W. F. Albright Institute
of Archaeological Research
The Albright Institute serves as the primary research center in the region for American researchers in Near Eastern studies from prehistory to the early Islamic period. To facilitate their work, the Albright has an extensive research library, an archaeological laboratory, two drafting rooms, a common room for lectures and seminars, and storage space for artifacts. Living accommodations include five single and five double rooms in the hostel with shared facilities, a fully-equipped two-bedroom apartment with a study (Balcony Apartment), and one bedroom with private facilities, both overlooking the Institute courtyard as well as a fully-equipped two-bedroom Garden Apartment with a study. There is also a patio in the rear of the Institute grounds with a barbecue, which can be used by the residents.
Living at the Albright: 1) Upon Your Arrival; 2) Medical Insurance and Personal Injury Waiver; 3) Parking; 4) Items Provided by the Albright; 5) Cleaning of Residence Rooms; 6) Telephones; 7) Meals; 8) Guests; 9) Coffee and Tea; 10) Copy Machine; 11) Computers, Email, Fax and Wi-fi; 12) Mail; 13) Laundry; 14) Refrigerator; 15) Medical Emergencies; 16) Banks and Payment to the Albright; 17) Public Transportation; 18) Leisure.
General Information about Living in Jerusalem: 1) Passports and Visas: Arrival in Israel; 2) Steps to Secure a Student Visa from Abroad; 3) Airport and Security Proceedures; 4) Climate and Appropriate Clothing; 5) Immunizations and Health; 6) Cultural Adjustment; 7) Electrical Appliances; 8) Child Care and Schools for Children.
Note: All telephone numbers on this page are in Jerusalem, unless specified otherwise. When dialing from abroad add the prefix 972-2. If you call from other area codes inside Israel add just the prefix 02.
LIVING AT THE ALBRIGHT
1) Upon Your Arrival
For those entering Israel via Ben-Gurion Airport, transportation to Jerusalem is available from a taxi stand located outside the terminal. The cost is approximately $75. You can also take an inexpensive group/shared taxi (called a “sherut” in Hebrew), which costs approximately $18 per person and is available twenty-four hours a day. The “sherut” should take you directly to the Albright Institute. For your return trip to the airport, make reservations from the “sherut” (Nesher) cab company twenty-four hours in advance (tel. 625-3233). The “sherut” will pick you up at the Albright. If you arrive by sea, the best procedure is to take a bus or “sherut” to Tel Aviv. At the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv take another “sherut” to Jerusalem and ask the driver to take you to the Albright Institute. Should you arrive via the Allenby Bridge from Jordan, your “service” will drop you at the Damascus Gate. From there, you should take a cab to the Albright, which is about a five-minute drive. On arriving at the Albright Institute, collect your room keys from the Institute Manager's office on the ground floor of the main building. Should you plan to arrive after work hours or late at night, please notify the Institute Manager in advance of your arrival so that proper arrangements can be made. In case of an emergency, please contact the Director. Each resident is requested to fill out a resident's card, which will be given to you by the Institute Manager on your arrival. If you have any questions regarding day-to-day life at the Institute, feel free to speak to the Director, the Institute Manager, or the Assistant to the Director.
2) Medical Insurance and Personal Injury Waiver
All residents and appointees must have their own full-coverage medical insurance policy before taking up residence at the Albright. Those residents who have not signed a waiver of responsibility for personal injury, which is a condition of accepting an Albright Fellowship, will be required to do so at the beginning of their stay at the Albright.
A parking area is available in the rear of the main building. On entering the Institute grounds, follow the arrow to the right of the building. If you bring your own vehicle or rent a car and plan to park in the Institute lot, please notify the Institute Manager. If your car is rented from West Jerusalem, please ask that the company remove all stickers before you bring the car to East Jerusalem. If you leave the vehicle at the Institute while you are away on an extended field trip or vacation, you should leave your car keys, vehicle license and car insurance with the Institute Manager.
4) Items Provided by the Albright
Two sets of towels, bed linen, and washcloths are provided by the Institute to long-term residents, who are expected to wash these items themselves. A coin-operated washing machine and dryer are located in the basement of the kitchen building. Residents are asked to provide their own soap and toiletries.
5) Cleaning of Residence Rooms
Residence rooms are cleaned every 10 days.
