In 2009, I had a chance to spend about a week with some family in Israel. Being ethnically Jewish, but not religious, this was a great chance to visit family and reconnect with a place I was both innately connected with and did not really know much about. I was staying with family in a suburb of Jerusalem called Ma’ale Adumim, located roughly half an hour west from Jerusalem. It was a strange feeling to be in this brand-new suburb, but walled (fenced, really) off from the surrounding area, and since we were technically in the West Bank, we had to go through a checkpoint every day when driving back to Jerusalem. Since my hosts were Jewish, we were let through, but I saw many Palestinians who lived in the West Bank but worked in Jerusalem stopped on the side of the road because they didn’t have the right permits, or for any number of other arbitrary reasons.
While there, I was fortunate to meet up with a friend of my relatives who led walking tours of the Old City in Jerusalem, so he and I spent several days exploring the Western Wall, Via Dolorosa, Zedekiah’s Cave, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and many other historical sites.
Here are a few photos from the trip.