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by harry March 24 2009
Jerusalemite news

Dublin in Jerusalem

We've been promising change for months, and the time has finally arrived to deliver. We are happy to announce that the same team that has brought you Jerusalemite is now managing the culture and tourism channel of Jerusalem.com. It's no secret that our agenda has been to advance Jerusalem's international status as a cultural center that's vibrant and full of surprises - as well as to be the number one resource for all Jerusalem-related content on the web. Thanks to the new site's unbeatable domain name and all-star leadership team, our new alliance with Jerusalem.com ought to enable us to achieve these goals with a substantially larger audience. Come visit me at Jerusalem.com I promise I won't bite!

So what exactly does this mean for Jerusalemite? Well, first off, let us reassure you that the rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. (Jeepers, Ha'aretz, could you have at least got the name of our website right?) We'll still be blogging on more edgy and insider-y material here at Jerusalemite (please be patient as we get back into the swing of things following our pre-launch work push), but if you are looking for the very latest in Jerusalem cultural trends, Jerusalem events, Jerusalem restaurants, Jerusalem attractions, Jerusalem hotels  - Jerusalem.com is your destination. In fact, you might have already noticed, but our old links to the beloved Jerusalemite city guide entries now redirect you to the proper specific pages on Jerusalem.com. That one-eyed strange spokescharater on the redirect pages is your friend.

Though you can probably tell from the name, Jerusalem.com is a serious citydotcom portal for Jerusalem, a city that certainly deserves a site with this much weight. Originally founded by Startup Jerusalem, a non-for-profit body which was founded by and used to be chaired by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Jerusalem.com is already emerging at the primary web-based entry point to the city.

Our aim is to continue to further the beloved, strange animal that is Jerusalem culture among the English-speaking lovers of the city, be they long-time residents, one-night tourists, or even if they've never been here but still feel a connection. And we will continue to shed light on all that is awesome in Jerusalem. Jerusalem.com already features guides information which covers hundreds of destinations in the city, an events calendar with over 50 events going on every week, and in-depth articles going up every weekday. You should also keep your eyes open for our fancy quarterly print guide Everything Jerusalem.

Same great content on an additional, more powerful domain. Join us over there
, but please keep tabs on us here as well.

Photo of Dublin by Asaf Kliger for Jerusalemite.

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Change is gonna come

by harry January 14 2009
Jerusalemite news

Charedi space monkey

You might be wondering why things look a little slow on the Jerusalemite blog lately. There is good reason for it: Big things are in the works. Really big things. Unfortunately at this time we can't throw all of our cards on the table but rest assured it benefits everyone who cares deeply about Jerusalem and allows us to continue to pursue our agenda of promoting Jerusalem as a cultural destination in Israel to an even bigger audience.

So while our blog and event listings will remain somewhat stagnant in the coming days, don't forget to check out our incredibly pimped-out restaurant, museum, sites & landmarks guides. These are - and will continue to be - the most resourceful and informative Jerusalem content on the entire internet, with updates from the latest in restaurants, bars, and more.

Stay tuned as more news will be shared in the coming days, and thank you for your patience.

With much love,

The Jerusalemite Team

Photo of an ambitious Jerusalemite courtesy of orcaman from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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Please be Jerusalemite's friend

by michael December 12 2008
Jerusalemite news

 

 That's the thing about the Internet these days: you can never be in only one place at a time. You have to keep a Facebook account so you can keep track of the birthdays, interests and innermost feelings of people you fuzzily met during a previous night of heavy drinking. You have to be on Myspace to stay hip to whatever the teenagers are up to these days, and also to fulfill your daily quota of glitter fonts. You have to update your Twitter feed so all your friends, whether real or Internet-imaginary, can know your exact feelings on the sandwich you're eating, or whether you're packing for the airport at 2 AM. And on and on.

Jerusalemite is no exception. Jerusalemite cannot be contained. As the leading Jerusalem Web 2.0 presence, it's only natural that we're all over the social networks. And that means that you can plug into a nonstop stream of special Jerusalemite content whether you're here on the site or not. Who could ask for anything more?

