Sukkot in Jerusalem 2017 Events
Within an hour or two of the fast of Yom Kippur ending, you can hear hammering and drilling around town. Many of Jerusalem’s residents can be found jumping at the opportunity to begin preparing for the holiday of Sukkot, the Feast of Booths, by building their sukkot, the temporary structures in which Jews dwell for the seven days of the holiday.
Sukkot, considered one of the happiest times in the Jewish calendar, comes out 15 days after the Jewish new year and five days after Yom Kippur. It is the first harvest festival of the year and it also commemorates the 40 years of wandering the Israelites underwent in the desert on their way to Canaan, the promised land. During the time of the temples in Jerusalem, people came to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage (called an aliyah leregel – ascending by foot) for this festival with fruits and other gifts to offer as sacrifices in the temple.
To be exact, the last day, although attached to Sukkot, is a different holiday, namely Simchat Torah, the day that celebrates the completion of the annual cycle the reading of the Torah. It is commemorated with much singing and dancing at synagogues – and even on the streets – with Torah scrolls, throughout Jerusalem, Israel and the entire Jewish world.
2017 Sukkot events will be updated as they become available
Sukkot events in Jerusalem
In 2017 Sukkot begins before sundown October 4 and it ends after sundown on October 11, or on Sunday night for those keeping a second day of chag). Sukkot is one of the most vibrant times of year in Jerusalem. Here is an overview of the annual events that take place in Jerusalem over Sukkot. You are more than welcome to come and join in the festivities!
Pre-Sukkot English Stand-up Comedy at Off the Wall
Tarablus, a native Israeli, was the first Israeli to be invited to NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” has written for many Israeli TV shows, and is known for his material on marriage and parenthood. Since making aliyah in 2006, Lovitt has performed in Israel and around the world, working with Jewish organizations to promote Israel. His perspectives have been featured in publications such as the USA Today, the Atlantic, the Times of Israel, and more.
Where: Off the Wall Comedy Basement, 34 Ben Yehuda Street, Jerusalem
When: October 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm
Cost: 35-50 NIS
Tickets: Buy now!
Harvest Festival at Ein Yael
A pilgrimage march, meeting tradesmen from ancient times, lots of workshops and activities for the family, street performers, theater tours and more
Where: Ein Yael, Jerusalem
When: October 18-20, 2016 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: 35-45 NIS
Contact: 02-645-1866; email@example.com
Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival 2016
Taking place in Abu Gosh, just outside of Jerusalem, the festival is comprised of around 80 masterpieces performed by over 800 local and global artists including soloists, choirs, ensembles and orchestras.
Where: Abu Gosh, Israel
When: October 21-24, 2016 at 11:00 am
Tens of thousands of Israelis and tourists, in particular Christian pilgrims, march through Jerusalem’s streets in support of Israel. The festive march starts at 3:30 pm and a large happening is open to all for free in Sacher Park throughout the afternoon.
Where: Locations around the city
When: October 20, 2016 at 7:00 am
Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) at the Western Wall
The mass priestly blessing at the Western Wall
Where: The Western Wall, Old City, Jerusalem
When: October 19, 2016 at 8:45 pm
Free Kikar Safra Tours
Take a free tour of the historical municipal buildings, the city council hall, the model of old/new Jerusalem and an observation point with a breathtaking view of Jerusalem’s neighborhoods.
Where: Meet next to concrete pillows outside of Building #3 in Kikar Safra
When: October 19, 2016 at 11:00 am (English and French)
Annual Kite-Flying Festival at the Israel Museum
Kite-making workshops, crafts workshops under the Big Bambu, meet professional kite-flyers, kite-flying in the Art Garden (weather permitting) and live music
Where: The Israel Museum, Derech Ruppin, Jerusalem
When: October 18, 2016 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Oktoberfest at the First Station
It’s not Munich, but it’s close enough! There are beer tents, authentic food, music and, of course, beer!
Where: First Station, 4 David Remez Street, Jerusalem
When: October 18-21, 2016
Cost: Free entrance!
Sukkot at the Bible Lands Museum
To celebrate Sukkot the Bible Lands Museum is offering free entrance to children and a variety of special activities for the whole family. This year’s special Sukkot activities will center around the museum’s new exhibition, “In the Valley of David and Goliath,” including performances and a fun recreation of King David’s ancient kingdom.
While the kids are at play, adults can take advantage of free tours of the Rivers of Babylon exhibition. For more details on activity and tour dates, contact the museum,
Where: Bible Lands Museum, 21 Shmuel Stephan Weiz Street, Museum Row, Jerusalem
When: October 18-23, 2016 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Sukkot at the Tower of David Museum
Three days of free entrance for children, discounts to the Night Spectacular, special events, tours and exhibitions
Where: The Tower of David Museum, Jaffa Gate, Old City, Jerusalem
When: October 18-20, 2016
Pilgrimage to the Jewish Quarter
Reenacting the pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the Davidson Archaeological Garden and watch a movie about the ancient pilgrimage in English. A visit underground to homes of priests of the Temple, the Herodian Museum.
Where: Davidson Archaeological Garden, Derech Haofel, Old City, Jerusalem
The “Botaniada” at the Botanical Gardens
A theater marathon of plants, flowers, magical statues and more. Watch plants come to life, become colorful human characters. Participate in fun and fascinating activities and creative workshops that will facilitate connecting with nature.
High Holidays in Jerusalem
Jerusalem March by Aviad Tevel courtesy of the Jerusalem Municipality; Tower of David by Hamutal Wachtel