The Jerusalem Post has an article titled “Winter Wonderland: Top 10 things to do in J’lem”, which notes:
The rain is just arriving and temperatures are inching down. Now’s the time for some unique winter activities to enjoy in Jerusalem. […]
4. Hearing Xmas Mass
Midnight mass marking the start of Christmas Day at Beit Jamal monastery. There are only about 142,000 Christians in Israel, and given Israel’s Jewish majority, Christmas isn’t anywhere near a national holiday. But its presence is felt in a number of ways.
For Jewish Israelis in Jerusalem, living in such close proximity to the Old City and the Christian Quarter means easy access to the Christmas Midnight Mass, held at the many churches throughout the Old City. The pews are apt to be filled with as many Jews as Christians, and the same goes for the churches in quaint Abu Gosh, the Christian Arab town just outside Jerusalem.
The public is also invited to decorate the tree at the YMCA, always a colorful expatriate scene of carol singing and tree decorating. The trees are supplied free of charge, courtesy of Jewish National Fund (JNF), which cuts down some of its Christmas grove of Arizona cypresses as part of its regular forest maintenance program.
So the visit of the Christmas Midnight Mass is among the top ten recommendations of the Jerusalem Post for visitors during the Christmas Tide. The Catholic monastery Beit Gamal (also Gemal) belongs to the Salesians. Father Antonio Belloni first founded an orphan’s home there in 1860. Later Father Belloni, who was a member in the clergy of Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, joined the Salesians of Don Bosco. There was a Muslim village called Beit Jimal before them, but most of the population of it had died as result of malaria; only a few families remained. Fr Belloni provided shelter elsewhere for these few families. With the financial help of many European benefactors he bought the land of the village, together with two important fresh water springs. The financial assistance of a English Catholic, Marquis De Bute, was crucial in acquiring the land of Beit Gemal, an area of more than 500 hectares. This land also includes the burial place of St. Stephen. (Source: Here and Here).
The other nine recommendations are:
1. Take a menorah tour
2. Jerusalem Lights the Night, Tower of David Museum
3. Tracking down the best Hanukka doughnut
5. New Year’s Eve, Sylvester style
6. Saturday cholent lunch
7. (Hopefully) playing in the snow
8. Lupine Hill in the Elah Valley
9. A Kube Fest
10. Succulent Strawberries
To see the more detailed original article click Here.