Brian Blum
December 21, 2017, Updated December 28, 2023

Every December, freshly cut trees are made available in heavily Christian areas of Israel for Christmas celebrations.

This month, Keren Kayemeth L’Israel – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) will sell Arizona cypresses to members of Galilee Christian communities from its sites in Shfaram, Moshav Beit Lehem HaGlilit and the KKL-JNF office in Nazareth. The trees, selling for ₪80, have been grown to a height of 1.5 to 1.8 meters.

An Israeli Christian family with the tree they chose. Photo by Mira Zar/KKL-JNF

Jerusalem is continuing its annual tradition of distributing complementary Christmas trees to residents in advance of the holiday. This year’s distribution will take place on the morning of December 21 at the Jaffa Gate Plaza.

Jerusalem goes all out in marking Christmas in those neighborhoods in which the holiday is celebrated. Festive lighting and flags have been hung in the Old City’s Christian Quarter, in Beit Hanina, and in the main thoroughfares for pilgrims, such as Mar-Elias Road.

The city has beefed up rounds by municipal cleaning and landscaping crews in areas around the main churches. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will lead a tour of the city’s major churches later this month. As part of this annual event, Barkat meets with Christian leaders to discuss issues and opportunities of interest for the city’s Christian community.

Other programs adding Christmas cheer include the Municipal Licensing Department accelerating approvals in the Old City and providing assistance for holiday fairs and celebrations in the Christian Quarter. Finally, the city is working closely with the police to make sure that Christmas visitors to Jerusalem will find easier parking with smoother traffic.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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