December 22, 2016

A Jerusalem version of the beloved Monopoly game has piqued interest among board-game enthusiasts, with some of the world’s most talked-about landmarks and sites up for sale.

Toymaker Hasbro has teamed up with Israel’s KodKod toy company to market the newest version of the game. (Hasbro closed its Israeli office in 2004 and transferred its local business to KodKod.)

Monopoly was first commercially sold in 1935 in the United States, and has since been licensed in more than 103 countries.

The Jerusalem Monopoly game is in English and Hebrew. It was created with the tourist market in mind.

You won’t see Park Place, Reading Railroad and Baltic Avenue. Instead, the board is peppered with 28 landmarks including the Western Wall, the Biblical Zoo, Machane Yehuda market, Israel Museum, Mount Herzl and the Knesset.

“This is the first time there’s going to be a Monopoly game dedicated entirely to one city in Israel, and we want it to reflect the spirit of Jerusalem,” Eli Dagani, the CEO of Kodkod, which produces Monopoly games in Israel, told Ynet.

The Jerusalem edition comes ahead of the 50-year anniversary of the unification of the city.

Makers of the new version of this classic fast-dealing property-trading board game hope people will learn more about the city holy to three religions.

Some critics have already voiced concern that not enough Christian or Muslim sites are for sale on the board but Dagani said that KodKod tried its best to keep the game purely fun.

“The goal was to find sites that would not cause controversy,” he said. “The most important thing about the game is bringing people together. Every now and again we update the game, and it’s possible that in the future the board will be different.”

Chance and Community Chest cards reflect life in the Holy City. Photo: courtesy
Chance and Community Chest cards reflect life in the Holy City. Photo: courtesy

The Community Chest and Chance cards express a Jerusalem feeling. Among the cards you’ll find, “Donate M150 on your way to the Western Wall,” “Street is closed due to the Jerusalem Marathon, wait a turn,” and “In honor of your service for bridging between religions, collect M200.”

The Monopoly game comes in a variety of versions including Star Wars, Ultimate Banking, Monopoly Empire and a Princess edition.

Last year’s update to the Here & Now version – which includes international destinations – included Tel Aviv in the globetrotting fun.

The Jerusalem Monopoly game is currently available through online sales on the KodKod website at a cost of NIS 179. It is meant to hit toy stores in time for Hanukkah.

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