A telephone (626-4379) for general use by the hostel residents is located at the front end of the hostel corridor. Each hostel room, as well as the apartments, is provided with a telephone for local calls, which is also part of an internal phone network.
For emergencies from abroad, relatives and friends can also call the Institute office (628-2131), or the Director's office (628-8956).
Breakfast (self-service) is available from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. seven days a week. For lunch, the kitchen is also available from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. seven days a week for those who wish to prepare their own food. The refrigerator for individual residents' food is located in the hostel. Dinner is served at 6:00 p.m. during the winter, 6:30 p.m. during the summer months, Monday through Saturday.
Here is a mouth-watering selection of Chef Hisham M'Farreh's dishes (Photos: Xiaoli Ouyang):
Guests may be invited to dinner at a cost of 70 shekels per person.
9) Coffee and Tea
Filter coffee and tea are available in the dining room throughout the day, and afternoon tea and cookies are served at 4:00 p.m.
10) Copy Machine
A xerox machine is available in the main office only during office hours. The cost for Appointees is 10 cents per copy for a quarto-sized and 15 cents for a folio-sized page. Each fellow will be given a private code number to activate the photocopier and will be billed at the end of each month.
11) Computers, E-Mail, Fax and Wi-fi
While most Fellows bring their own laptops, there are two PC computers and a scanner available to Fellows in the journal basement room. These are for general use, that is, for e-mail, word processing and scanning. These computers are equipped with 3.5" floppy disk drives and CD drives, re-writable CD burners and USB ports. Installed software includes Office XP Pro (Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint and Access), Adobe Photoshop 7 and Adobe Reader, and the Albright library OPAC. One of the computers is connected to a laser printer. Wireless (wi-fi) access to the Internet is available from many parts of the facility, including the hostel rooms, the library and the courtyard. All of the Albright computers and the server have an anti-virus program that is periodically updated.
Appointees who use their own software or files on Institute computers are expected to have up-to-date virus protection and should not download any software or other material onto the Institute's computer without first receiving permission. Fellows who use the Albright computers will be allotted a limited amount of space on the hard disk, but should bring their own media for storing files.
E-mail is available for Appointees either through a private account on the Albright server or through internet access to their home accounts. The cost for either of these, as well as for general use of Albright computers, is 70 shekels a month for shorter-term Fellows. For resident Fellows who bring their own laptops, each hostel room and apartment has a network connection that enables access to the library and to the internet. A 10 Base T Ethernet card is required for access to this service. The card should be installed in your computer prior to your arrival, to ensure compatibility. In addition to the charge for a private account on the Albright server/internet access to home accounts, the Albright charges a fee of 200 shekels an hour pro-rated according to the time the Albright's computer consultant spends configuring a Fellow's computer. Fellows can access e-mail on the shared PC computer in the periodicals room of the library.
The fax number of the Institute is 626-4424. Charges for use are as follows:
Incoming: $0.10 per page.
Outgoing: $1.00 per page.
Faxes may be sent Sunday-Friday during office hours.
Please ensure letters are addressed to you as follows: Your name, C/O W.F. Albright Institute, P.O.B. 19096, 91190 Jerusalem, Israel. If the zip code is not placed before the word “Jerusalem,” letters addressed to you may go astray. You should bring your own U.S. stamps with you so that you can take advantage of the occasional service by which this mail is given to friends of the Institute to post upon their return to the United States. The main post office is in West Jerusalem on Jaffa Road; the East Jerusalem branch is on Salah ed-Din Street (turn left at the Albright's main gate and walk 500 meters). Albright stationery is available to residents and may be purchased from the Institute Manager.
Books and printed matter shipped to Jerusalem are duty-free items, but you may be charged 16% VAT depending upon the clerk who processes your package. In the past, books and printed matter could be shipped at a lower cost with little risk of loss if they were sent as “direct sack mail” in M-bags and would usually enter the country without a VAT charge. Currently, this service may not be available. Please check with your local post office. If the service is available you should pack your books and printed material in paper cartons weighing less than 24 pounds each. Address the cartons to yourself at the Institute and write “Books – Postage Prepaid” or “Printed Matter – Postage Prepaid.” Each sack must weigh at least 30 but no more than 60 pounds. Address two tags to yourself at the Institute and tie them to the sack. No customs declaration form would be required as there is no duty on printed matter. Expect at least two months for delivery. Please do not mail your books more than six weeks before you leave for Jerusalem.