 

TwitterLet's say you've got a question about Jerusalem, or our site, or maybe a recommendation. Follow us on Twitter and let us know, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. And our Twitter feed is also a great way to keep abreast of our latest updates.

 

FacebookLink up with our Facebook page and help us promote Jerusalemite on the premier social networking site of the era. Offer us your thoughts, feelings and criticisms. Just please don't poke us.

 

socialnetworksyoutube.jpgGot a video that showcases the best (or at least the quirkiest) of Jerusalem? We'd love to see it. Go ahead and add it to our YouTube page - and stay tuned for exclusive Jerusalemite video content.

 

socialnetworksmyspace.jpg Sure, maybe you're a teenager with a haircut you'll deeply regret in a few years (seriously, trust us, you will) and several impractical pairs of pants, but Jerusalemite is still here for you and your favorite social network. Add us as a friend on Myspace.

 

socialnetworksflickr.jpgNo matter how hard they try, the municipal government can't keep Jerusalem from being photogenic. Visit our Flickr page to see all our photos of the city that didn't make the main site.

 

Seriously, go ahead and join up. It's okay to stalk us - as long as you manage to find a good time in Jerusalem as a result. Have a great weekend!

 

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Work at home Jerusalemites unite!

by josh November 21 2008
Jerusalemite newsMunicipal news

Co-working at Presentense

Filing TPS reports alone, together

While the café has become the de-facto Dunder-Mifflin for many a freelancer, work-from-home-nik and business traveler, those who take their coffee with a generous serving of Wifi must deal with their own problems, such as the dreaded laptop dillema, and the constant drama of trying to nurse that NIS 18 cafe hafuch for as long as possible until it becomes painfully obvious that it isn’t the resturant's fine brew that brought you to their confines.

Enter PresenTense, the group devoted to fostering Jewish social entrepnuership. Instead of letting you wallow at Aroma, they have set up a coworking space at 64 Emek Rafaim, a veritable office for those with none. For a fee, workers, or the unemployed who want to feel like they still have jobs, can rent out a space in their building, whether it be a desk or a conference room, and have access to printers, fax, internet, coffee and of course, each other.

"The real key to having a coworking space is you're no longer alone. You don't need to ask a stranger to watch your laptop, or pay NIS 12 for a cup of coffee," Co-founder Ariel Beery said.

The space isn't just for loners looking for a desk, though.

"A lot of the troubles that are affecting non profits are that they simply don't have the money to pay rent, so what we do is we give them a storefront on Emek Refaim, a respectable aplce for them to meet with people," he said.

Just like a café, working at PresenTense's Jerusalem Hub ain't free. Fees range from NIS 30 for the basic chair and desk to NIS 750 a month for what amounts to a personal office, complete with lockable storage space and dedicated desk.

PresenTense, which places a premium on innovation, are the first to bring the coworking concept to Israel, though it has been a widely used idea throughout the western world since 2007 as office spaces with witty names like Independents Hall in Philadelphia and Manhattans Nutopia workspace have popped up.

So far the space has attracted 12-15 nomadic workers a day, both collaborating on projects and working on their own.

"We really felt Jerusalem could be a world leader in social innovation," co-founder Aharon Horwitz said. "All it needed was a hub."

Image of non Mike Judge related office space courtesy of PresenTense.

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The dawn of a new Jerusalemite is at hand

by michael November 19 2008
Jerusalemite news

Laptop

This 3000-year-old laptop was unearthed in the Western Wall Tunnels

Not to toot our own shofars, but we're a committed bunch here at Jerusalemite. Not only do we work every day to bring you relevant, comprehensive and unique coverage of city life from restaurants to events and everything in between, we're always thinking of ways to improve Jerusalemite itself to make your experience here more pleasant and your time in Jerusalem more full.

To that end, we've recently unveiled a slew of brand new features to help make Jerusalemite just a little bit more definitive. Some of them you may have already noticed; others you'll come to appreciate the next time you need to plan an evening out, get in touch with us or stay abreast of every update and development on the site and in the city. Many are the result of feedback from readers like yourself, which we sincerely appreciate (and hope you'll keep sharing). So why not spend a few minutes cruising Jerusalemite and checking out what's new?

