Jerusalem, Israel
Jenna, 32
Art Entrepreneur at CAIJ
see her Jerusalem city guide

a bit about Jenna

What do you do and why do you do it?

I run a website and social media platform that focuses on Jerusalem’s contemporary art scene called CAIJ (CAIJ.co) and organize contemporary art gallery tours in the city. I love it. I’ve always thought that art is the best way to connect to ideas, people, and culture. I love learning about the art that’s being created in Jerusalem and sharing this information with other people. Most people don’t know that there is an active contemporary art scene here, so it’s been pretty amazing to show off another side to my city!

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?

A telemarketing job I had for about a month while I was in college. The job consisted of hours upon hours of people hanging up on me!

Were you born and raised in Jerusalem?

Nope, I was born and raised in Long Beach, New York! Honestly, I came to Jerusalem in search of spirituality.

What’s your current hood in Jerusalem and what’s the best/worst thing about it?

A sweet neighborhood called Rechavia. The best things about Rechavia are that it’s central & quite diverse – and beautiful – there’s a lot of greenery which is a nice change in the city. Worst part? Can’t think of anything!

What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?

Mostly I listen to classic rock and pop. You’ll probably never find me listening to country music.

You’re broken hearted – what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

LOL, I have this down! 1. Fiona Apple “Paper Bag”, 2. Fiona Apple “Extraordinary Machine”… basically anything Fiona Apple ;). 3. Betty Davis “Nasty Gal” 4. Ani DiFranco “Untouchable Face”…more of the same…#girlpower.

Name the best TV shows of all time.

Sex and the City! It’s just a funny, clever show and brings light to the crazy and often depressing world of modern sex and dating. From a feminist perspective, I think there are a lot of flaws in the material – but, it’s fiction, and come on…who doesn’t love Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte – they’re fabulous! And Curb Your Enthusiasm because just looking at Larry David’s face is enough to make you laugh hysterically.

Name some spots in Jerusalem that are good for a Tinder date.

Oh, I freaking hate dating apps. I don’t know if I should even entertain this question. OK, a good *first* date would be Zuta Bar, because they have really great cocktails and appetizers. It’s the kind of place where you can sit and have a good conversation without a lot of distraction.

Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”?

Brad Pitt.

Who’s your hero and where in Jerusalem would you take them out for a serious hang?

My paternal grandfather, Sam Romano who lives in New York. I’d take him on one of my gallery tours! Anytime he sees pictures of me working, he’ll email or call just to tell me how much he wishes he could join. I know he’d appreciate it and he’s so proud!

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Why, thank you. Most of the pieces in my closet are from second hand shops – in Jerusalem, my go-to is Trumpledore. And whenever I want to treat myself to a new piece I usually check out unique boutiques like Sofia (all Israeli designers) & Rive Gauche (European designers). For basics, I go to The Gap. Lastly, I’m a fan of shopping in my friends’ closets.

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Shopping for clothes on Yafo St.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Walking without a purpose.

Where do you go in Jerusalem for a casual night out?

Bars like Casino de Paris, Sira, TiPa, or Shechina.

Where would you go in Jerusalem to celebrate some freaking good news?

I’d treat myself to a massage at the David Citadel and hang out by the pool allllll day!

What’s your choice of transportation in Jerusalem and why?

I walk everywhere. It doesn’t matter the distance as long as I have the time. Walking with my headphones through the entertaining Jerusalem streets is so enjoyable for me. Also, it’s hard for me to rely on Jerusalem’s public transportation (insider tip), I like to know exactly when I will arrive somewhere (which is generally 10 minutes after the scheduled time, hehe).

What are the Jerusalem spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

The Old City, Shuk Mahane Yehuda & Israel Museum.

What are the Jerusalem spots tourists should run from screaming?

Run away from the Shuk Mahane Yehuda (outdoor market) on a Friday morning! It’s become very popular for tourists to go there on Fridays because people understandably want to experience the pre-Shabbat hustle, but trust me, it gets so uncomfortably crowded. The Shuk is wayyy more charming any other day of the week (except Saturdays, when it’s closed).

Tomorrow’s your last day in Jerusalem. How do you spend it?

Awww :(. I’d wake up early, have one last coffee on my rooftop and take in the view. Then I’d go on a nice long walk in the Valley of The Cross, and continue to the Israel Museum where I’d have a glass of wine in the cafe and spend a few hours walking around the galleries. Next, I’d go to a cafe like Tmol Shilshom and get very emotional and poetic, and write about my love affair with Jerusalem while I’m still here in the city. Lastly, I’d have a goodbye party with all my Jerusalem homies somewhere in the Shuk!

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Whenever I have a break, I enjoy going back to New York to visit my family and oldest friends. So when I do travel outside of Israel or New York, it’s precious and I always go somewhere new. I really love Europe, but actually the last trip I had outside of New York was to Peru. I was amazed at the beautiful culture and arts scene in Cusco, and had so much fun adventuring in the Jungle and the mountains! Such a beautiful country full of adventure.

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