East Jerusalem Buses

east jerusalem buses

There’s often quite a bit of confusion around East Jerusalem buses, their routes, and their timetables, but we’re here to clear that up. The top three reasons you’ll want to hop on these bus lines are:

  1. To travel on the Jewish holidays or Sabbath (‘Shabbat’) when most public transportation is not in operation.
  2. You can still pay your fare in cash(!).
  3. To get to a neighborhood in East Jerusalem, of course!

Where They Go

Well, it’s rather apparent, but these bus routes go to East Jerusalem neighborhoods. In addition, you can take a bus line from Damascus Gate to Ramallah, Bethlehem, or to connections for Hebron, Jericho, Nablus, Tulkarem, et al.

When They Operate

Most of the bus lines operating through East Jerusalem work seven days a week, 365 days a year – yes, including Shabbat and Yom Kippur (but on the latter, they adjust routes to avoid predominantly Jewish-populated areas of the city). You’ll find that the buses run early in the morning to late in the evening, typically between 5:30 am to 10:30 pm. There is often an extended night schedule during the month of Ramadan.

How to Use The Bus

Payment can be made on the bus in cash (5.5 shekels – change is available for smaller amounts) or by using a national transit pass, known as a ‘Rav Kav’, and scanning it upon entry. There is no option to scan a QR code or pay by an app at the time of publishing (August 2022). If you’re using a Rav Kav, you can easily transfer between any bus and the light rail. If you paid cash, keep your receipt as proof of purchase –  you can typically use this up to 90 minutes from when you first started your trip to transfer to other East Jerusalem buses only.

Riding the bus can be a different experience depending on the day, time, route, and destination. Generally, you’ll find it common for men to give up their seats (without being asked) for women, and young adults will give up their seats for elders. Although there is no particular dress code, it is best to dress at least somewhat modestly (say, avoid crop tops and shorts). Speaking of modesty, exhibiting respectful behavior (not speaking loudly, for example) will benefit you.

Knowing when to get off – pay attention to the automated system in the bus, which will typically announce stops. If there is none (or it’s hard to hear/understand), follow along live with a mobile app like Moovit.

Getting off at your stop can be done by pushing a button. On some buses, you’ll push the button on the side of one of many vertical poles within the bus. On others, look directly above your seat – they’ll typically be yellow in color or the biggest button.

East Jerusalem Bus Lines

These bus lines originate from one of three clusters between Damascus Gate and Salah a-Din street in Jerusalem, all of which informally form an expanded area colloquially known as the ‘East Jerusalem Central Bus Station.’

east jerusalem bus stations

201 – Issawiya

The 201 Jerusalem bus line goes through Sheikh Jarrah, Mount Scopus, French Hill, and ends in Issawiya.

Key Points of Interest:

  • St. Joseph Hospital
  • Hebrew University
  • Hadassah Mt. Scopus (a.k.a. Hadassah Issawiya)
  • Hebrew University dormitories
  • Araba’in Mosque
  • Issawiya football field

203 – Sur Baher

The 203 bus line passes Abu Tor, through Jabal Mukaber, Sur Baher, and Umm Tuba.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Cinematheque
  • Haas Promenade
  • Gazil Junction
  • Al-Madinah al-Munawwarah

204 – Muntar

The 204 bus line goes past Abu Tor, Armon Hanatziv, East Talpiyot, and through Jabal Mukaber to Muntar.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Cinematheque
  • Haas Promenade
  • Abu Hamid Jazali School

205 – Jabal Mukaber

The 205 bus line passes Ras al Amud to Jabal Mukaber and Al-Sawahra al-Gharbiyye.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Mount of Olives
  • Sheikh Sa’ad
  • Zala’a School

206 – Jabal Mukaber

The 206 bus line passes Ras al Amud to Jabal Mukaber and Al-Sawahra al-Gharbiyye. It takes a similar route to that of the 205 bus.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Mount of Olives
  • Sheikh Sa’ad
  • Zala’a School

207 – Shuafat Refugee Camp

The 207 bus goes through Sheikh Jarrah, passes French Hill, goes through part of Shuafat, and ends up in the Shuafat Refugee Camp.

