Oct 11, 2018
Sukkos in Jerusalem Wasn't Pricey
This was pricey: The Sukkah at The David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem

100,000 foreigners spent Sukkos in Jerusalem - a luxury that isn't just for the rich thanks to low-cost flights and apartment rentals.


The sheer cost of spending Sukkos in Jerusalem limited the experience to the more affluent in years past. When one added up the costs of airfare and hotel, especially for a large family, it certainly was reserved for those who could afford it.

But in the just concluded holiday, it seems that the experience went well beyond the well-heeled.

For one, airfares, especially when booked well in advance were extremely competitive. Thousands of Jews flew on such carriers as Turkish Air, Lot and Aeroflot, despite stopovers in their respective capitals.

Large numbers of apartments were rented out by Israelis and foreigners who either traveled themselves or simply coveted the extra income that for some took care of a good chunk of their rent.

I heard some wild estimates about the number of foreigners who traveled to Israel with one figure putting the number at well over 100,000. The foreign presence on the streets of Jerusalem was palatable and in neighborhoods like Rehavia, Arzei Habirah, and Sharei Chesed, you could hear more English than Hebrew.

In Sharei Chesedís Khal Chasidim even the expanded shul and additional minyanim could not accommodate the throngs.

It almost appeared if the ingathering of Jews prophesized in the Torah was on display as Jews from South America, all corners of Europe and Australia were everywhere. French Jews were noticeably present.

But none was more dominant than Americans from throughout the USA, including large numbers from New York and Los Angeles.

Some other trends that deserved mention are the growing number of foreigners who are buying apartments in the Holy City. Most hotels were filled to capacity but even some wealthy Jews complained about the hefty prices for rooms and meals, particularly in luxury hotels like the Waldorf Astoria, which for all its glamour still had some vacant rooms a week before Sukkos.

The unusually hot weather in Jerusalem caused some discomfort but for the most part, it was a very successful holiday season for the local economy and the foreigners. Perhaps one memorable line for me was an exchange between New Yorkers on Simchas Torah which ended with "see you in Miami soon."

VIDEO: Sukkos 2017 at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem

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Opinions and Comments
Not nice
I am bh financially comfortable but I feel that posting this so people who canít afford food for Yom tov can see what theyre missing is just distasteful. Donít pour salt on someoneís open wound. Hashem gives each of us our lot, but we should be more sensitive of those with less than ourselves.
(10/11/2018 8:51:34 PM)
To #1
I agree. Maybe if the people who went there this year stayed home next year and donated the money saved to helping those who are truly struggling to get by it would be more newsworthy.
(10/12/2018 4:32:59 AM)
Wasn't pricey?!?!
From what I saw, small apartments being rented out for about 10 days was about $5000. I don't spend that much on Sukkos in NY. Add to that the cost of tickets, a sukkah if there isn't one there, food, and other expenses. I am not sure what makes you think it isn't pricey, and that even the poor can afford.
Oh, and "cheap tickets this season were like $800. That's more thanI spend on sukkos expenses for each person individually
(10/12/2018 5:09:52 AM)
An edit
"The foreign presence on the streets of Jerusalem was palatable". . .palpable? That word would make more sense in this context.
(10/12/2018 9:17:24 AM)
This is from a publication that promotes travel and high end eats. What do you expect? It's 10%-20% cheaper than in previous years and taking a family of ? to Jerusalem is no longer "just for the well heeled anymore". And to top of, we add a reference to a nevua and walla Moshiach Tzeiten!
(10/12/2018 9:35:55 AM)
It.... Was definitely pricey
As someone who spends every sukkos in Jerusalem, I can tell you - it's very pricey.
The David Citadel charges $14,000 for a 2 week stay. I paid over $7,000 just for my apartment, not including my flight, meals, etc. Sukkos in Jerusalem for one person is at least $15,000, if not more. That's some people's annual salary.
Yes. It's costly. Don't make others feel bad by posting this - it's expensive and, as beautiful as it is, not something necessary to post to make those who cannot afford it feel bad.
(10/12/2018 9:46:28 AM)
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