  • We've updated some of the window dressings. Ugly brown boxes are out; cool sheared-corner teal menus and text boxes on our Guides and Events pages are in.
  • Our events system has been made loads more convenient with a feature that lets you see all upcoming events at major venues, accessible from every event page as well as the new and improved event search function.
  • Speaking of that event search function, it's now at the top of the Events page, and beefed up with new search parameters that let you winnow out exactly what you want from our vast database. And our City Guides have been given the same treatment.
  • Search results have been enriched - instead of a list of names and categories, results are clearly differentiated by type, and you can choose to filter the results further so only guides listings, events or blog posts appear. Guide entry search results now include price, address, phone number, and user rating.
  • Oh yeah. User ratings. You can now rate and comment on your favorite restaurants, theaters, museums, bars, hotels and more. Feel free to disagree. Vent your feelings. Show your enthusiasm. Even if you're the kind of maniac who prefers Pinati over Ta'ami, we want to hear from you.
  • In addition to our "email to a friend" and "My Jerusalemite" features, we now offer "Share," which allows the user with one click to share favorite items of our content with their peers via Facebook, MySpace, Digg and many other social networks and services.
  • Advertising with us has never been easier thanks to our new media kit.
  • The left column's "Browse by Category" and "Archive" navigation links are now drop-down menus, making them far less cumbersome.
  • We've optimized our RSS offerings, with more prominent subscription links and a page dedicated to explaining how and why to subscribe.
  • If, for some reason, you would ever want to leave, we have a new Links page full of relevant sites for any Jerusalem lover.
  • Getting in touch with us is super-easy with the new and improved contact form. We want to hear from you. 

And we're not quitting with this update. Very soon, you'll be seeing even more handy upgrades - including the rollout of a new commenting system to foster a healthy debate about what's really important in this city: having a good time.

Thanks for reading, and keep coming back!

Image courtesy of RahelSharon from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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A conversation with Avi Ben, oenophile

by simone July 13 2008
InterviewFoodJerusalemite newsThings to do

Avi Ben in his store

Avi Ben, owner of the Avi Ben Wine Shop chain, is helping bring the "nectar of the gods" to Jerusalem mortals with the Israeli Wine Festival, an event held each summer at the Israel Museum. The festival, which attracts wine connoisseurs, wanna-be wine connoisseurs and those just looking to get loaded, runs from July 15-17 and offers attendees the chance to taste hundreds of top-shelf bottles for a flat fee.

How did you first get into the wine business? I started 25 years ago, working in my family's business, which was wholesale alcohol distribution. I soon realized that I was more connected to wine than to alcohol and that the type of people that enjoy wine are a bit different than your regular alcohol drinker, so I decided to develop this aspect of the business.

I opened my first store in Mahane Yehuda as a wholesale distributor. Then I opened a wine store in Talpiot in the mid-1980s. When I opened a second store in Nachalat Shiva in 1993 people thought I was crazy. That I was opening specifically a wine store and not an alcohol store – a store with tastings and courses in wine appreciation. It was definitely different, but it succeeded.

On July 3 we opened a new store in the shuk, right across from Rachmo. I've completed the circle, returning to the same place where my wholesale distribution store used to be. Today people say to me, "What? You're opening a store like this in the shuk?" But people said the same thing to me when I opened my store in Nachlat Shiva, and I proved them wrong.

All across Israel, the wine culture has changed, it has developed, and I was one of the pioneers of this development, one of the people at the forefront of this change, because of my own personal affiliation with wine, my personal taste for wine and the wine business.

You are one of the organizers of Jerusalem's annual Wine Festival. How did the Wine Festival come to be? What was the impetus behind it and when did it start? The first festival was held five years ago, in 2003. It was a time when bombs were going off regularly in Jerusalem and we noticed that business was slacking off - especially in the summer, when many of our regular customers went on vacation.

