Letter From Jerusalem, No. 1

Letter From Jerusalem

December 12, 2013

My name is Anita Ellis and I've lived in Israel for more than 38 years and in Jerusalem for more than 30 years. We don't get snow often, but when it is predicted there is great excitement among the children living between Jerusalem in the mountains and Tel Aviv on the coast of the Mediterranean.

Dreams do come true and we are in the midst of a blizzard. Soon the parents will bring their children up to Jerusalem to play in our parks and slide down the hills on makeshift sleds. My nephews and niece live in a southern Jerusalem neighborhood between Jerusalem and Bethlehem (about five miles from here), sitting on the edge of the desert. I've already gotten the call, "What's the snow situation in town?"

I live in Rehavia in the center of town, a neighborhood that is almost 100 years old and still very beautiful. The children only get slush where they live, so they will be here soon.

Israelis don't know how to drive in snow, so I am in the for day. Having grown up in Philadelphia, I do know how to drive in snow, but for safety's sake I won't go out on the streets.The paper tomorrow will be filled with accounts of all kinds of accidents because of the weather.

When the British ruled what is now Israel under their Mandate between 1917 and 1948, they viewed Jerusalem as the HOT Middle East. They built their buildings without heat. The Rockefeller Museum, one of the city's most beautiful buildings, has cork floors so viewers won't get "museum fatigue." However, those who work in the Antiquities Authority in the building come with mittens, fur-lined boots and heavy coats in which they sit to work all day.

But it is beautiful. Come and visit. If you would like to read Letter From Jerusalem #2, press here.

Anita Ellis