Mar 27, 2012
The Haredi "Consul" Rabbi Matityahu Cheshin invited Ambassador Shapiro and his wife, Ms. Julie Fisher, for an insightful tour of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Meah She'arim, one of the oldest Jewish communities in Jerusalem. During the tour the Ambassador and his wife were able to witness the hustle and bustle of pre-Passover preparations.
The tour included a rooftop view from the great Synagogue of Breslov, a walking tour of the Batei Ungarim (Hungarian houses), and a visit to a Passover lesson at a local elementary school. Ever wondered where Matzo comes from? At a local Matzo bakery, the Ambassador himself had a chance to hand grind some of the meal and to witness the thin dough shuffled in and out of the oven.
The tour proceeded to the famous Challah bakery of Lendner, where the Ambassador and Ms. Fisher plucked challah out of the oven to discover that they spelled out "U.S.A." We concluded the tour at the great synagogue of Belz, a centerpiece of the Belzer Hasidim community, which can seat 6,000 in its main sanctuary.