On Sunday, Dec. 13, the Atlanta Israel Coalition, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, will be hosting a free tour of Jerusalem through Zoom for Chanukah. “Tour the Old City of Jerusalem This Hanukkah – A Free Live Virtual Tour” begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends in a menorah lighting at the Western Wall.
David Sussman, who will be leading the tour, was born in America and made aliyah in 2001. When he came to Israel, he served in the Israel Defense Forces as a combat soldier in the Second Lebanon War. After a near-death experience in the army, he became impassioned to educate the world about Israel.
During the tour Sunday, viewers will meet residents of the Old City and learn more about how they celebrate Chanukah.
“This tour is a great way for people who have never been to Israel to experience the magic of Jerusalem at Chanukah time firsthand,” said Lee Tanenbaum, AIC promotion and marketing coordinator. “And for those who have been to Israel already, it is a way to help them feel connected to Israel again.”
Tanenbaum said that people have already signed up for the event from countries outside the United States and Israel.
“This event is meant to be a family event for all ages,” Tanenbaum said. “We have people signed up from across the world, including Canada, Malaysia and even Australia.”
Because the tour ends at the Western Wall, it will focus heavily on the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem. One of four traditional quarters in the Old City, the Jewish section has about 2,000 residents and is home to numerous synagogues, markets, archaeological sites and yeshivot.
Cheryl Dorchinsky, founder of AIC, said that the event is designed to bring the beauty of the Old City at Chanukah to the public. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people cannot travel.
She added that people who aren’t Jewish have signed up for the event too.
“The event is free because we want everybody to be able to experience the magic,” she said. “I spent one night of Chanukah in Jerusalem and it was magical. Everybody deserves to be able to experience it. To me, knowing that we can bring this type of experience to people is priceless.”
Carla Birnbaum, Federation’s community impact associate for the event, said of the partnership with AIC, “Making Jewish Places is excited to support the AIC in bringing this virtual tour to Atlanta! While traveling to Israel isn’t currently an option, this program is a safe and engaging way to connect with Jews globally. Atlanta families will be able to celebrate Chanukah in Jerusalem from the comfort of their own home.”
AIC, founded in 2018, is celebrating its second anniversary. It is a grassroots organization that strives to unite the pro-Israel community in Atlanta and beyond.
For those unable to attend the morning event, a recorded video of the tour will be sent to all those who register.
For more details on the event and how to register, visit https://bit.ly/3mtnaxR.
If you can’t make it to the 9:30 a.m. showing, tune in to the Atlanta Jewish Times Facebook page for a watch party of the program at 3:00 p.m.