Fun In Jerusalem would like to share some special initiatives and activities for kids during this difficult time while Israel is at war.
Some of us have kids serving in the army, others have loved ones who have been called up for reserve duty. Doctors, nurses, medics and ambulance drivers are working round-the-clock to support the growing pressure in our hospitals. And civilians are being recruited in massive numbers to the thousands of volunteer initiatives running up and down the country.
Jerusalem has received over 20,000 displaced residents from the Southern border over the past two weeks, who are staying in around 40 hotels throughout Jerusalem. We welcome them with open arms (and hearts). The Municipality has arranged free parking and free transportation for all evacuees. Buses leave from the Olive Tree Hotel, the Grand Court Hotel and the Leonardo Hotel every hour on the hour, starting from 8am-6pm and on Friday until 12 noon. The buses pass central points in the city, such as Machane Yehuda, Cinema City, the Malcha Mall and the City Center. There are return trips to the hotels every hour on the hour, starting from 9am until 7pm and on Friday until 1pm.
It’s so heart-warming to see so many of the businesses that we work with announcing special activities for families who have been displaced from the Gaza Border Region, or whose loved ones are serving in the army, defending our homeland.
As more vendors explore new options, we will continue adding ideas and activities to this post!
Photo Credit: Torah Live
Special Initiatives & Activities
- Concierge Me (formerly JeruSitters) has an army of babysitters who are offering their services free of charge to any families whose husbands are in milluim. Contact Leah and she’ll match you up with someone (fully referenced) to help out. This is available in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Hertzliya.
- Nachliel Selavan, AKA “The Museum Guy” is hosting virtual tours to engage your kids in fun and learning through google earth, museums, and Jewish history, through using google earth, pictures and videos, and conversation. There’s a special discount coupon for FIJ readers with the code Am Yisrael Chai. He’s also compiled loads of FREE educational content for kids!
- Torah Live has an amazing library of special online content for kids to give them chizuk & emunah during the war. Enjoy free access to 70+ enriching, kosher Torah videos or paid access to 500+ inspiring videos plus challenges, games, quizzes and more. For as little as $10 you can gift a subscription to a to a friend or family member in Israel.
- The Jerusalem Cinematheque has free movies for everyone! You just need to reserve your seats. It is open and running according to the guidelines of the Home Front Command.
- Open Studio’s Home Art kits are back! Send a kit to brighten someone’s day. Bulk and custom kits available. And Avigayle is offering a 10% discount to We are giving a 10% discount for miluim/single parent families and evacuees from the north and south.
- JClay, is open for business and is offering a 30% discount to all families whose loved ones have been called into reserve duty, or families displaced by the war, on all their home-kits or in-house ceramic painting sessions. Their studio is open from 12 noon-7pm, Sunday to Thursday at 67 HaNeviim Street. And they will deliver your pieces once they are ready, free of charge, anywhere in Jerusalem.
- Yael Vloch is offering free sessions for displaced families during the war, teaching you about the art of Glass Blowing and Flame Working. She’ll give you an introduction to the science and art of the craft and then gives you a hands on experience to create your own pieces of art. Sunday-Thursday, between 2pm-4pm at her studio just behind First Station.
- Jerusalem House of Quality is inviting families displaced from the Gaza Border Region to a fascinating free tours that focus on the history of Jerusalem, the city’s unique arts and crafts communities and a stunning panoramic lookout of the city from the roof – enjoy a unique viewpoint of the Old City, the neighborhood of Yemin Moshe and more. They are also offering free jewelry and sun printing workshops.
- Dead Sea Bikes are offering free tours to families from the South who have been relocated to the Dead Sea region. They have self-guided bike rides to the Salt Diamonds and shorter routes too
- The Biblical Museum of Natural History is open from 9am-4pm daily and is working according to the guidelines of the Home Front Command. They have a public bomb shelter if, G-d forbid, there is a siren during your visit.
- Meet Debbie Hirsch a trained American actress living in the Old City of Jerusalem. She will bring out the funny in you during a Laughter Games Workshops on Zoom! Exercise your brain and your funny bone as you enjoy special quality time with your family and friends. Workshops can be customized with Jewish themes for school groups, families or groups of friends.
- Orna Porat’s Children’s Theater is offering a library of some of their best children’s shows available for free download.
- Jerusalem’s Gazelle Park is open and free of charge for all.
- The Bible Lands Museum is open and free of charge for all!
Photo Credit: Biblical Natural History Museum
Free Activities for Displaced Families
- Free Red Bus Tours with two routes to choose from – a Hop-on-Hop-off tour or the classic 1.5 hour City Tour.
- The Biblical Museum of Natural History is open and offering FREE entry to families evacuated from the South and North.
- The City of David has a mobile van bringing activities to displaced families from the Gaza border region, currently housed in many of hotels throughout the city. To arrange a visit, just call: 052-3542986
- “The Balcony” is a green space on the Roof of the Clal Building in the center of town. It’s offering therapeutic gardening, shiatsu treatments and creative & art workshops and more. Tel: 02-9996016
- The Old Yishuv Museum is bringing their theatrical tours to hotels to entertain displaced families. You’ll just need to pre-arrange by calling: 052-4002478
- The Jerusalem Theater is offering free screenings for families from the South, in a protected area. A full list of their movies is on their website and reservations can be made using the discount code “south”
- The Bloomfield Science Museum has opened its door free of charge for displaced families.
- The Western Wall Foundation is offering free Bar Mitzvah celebrations for families relocated to Jerusalem, free of charge. Just call Or Shukrun 052- 3655496 (Whatsapp only after 4pm).
Photo Credit: Roochie Sinai, Rave Mosaics
Useful Resources for Families
We’ve prepared a few resources which we hope you will find helpful during these difficult times.