It was a bad time for Jerusalem in general, so we decided to organize a fair that would bring wine distributors to Jerusalem. We picked a great location, the Israel Museum, and once they agreed to house the festival, all the planning became easier. People loved the location, they loved the idea, and it was a huge success. We're now in our fifth successful year.... (click here for the full interview)
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A shekel for your thoughts?

by harry June 04 2008
Jerusalemite newsFoodThings to do

The Jerusalemite City Guide

That falafel you ate last night was the bomb. Seriously, it was the best falafel of your life. A little piece of heaven in a pita. Two nights ago, that steak you ordered at that place near Hillel St.? Overcooked, crispy and black. That's okay though, because the bar you stayed at until 3:00 am had the best whiskey selection you've ever seen in Jerusalem. And the exhibit you visited the following day? Biggest waste of time. Ever.

So let's hear it. We want to know from the ground - and think of the many others you'll help too with your feedback: newcomers, tourists and even us locals. Register with Jerusalemite and express your praises, criticisms, kudos, gripes, compliments and complaints. We have over 700 Jerusalem restaurants, bars, museums, clubs, theaters and concert venues just waiting for your comments. By registering, you are able to bookmark anything on the site using our advanced My Jerusalemite tool, you can access our events submission form, and you are given the option to subscribe to our newsletter.

You've got to have an opinion on at least one of these places, right?

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Season of changeover

by ben May 16 2008
FoodJerusalemite news

New mural at Sami's

The late spring-early summer months seem to be prime time for turnover and regrouping among the city's eateries.

Although its Talpiot location is still going strong, the unnecessary satellite downtown version of Mifgash Hashech recently closed its doors.

On lower Agrippas St., where it seems that paintings of short-order restaurant proprietors are obligatory, landmark Middle Eastern steak haunt Sami has recently shut down operations for a few weeks of remodeling, an endeavor that includes replacing windows with plaster panels perfect for a mural depicting none other than Sami himself, presumably.

Two or so blocks towards town, Osaka's Agrippas takeout stall, which had been closed for months, has recently completed a remodeling of its own and is now equipped to not only sell Far Eastern takeout dishes but to prepare them too.

And in the row of storefronts running eastward on Jaffa Rd. directly from Zion Square, many eateries that closed down for Passover have simply never reopened, thanks to plans to completely refurbish that block. While Holy Bagel had already opened another branch just down Jaffa Rd. and Big Apple has always been open just a few steps away, Coffee Time's replacement location is still to me announced.

Photo of Sami's mural-in-progress by Ben Jacobson for Jerusalemite.
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Jerusalem gets dressed for Independence Day

by harry May 06 2008
HolidaysJerusalemite newsMunicipal newsPhotography

There has been a flurry of activity over the past few days on the streets of Jerusalem as the city and its people prepare for tomorrow night's festivities and celebration. Jerusalem sent out a photographer out on a mission to photograph the city's preparation. Ok, we didn't - he just took the photos on the way to the office.

When the municipality announced the laser show, Jerusalemite was a bit suspect, expecting something not too professional and absolutely cheesy. As demonstrated by the photo directly below, the laser show might be worth checking out after all.

Laser Beams!

Tsochtke vendor on Agripas Street.

Flag vendor on Agripass Street.

Celebrate with the Foriegn Ministry!

Photos by Ben Jacobson for Jerusalemite.

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Rousing multimedia extravaganza for the masses

by ben April 24 2008
Things to doFor the kidsHolidaysJerusalemite news

fortyprojection2404.jpg

bigprojection2404.jpg

Jerusalemite joined thousands of, er, Jerusalemites at the Moshe Safdie-designed plazas flanking the Old City walls near Jaffa Gate for The Wall, an impressive spectacle indeed. There were bright, colored lights; projected video depicting Biblical, contemporary military and even theological connections between the people of Israel and the capital; a pyrotechnical display; and even a closing message from our besmirked Mayor Uri Lupolianski, thanking us all for having schlepped out.

packedmamilla2404.jpg

The Passover-enjoying masses, mostly from the nationalist-religious sector but with a few haredim and secular folk thrown in for good measure, seemed roused enough, spilling out onto closed-for-traffic main thoroughfares, area parks and, of course, the Mamilla Mall (above).

Photos by Ben Jacobson for Jerusalemite.

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