Key Points of Interest:

  • St. John and St. Joseph Hospitals
  • Givat Hamivtar Light Rail Station
  • Anata Checkpoint
  • Shuafat Terminal

218 – Ramallah

The 218 is an express bus from Damascus Gate to Ramallah. It goes through Sheikh Jarrah, passes by Beit Hanina, Pisgat Zeev, Neve Yaakov, Kafr Aqab, and Qalandiya.

Key Points of Interest:

  • St. John Hospital
  • Helen Keller School
  • Dahiat al Barid
  • Bir Nabala Junction
  • Kafr Aqab school
  • Qalandiya checkpoint
  • Atarot
  • Ramallah terminal

226 – A-Tur

The 226 passes by Wadi Joz and goes through At-Tur.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Red Crescent Hospital for Women
  • Brigham Young University (a.k.a. The Mormon University)
  • A-Tur Junction
  • HaZeitim Junction
  • Zaitoun Checkpoint

231 – Beit Jala

The 231 passes by Abu Tor, Talpiyot, Beit Safafa, and through Beit Jala and Bethlehem.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Cinematheque
  • Bank Junction (Tzomet Habankim)
  • Tunnel Checkpoint
  • Al-Khader Church
  • Beit Jala Checkpoint

232 – Beit Safafa

The 232 passes by Abu Tor and Talpiyot, and goes throughout Beit Safafa.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Cinematheque
  • Bank Junction (Tzomet Habankim)
  • Beit Safafa High School
  • Mosque Square
  • Beit Safafa Primary School

234 – Bethlehem

The 234 passes by Abu Tor, Talpiyot, Beit Safafa, and ends at Checkpoint 300.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Cinematheque
  • Bank Junction (Tzomet Habankim)
  • Checkpoint 300 (Bethlehem)
  • Rachel’s Tomb

236 – Ras al Amud

Key Points of Interest:

  • Mount of Olives
  • Shbiba School
  • Volcan College
  • Ras al Amud Square

246 – Atarot

The 246 is a route that goes between Qalandiya Checkpoint and the Atarot Industrial area.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Qaladia Checkpoint
  • Atarot Mall
  • Industrial Zone

254 – Anata

The 254 passes through Sheikh Jarrah, Shuafat, and Anata.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Givat Hatahmoshet Light Rail Station
  • Givat Hamivtar Light Rail Station
  • Al Hayat Medical Center
  • Anata Checkpoint
  • Khaled bin al Waleed Mosque

255 – A-Tor

The 255 passes through Sawana and A-Tor.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Church of Ascension
  • Makassed Hospital
  • Mormon University (BYU)
  • Hilal Hospital

256 – Silwan

The 256 passes by Ras al Amud and through Silwan.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Ras al Amud
  • Salach Intersection

257 – Ras Al Amoud

Key Points of Interest:

  • Mount of Olives
  • Ras al Amud Square

263 – Abu Dis

The 263 passes through Wadi Joz, Izariya, and Abu Dis.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Ministry of Interior
  • Abu Dis University

273 – Ramallah

The 273 goes through Sheikh Jarrah, then straight on to Beit Hanina and then Qalandiya and on to Ramallah.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Saint Joseph and Saint John Hospitals
  • Talat Hizma
  • Baladi Mall
  • Atarot
  • Qalandiya Checkpoint

274 – Ramallah

The 274 goes through Sheikh Jarrah, Shuafat, Beit Hanina, Qalandiya.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Saint Joseph and Saint John Hospitals
  • Beit Hanina Light Rail Station
  • Baladi Mall
  • Atarot
  • Qalandiya Checkpoint

275 – At-Tur

Key Points of Interest:

  • Hilal Hospital
  • Mormon University
  • Augusta Victoria
  • Makassed Hospital
  • Church of the Ascension

276 – Abu Tor

The 276 is a bus route that primarily goes through Abu Tor/A-Thuri, passing through Silwan along the way.

