk of my work will be with incoming tourists, but most Israeli residents and citizens love to explore their own country almost as much as foreign, visiting tourists. So one of the things I am beginning to do is run a series of short walking tours in different neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the city I live in and love.

I am entitling the series “Jerusalem, Meet Jerusalem” because it is largely designed to help Jerusalemites better get to know the city they live in. But of course these Jerusalem walking tours are also open to tourists and Israelis from other cities!

I first decided to run this series when I realized how many of my friends here in Jerusalem asked me questions about their very own neighborhoods. So I realized that there was a thirst and desire among Jerusalem residents to learn the diverse history of their own city.

I will be conducting the first of these tours this Friday, June 15th, 2012. The tour, entitled “Stepping Out of the Walls,” will take us to the first three Jerusalem neighborhoods built outside the walls of the Old City. They are (in order) Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Machane Yisrael and Nachalat Shiva. We will talk about how they were different from each other, and what life was like in those days.

The walking tours will each be about 2-3 hours long. I am planning to do tours of many more neighborhoods in the future, including Nahalaot, Katamon, German Colony, Rehavia, Talbiye, Bakaa, Talpiyot and downtown. But since each will take a good amount of preparation, I will roll out one at a time, and potentially repeat it before I add a new tour. The other reason for this is that I am trying to keep the tours fairly small and intimate (under 15 ideally, but I will allow them to go up to 20 people). So this will give other interested people the opportunity to take tours at a later point if they miss them the first time. I of course will also require a minimum number of participants (eight) to make sure the tours are worthwhile.

If you are interested in joining this Friday’s tour, please email me to reserve a spot, and/or sign up on the Facebook invite. Additionally, if you would like to find out about future tours, feel free to “Like” my Facebook Page.

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