Living in Jerusalem with Kids

Living in Jerusalem with Kids
As an olah from the US with three children ranging in ages from 4–11, I can say first hand that Jerusalem is a wonderful place to live with kids. Israeli society in general is very “kid focused,” and in Jerusalem, in particular, there are a variety of events, activities, and resources for kids in Hebrew as well as in English. The Jerusalem calendar is filled with cultural events, outdoor activities, and festivals. In Jerusalem your kids will meet other kids from all over the world.

In Israel, kids have the opportunity to attend excellent ganim (preschools) from a very early age; and the after-school activity options (''hugim'') are plentiful. This year alone there are a variety of hugim in different Jerusalem neighborhoods including dance, yoga, martial arts, robotics, CreativEnglish, music and band classes, chess, model airplane building ....just to name a few.

When you move to a new community in Jerusalem with your kids, the first place to stop is the local community center known as the mercaz tarbut or matnas. These centers have hugim, community resources, and activities throughout the year. Being in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, you can also benefit from the many museums, theaters, and festivals year-round.

Sometimes even locals want to feel like tourists. Take the time during school vacation or in the late afternoon to join a cooking workshop in the shuk, or solve the Jerusalem Puzzle Quest, enjoy a Biblical Bread Workshop or a Mandala Art Workshop. Find your courage at the Ammunition Hill Ropes Course or walk through the Water Tunnels in Ir David.

New Jerusalem hot spots for families include Cinema City where you can enjoy a kids VIP Movie and buffet dinner, or the First Station where you can find live entertainment and great restaurants. If you are a sports fan, then make sure to get season’s tickets to Hapoel Jerusalem, the national basketball champions, when they play at the new Arena.

If you prefer nature, then make sure to check out one of the many Activity Parks along the Park Hamesila. It’s a great path to walk on or to bike down. There is something for everyone in Jerusalem.

Growing up in Jerusalem is a true privilege and a fabulous experience.
Joanna Shebson

Joanna Shebson is the Founder and FUN Expert at Fun In Jerusalem ( She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three kids and loves to inspire family fun. You can reach her at