Key Points of Interest:

  • Cinematheque
  • Ahmad Samih Khalid School
  • City of David

285 – A-Zaim

The 285 goes through At-Tur and A-Zaim.

Key points of interest:

  • Brigham Young University
  • Hilal Hospital
  • A Zaim Checkpoint

286 – Abu Tor

The 286 goes around the Old City, as well as through parts of Silwan and Abu Tor (A-Thuri).

Key points of interest:

  • Herod’s Gate
  • Lion’s Gate
  • Dung Gate
  • Jaffa Gate
  • Cinematheque

287 – Wadi Joz

The 287 is a bus line that primarily acts as a shuttle through Wadi Joz.

  • Ministry of Interior
  • Al-Muqadasi

Looking to get to the airport? Check here for transportation to Ben Gurion Airport.

Coronavirus Lockdown in Israel: WTF?

Coronavirus Lockdown in Israel: WTF?

Nearly one million people have died around the world from Covid-19, and Israel’s death count is quickly closing in on 1,500 grandparents, parents, and children who have passed away due to complications stemming from the coronavirus.

Daily Coronavirus deaths in Israel

source: Google

When the pandemic showed itself to be a globetrotter, Israel was one of the first countries outside of China to clamp down on its residents, in efforts to stop the virus in its tracks. It began as a beacon of light and an example unto the nations on the effectiveness of lockdown and strict measures could be the best way to keep citizens safe. However, that glow of success quickly faded away from a bright, guiding light and turned red.

Enough people thought that because the country reopened following the first lockdown that the risk of the virus was over or not as serious as initially thought. Well, that mindset is what has led us into a second lockdown.

The demonstrable science is simple: wear a mask, wash your hands, socially distance, and we’ll be good in a shorter amount of time than without those measures. If only we actually knew what life would be like if people lived by science.

Here are the lockdown rules this time around (from the Ministry of Health guidelines):

Regulations for the Holiday Closure

Regulations for the Lockdown in Israel

source: Ministry of Health

Restrictions on Commercial, Recreation, and Leisure Activities

Business Closed to the Public:

  • Retail, except essential stores (see below)
  • Pools
  • Gyms
  • Salons, barbershops, beauty parlors
  • Farmers Markets (Shuk)
  • Fairs
  • Hotels and guesthouses (including AirBnB) are closed to vacationers
  • Other places of recreational and leisure activities
  • Businesses who are typically open to receiving the general public

Lockdown Exceptions (Businesses Allowed to Stay Open):

  • Essential stores (grocery, optical, pharmacies, household maintenance, electrical appliances, laundromats, communications, and device repair services)
  • Places used only for practice by professional athletes
  • Businesses that sell religious supplies for the Sukkot (Feast of the Tabernacles) holiday
Coronavirus Rules Israel

source: Ministry of Health

Limitations on Visits

  • It is forbidden to visit the residence of others (except in the permitted cases, such as fixing an urgent issue or helping someone in need)
  • It is forbidden to go to the beach, except for the purpose of permitted sport activities (including one person or persons living together swimming, and those who can reach the beach without using a car)

Rules of Conduct in Public Spaces

  • Gatherings of up to 20 people outdoors or 10 people indoors, in the case of immediate family only
  • Prayer – in accordance with the 1000 meter distance limitation. It is not permitted to pray with another person (whom you do not live with) indoors.
  • Prayer services may only be held outdoors, with up to 20 total participants.
  • Maintain a distance of 2 meters between people.
  • In vehicles, up to 3 people may travel together (unless they all live together, in which case it can be more). One additional passenger is allowed per each additional rear row of seats.
Coronavirus Lockdown Rules Israel

source: Ministry of Health

What is allowed beyond 1 kilometer from your residence?

