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14 December, 201114 December, 2011 2 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized

1. Go Shopping at a Christmas Market


Christmas markets are already set up and operating in various cities around the Holy Land. You can't beat the main destination – Bethlehem – for a taste of the holiday spirit. The festivities began in November with a Christmas bazaar on Star Street featuring crafts and games, food and drinks traditional to the holiday, Christmas decorations, trees, lights and much more.

At the Bethlehem Peace Center in Manger Square, many tables and kiosks are selling the wares of local craftsmen, plus even from overseas like Italy and Norway.

In Jerusalem, the Latin patriarch is operating a smaller Christmas market from now until Christmas Eve. Located on the upper part of the Via Dolorosa, close to New Gate, the sh

TagsTags: christmas holy land 
12 December, 201112 December, 2011 1 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized


A news conference on Monday illustrated – perhaps unintentionally – that there is something for everyone in Israel: In the same room a contingent of Hollywood celebrities spoke to the media about their experiences in the Holy Land while evangelical pastors from the United States answered questions about their own tour here.

Both groups were in Israel on vastly different tailor-made tours, but as guests of America's Voices in Israel, an organization that aims to bolster Israel’s image in the United States.

While the celebrities were experiencing night life, floating in the Dead Sea and enjoying raucous jeep rides in the Golan, the pastors were meeting with government officials and spiritual leaders in the country.

But despite the varying perspectives of the country, the co

8 December, 20118 December, 2011 1 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized

A total of 90,000 tourists are expected to arrive in Israel over the Christmas holiday, a third of which are pilgrims for the Christian holiday, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

Some 2.1 million Christian tourists will have visited Israel by the end of the year.

“The Christian community along its many denominations and hundreds of million of believers, is a central anchor to Israel’s incoming tourism industry,” said Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov. “The Ministry of Tourism is working year round with communities in Israel and abroad to promote cooperation with leaders and believers from around the world, who act as a bridge toward peace and promoting pilgrimages in the Holy Land.”

TagsTags: christmas holy land 
6 December, 20116 December, 2011 1 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized


On Thursday, Catholics will celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which falls on Dec. 8 and provides a fitting segue into the Christmas season.

Many times the name of the feast is confused with the Annunciation, an event celebrating the conception of Christ when the angel announced to Mary that she would bear a son who would become the Messiah. That is observed on March 25, nine months before Christmas.

But the Immaculate Conception is about the conception of the immaculate mother. Mary was believed to be conceived on this day in the womb of her mother Saint Anne. Nine months later, on Sept. 8, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated.

As with othe

2 December, 20112 December, 2011 0 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized


While you can't beat actually being in Bethlehem for Christmas, there is a way to connect from afar during this season. Throughout Advent the celebration of the Eucharist will be broadcast live from the Milk Grotto in Bethlehem welcoming anyone from around the world who wants a taste of Christmas in the Holy Land.

The chapel of the Milk Grotto is believed to be the place where Mary breastfed Jesus before the holy family fled to Egypt on instructions from an angel who warned Joseph in a dream that Herod was looking for Jesus in order to kill him. According to tradition, some drops of milk fell to the ground, turning the stone white. Today, both Christian and Muslim women pray at the chapel for breastfeeding and fertility issues.

1 December, 20111 December, 2011 3 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized

It isn't always easy to be a Christian in Jerusalem as the minority community must navigate complicated relations and sometimes persecution to get around the Holy City.

But with understanding, friendship and advocates, Christians have managed to remain strong and confident in the Jewish state. One such friend and advocate, Daniel Rossing, was a bridge builder between the religions who brought to light the facets of Jerusalem life for Christians, Jews and Muslim.


Rossing was remembered in a recent symposium, "Jerusalem, the City of the Between," for his tireless efforts regarding interfaith relations in the Holy Land for 35 years before his death due to cancer in November 2010. A panel of Christians and Jews from around Jerusalem spoke at the symposium in his honor, hosted by the Jerusalem Center for Jewish Christian Relations founded by Rossing, on the anniversary month of his death.

28 November, 201128 November, 2011 1 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized

Israel put itself on the fashion map once again with its very own Tel Aviv Fashion Week, luring leading fashion designers and journalists from around the world, reviving the show after 30 years of not hosting it in the coastal city.


For one week, the international spotlight on Israel focused on its cultural and touristic qualities as the event featured 18 shows by foreign and local designers at Tel Aviv's trendy Hatahana neighborhood by the old railway station. The festivities opened at the residence of the Italian ambassador with a cocktail reception honoring Italian designer Roberto Cavalli who showed his 2012 summer collection during Tel Aviv's Fashion Week, an encore performance having been originally staged in Milan, Tel Aviv's sister city.

"Israel is in my heart," Cavalli said at a news conference. "I'm hoping that Tel Aviv fashion week will show the world the Israel that I love. It's a beautiful city full of life with people full of life who enjoy fashion and culture just like Europeans, Americans, the Japanese. I'm happy I could s

27 November, 201127 November, 2011 1 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized

With four weeks until Christmas, the time of preparation leading up to the holiday has begun. Advent is observed on each Sunday of the four Sundays until Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

The word Advent come from the Latin word meaning “coming” and celebrates the coming of the Lord. During each day of Advent, Christians prepare for the “arrival” of the Lord Jesus by recalling the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament that were fulfilled in the first Christmas story.

The theme of readings and teachings during Advent and its purpose is to prepare for the second coming of Jesus while commemorating his first coming. Special readings are prescribed for each of the four Sundays in Advent, while an Advent calendar, primarily used by children, recounts the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in the days leading to the savior's birth. Also, a candle on the traditional Advent wreath is lit e

23 November, 201123 November, 2011 1 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized

Despite centuries of assumption that King Herod built the Western Wall of the temple in Jerusalem, recent archaeological findings could throw this accepted conventional premise on its head.



Professor Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a news conference on Wednesday that a ritual bath exposed beneath the Western Wall of the Temple Mount contains proof that the construction of that wall was not completed during Herod’s lifetime but at least 20 years after his death around 4 BC.

israel, archaeolgy, jerusalem, western wall






23 November, 201123 November, 2011 1 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized

The National Association of the Diocesan Directors of French Pilgrimages recently held its 64th congress – for the first time in Jerusalem – to discuss Christian pilgrimage, particularly to the Holy Land.

Over the course of four days last week, the 150 delegates convened at Notre Dame Center and discussed the geography and history of the country and how to better organize pilgrimages and prepare pilgrims so when they arrive at their destination, they may have a greater awareness of their experience.

The days each had themes which focused on an area of importance, including the “living stones” of the local church body, Christians who live in the Holy Land.

“This (congress being held in

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