Culture and Leisure in Jerusalem

Culture and Leisure in Jerusalem
Jerusalem's rich cultural scene has always been an integral part of its identity. In recent years, the Jerusalem Municipality has seen the city's cultural diversity as a great asset – to spur economic growth and improve quality of life for all residents. The responsibility and vision of the Cultural, Social, Sports and Leisure Administration of the Jerusalem Municipality is to transform the city of Jerusalem into a vibrant metropolitan inspired by resourceful residents, with the aim of becoming a major destination, an international center for multi-cultural cutting-edge creativity, and a hub of social initiatives. The following are some of the Cultural Administration's main activities which have helped make the vision a reality:

- Outdoor events: In recent years, Jerusalem has become synonymous with large-scale international cultural events that attract many people – from Israel and around the world. Among these events are: the Festival of Light and the Sound of Jerusalem Festival, both in the Old City, and the ''Shaon Horef'' Winter Festival. These events provide an opportunity to discover the city's unique cultural heritage, impressive buildings and locals. In the short run, these events are a financial boom and attract tourists. Yet in addition to the events, there are significant opportunities for experiencing the city's public spaces, which promote local pride while attracting businesses and other activities.

- Developing the center of town as a focal point of culture and business – the center of Jerusalem is a meeting point for a variety of communities in the city, and therefore, it is culturally unique. As a significant commercial area, there is also a colorful vibrant space which enables the flow of innovative and creative energies to all parts of the city. We are consolidating the interface between culture and business in the center of town – trying to have all art schools located in the city, establishing new cultural institutions, running art markets at all hours, improving the physical infrastructure, and bridging between artists and the public space, revitalizing small businesses through innumerable small and creative cultural events.

- Development of entertainment, culture, and sports throughout the city – other neighborhoods also benefit from a range of new recreation areas. Among them are: Cinema City, the First Station, the Sherover Yes Planet which opened in the summer of 2015. Worthy of mention is the Sports City complex developing in the southern part of Jerusalem, with Teddy Stadium, the Jerusalem Tennis Center, and the recently opened Arena (with 15,000 places for sports events and performances). Plans are underway for an Olympic-size pool for international swimming and water-related activities. Sports City has attracted in recent years international sports events – with more to come. The sports complex is enveloped by a green belt stretching from the Train Track Park through the Gazelle Valley Urban Wildlife Park, Sacher Park, reaching the Jerusalem Park – the largest metropolitan park in Israel surrounding the entire city.

- Development of cultural institutions in the city – the older and newer cultural venues of the city are the heart and soul of Jerusalem's culture life throughout the year. Their development means a significant cultural growth which effects each and every resident. Since 2008 the budget for Jerusalem's cultural venues has increased nearly threefold, and is now a record 28.5 million shekels. In addition, many collaborations between the cultural centers and the Municipality, as well as between other institutions bring about innovative cultural initiatives.

Jerusalem is undergoing a cultural revolution, and is slowly but surely becoming an international capital of culture. Renewal of the city and improvement of quality of life are closely connected to the cultural scene. Therefore, we continue to empower and enrich Jerusalem's cultural life and recreation for the benefit of all residents.

Culture and Leisure Administration
Jerusalem Municipality