  • Travel to work for essential workers and soldiers.
  • Procurement of medicines, food, and essential products or services.
  • Provision of aid of a person in need
  • Reception of medical, psychological, alternative medicine, social, and welfare treatments (1 patient at a time).
  • Travel to the Knesset (parliament), judicial proceedings, and blood donations
  • Exercise (alone or those who live together) that doesn’t require travel in a car
  • Participation in a funeral or circumcision
  • Arrival of a woman at a religious ritual bath (mikvah)
  • Critical treatment for animals
  • Transfer of a minor between parents who do not live together
  • Transfer of a minor to a guardian/caregiver when a single parent leaves for an essential purpose
  • Travel to permitted educational activities (special education, children of essential workers)
  • Travel of residents of welfare facilities or people with disabilities to visit immediate family, or for immediate family to visit them
  • Moving residence
  • Flights/public transit in accordance with published regulations

What’s the Status of Covid-19 in Israel?

According to statistics presented on data.gov.il, 10.4% of all SARS-CoV-19 tests conducted between August 15th and September 24th, 2020, were positive for the virus.

Of those tested, 88% of results confirming coronavirus infection were in people under the age of 60 years old.

Among males and females who tested positively, the divide was nearly equally, with men accounting for 50.5% of positive tests, compared to women accounting for 49.2%, while 0.3% of positive tests indicated ‘null’ for gender.

35.8% contracted the virus from a known infected carrier, while a mere 0.4% contracted the virus after returning from abroad.

Symptoms included in the dataset were:

  • Cough 15.1%
  • Fever 19.2%
  • Shortness of Breath 2.5%
  • Sore Throat 8%
  • Headache 16.2%
  • None of the Above Symptoms 63.8%
  • All of the Above Symptoms 0.2%

According to a Haaretz report published on July 13, 2020, Dr. Amir Onn, the pulmonology oncology chief at Sheba Medical Center, “said that with most infectious diseases, recovered patients can soon resume a normal life, but with COVID-19, the lingering symptoms tend to be more significant.” Just because you made it through, it doesn’t mean it’s over. In the same report, they spoke with ‘recovered’ patients of Coronavirus, including:

Niv Dashat of Tel Aviv, 27, also lists a host of symptoms she still experiences since officially recovering in April. “I still get a rapid pulse,” she says. “My sense of smell isn’t back to normal, and sometimes I feel dizziness even when I’m resting, along with unexplained fatigue.” Dashat, who is training to become a Pilates instructor, says she was in excellent physical condition before she became ill. “Today when I run it’s very hard for me to breathe,” she says. “I’ve also experienced drops in blood pressure. I absolutely don’t feel the same as I was before.”

Sidebar Some food for thought: The World’s poorest-performing countries when it comes to the Pandemic are led by right-wing populists and “self-centered authoritarians.” (Haaretz)

What’s the Status of Covid-19 in Palestine?

The Palestinian Authority governing body was quick to shut down schools and parks at the beginning of the pandemic. They had a number of cases in Bethlehem initially, and were swift in putting the towns with a cluster of cases under lockdown. Nonetheless, Palestine has seen a growth in cases over the latter half of the summer season, just like Israel.

Based upon reported infections and currently available data, Palestine currently has an approximate Coronavirus infection rate of 0.95%, while Israel currently has an approximate Coronavirus infection rate of 2.6% of the overall population.

daily covid cases palestine

source: Google

The deaths per cases rate for Palestine, according to the latest available data, currently stands at 0.67%, with the current death count at 322. This is compared to Israel’s 1,466 deaths, but very similar 0.64% morbidity.

daily covid deaths palestine

source: Google

The United Nations published the following infographic on September 3rd, 2020:

The vast majority of Coronavirus cases in Palestine are located in the Hebron area, according the the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health. People under the age of 30 account for 45.9% of Covid-19 positive test results in territory under Palestinian control.

Have a happy harvest festival season and healthy, safe lockdown. Don’t forget to wear your masks and socially distance!

 

Primary & Secondary English Language Schools in Israel

Primary & Secondary English Language Schools in Israel

English Schools in Israel

Finding the right school as an expat can genuinely make or break your child’s academic experience. Most schools in Israel either teach in Hebrew or Arabic. However, there are a few schools throughout the country that do provide instruction in the English language. If you’re looking for English schools in Israel – whether it’s an elementary school, middle school or junior high, or high school experience, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of those institutes. These are all full-time programs whose primary language of instruction is English, whether American or British. If I missed one, let me know in the comments section below!

