Welcome to the Most Fabulous Place on Earth!

It was definitely the fruit. Or perhaps the veggies. Or was it the cheese?

It was probably all of these and more – an array of colors and smells had me swooning even before I heard the guy at the watermelon stand yell, “avatiach!” loud enough for the residents of Egypt to know that if they didn’t buy one of his bulging melons today, they’d be missing out on the deal of the century. But the love affair with the Machane Yehudah Market (shuk) in Jerusalem was clinched for me on a cool winter day in 2003. I’d made Aliyah only months before and had just decided to tie the knot with Dave. I walked into the spice store in the shuk and told the French-Tunisian vendor that we were engaged. “Mazal Tov,” he said, “you have to hire my wife. She’ll do your hair! She’s fantastic!” And she did, in the end, do my hair. She was fantastic, as promised.

You’ll never hear the guys in an American supermarket yell out the latest tomato deals, but you’ll also never get to know them well enough for them to ask you how your son has been or tell you that your favorite fish is on sale today. And that’s what I adore about Shuk Mahane Yehudah, my local market and meeting place. I’ve been buying from the same stands since 2001, and can’t imagine my life without the color, the bustle, and the sweetness of the people there. Each vendor has a story to tell about his family’s journey to the Holy Land and how they came to open a shop in this crazy cornucopia of stalls.

Many of them live in my neighborhood, Nachlaot. Only a minute walk from the Shuk, Nachlaot is surprisingly quiet and serene. Every alleyway, nook, and cranny is filled with flowers, old ladies offering blessings, and a mix of antique and modern architecture.

“Chana transports you to a world of exotic flavors steeped in Jerusalem local daily life, awakening your senses to a place you’ll not forget. She guides you through the magical labyrinth of Machane Yehudah market, opening doors to tucked away artisans, crafted cheeses, and fine spices.”

C. B. New York

Each stone seems to be whispering a story of the first settlers of New Jerusalem, the artists and students who live here, and the future development of our people. And for a storyteller like myself, this place is a goldmine. I love collecting the stories of the Jews from each corner of the world who have heeded the call to come home, some by foot, some on eagle’s wings. Their stories are a testament to the resilience, creativity, and fortitude of our people.

As a storyteller, I offer experiential walks through Nachlaot, Shuk Machane Yehudah, or both. You’ll get to meet the amazing people that have planted their feet here, taste from their delicacies, and relish in their amazing stories. Whether you are coming with a small family or a large group, I invite you to be in touch with me to plan an experience to remember!

“A tour of the Shuk, with the vibrant and engaging Chana Mason, will change the way you view Jerusalem and its people in the most positive way! She introduces you to some of the best kept secrets in the maze of shops known as Machene Yehuda. Not only will you meet incredible shop owners and sample some of their food, you’ll also catch a taste of her enthusiasm for the Land of Israel that may just ignite a longing in your own heart to return!”

S.K. Albany, NY

I can be reached via:

Email: ChanaMason@gmail.com

Mobile Phone: +972-54-657-1650

American Phone: 1-860-263-9193

You can also use the Contact Form to the right. Drop me a line with questions, comments, or inquiries. Positive feedback is especially welcome!

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