English Schools in Israel

Givat Haviva International School

Location: Givat Haviva (East of Hadera)
Grades: 11-12
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Accreditation: International Baccalaureate Organization
Religious Affiliation: unaffiliated
Starting Tuition: $25,000 USD
Financial Aid: Available
Coed/Boys Only/Girls Only: Coed
On-Campus Boarding Availability: Yes
Google rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Is it possible to have a genuinely pluralistic and integrated school that addresses the local dynamic while providing quality education? Absolutely! Givat Haviva fosters a Shared Society environment, where the students are intentionally made up of equal parts Palestinian, Israel, and international backgrounds. One of the best things about this school is that they openly state that no qualified, admitted student will be turned away due to an inability to pay for tuition. They actively seek donations to cover the expenses of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Walworth Barbour American International School

Location: Even Yehuda (Adjacent to Netanya)
Grades: K-12
Curriculum: U.S. Standard
Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Religious Affiliation: unaffiliated
Starting Tuition: 61,400 NIS
Financial Aid: Available
Coed/Boys Only/Girls Only: Coed
On-Campus Boarding Availability: Yes
Google rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

English Schools in the Tel Aviv Area

Eastern Mediterranean International School

Location: Kfar Yarok (Tel Aviv adjacent)
Grades: 10-12
Curriculum: International Baccalaureate
Accreditation: International Baccalaureate Organisation
Religious Affiliation: unaffiliated
Starting Tuition: $32,000 USD
Financial Aid: Available
Coed/Boys Only/Girls Only: Coed
On-Campus Boarding Availability: Yes
Google rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

King Solomon School

Location: Kfar Yarok (Tel Aviv adjacent)
Grades: Preschool-12
Curriculum: U.K. Standard & Israeli Standard
Accreditation: Israeli Ministry of Education
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
Starting Tuition: 60,000 NIS
Financial Aid: Available
Coed/Boys Only/Girls Only: Coed
On-Campus Boarding Availability: No
Google rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Tabeetha School 

Location: Jaffa
Grades: K-12
Curriculum: U.K. Standard
Religious Affiliation: Church of Scotland
Starting Tuition: 14,000 NIS
Financial Aid: Contact the school
Application Fee: Contact the school
Coed/Boys Only/Girls Only: Coed
On-Campus Boarding Availability: No
Google rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Employee rating (Glassdoor): 3 out of 5 stars

TreeHouse International School

Location: Herzliya Pituach
Grades: Preschool-12
Curriculum: U.S. Standard
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Religious Affiliation: unaffiliated
Starting Tuition: 82,000 NIS
Financial Aid: Contact the school
Coed/Boys Only/Girls Only: Coed
On-Campus Boarding Availability: No
Google rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Employee rating (Glassdoor): 2.2 out of 5 stars

English Schools in Jerusalem

Anglican International School Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem (Center)
Grades: K-12
Curriculum: UK Curriculum, International Primary Curriculum, International Baccalaureate
Accreditation: Middle States Association, International Baccalaureate Program, and Council of British International Schools
Religious Affiliation
: Anglican Church
Starting Tuition: 62,600 NIS
Financial Aid: Contact the school
Coed/Boys Only/Girls Only: Coed
On-Campus Boarding Availability: No
Google rating: 3.4 out of 5 stars

Jerusalem American International School

Location: Jerusalem (South)
Grades: Preschool-9
Curriculum: U.S. Standard
Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Religious Affiliation: unaffiliated
Starting Tuition: 46,350 NIS
Financial Aid: Available
Coed/Boys Only/Girls Only: Coed
On-Campus Boarding Availability: Yes
Google rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Jerusalem American School

Location: Jerusalem (North, Beit Hanina)
Grades: Preschool-12
Curriculum: U.S. Standard
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA)
Religious Affiliation: unaffiliated
Starting Tuition: Contact the school
Financial Aid: Contact the school
Coed/Boys Only/Girls Only: Coed
On-Campus Boarding Availability: No
Google rating: 3.4 out of 5 stars