You will be charged duty and/or 16% VAT on radios, computers, cameras, film, tape recorders, slides, tapes, new clothing, cosmetics, and toiletries that are mailed. Boxes of clothing marked “Used Clothing – No Value” usually enter the country duty-free, although there is no guarantee. Postage expense and the two-month delivery time make it more practical to pay for an extra bag on the plane. You should allow up to two weeks for airmail to reach Jerusalem and to reach any destination from Jerusalem. Usually, airmail moves considerably faster than two weeks.
A washing machine and dryer are located in the room beneath the kitchen. The cost of the coin-operated washing machine is NIS 9 per load and of the dryer NIS 1 per 5 minutes. Please use the dryer only on wet days.
A refrigerator for the use of hostel residents is located at the head of the stairs on the second floor of the main building.
15) Medical Emergencies
In case of a medical emergency, notify the director and/or the Frerichs Fellow/Program Coordinator immediately. A vehicle is always available if someone needs to be taken to the hospital. The emergency room at Hadassah Hospital, one of the best medical facilities in the city, is located on Mt. Scopus, approximately a 7-minute ride from the Albright. In cases in which the person cannot be moved from the Albright premises, the Magen David Adom Emergency Service (101) should be called.
16) Banks and Payments to AIAR
Money can easily be changed at any bank in the country with your passport. There are several banks in the immediate neighborhood. Bank HaPoalim on el-Zahara Street, very close to the Institute, has a bank machine inside that accepts Visa cards and cards on the Plus and Cirrus system (you should know the numbers of your access code, as there are no letters on the keys). Also, the Mercantile-Discount Bank on Salah ed-Din Street, just around the corner from the Albright, has an ATM machine. You may pay bills at the Albright in U.S. dollars with travelers' checks, personal checks, or cash (there is a $9 charge for personal checks), or in Israeli Shekels. Credit cards are not accepted. It is advisable to cash hard currency for Israeli shekels only in the amount needed for a short period of time. Commission rates for exchanging currency at the airport are higher than those usually available on Salah ed-Din Street, close to the Albright.
17) Public Transportation
Israeli “Egged” bus No. 17 stops on Salah ed-Din Street. You can purchase a bus pass called a “kartisiya” that offers a good discount for rides inside the city, or a specially discounted monthly pass called “hofshi hodshi”. Inquire at the ticket booth of the central bus station for information regarding discounts on certain inter-city bus rides for ISIC student cards. There are also numerous “services” (shared taxis) that run in East Jerusalem and to cities in the West Bank. The most reliable cab companies, especially in the evening, are “The Hyatt” (582-3333), “Rehavia” (625-4444) and “Tayelet” (627-7777).
The Common Room of the Institute has a TV and VCR for the use of the residents. The VCR takes both European and American cassettes. There is a limited library of movies on video-cassette at the Institute, as well as a small library of popular fiction. English news is broadcast on weekdays on Israel Channel 1 at 6:15 p.m. and on Jordan TV2 at 10:00 p.m. CNN, BBC, Fox and Sky News are also available. The Albright subscribes to the International Herald Tribune-Ha'aretz daily newspaper.
There are several good restaurants within walking distance of the Albright, ranging from felafel stands (the one opposite the back gate is reputed to be the best in the city) to expensive fine dining at the American Colony Hotel (which has two restaurants with differing prices). Favorites of past residents include the Azahara, Cafe Europe, the Swiss Patisserie, Lotus and the Jerusalem Hotel in the inexpensive-to-medium price range, and the American Colony Hotel and Askadenya in the more expensive range. In West Jerusalem, there are a large number of restaurants in the downtown area around Ben-Yehuda and King George Streets and Jaffa Road.
The American Colony swimming pool (and gym) sells monthly passes. These are very expensive, but provide a way for an accompanying family to meet other families. The YMCA in East Jerusalem has an equipped gym and an indoor pool, and offers membership deals. There is also a health club, among others, at the Hyatt Hotel on French Hill and a Hebrew University health center situated across the street from the Hyatt.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT LIVING IN JERUSALEM
1) Passports and Visas: Arrival in Israel
When you arrive in Israel at Ben-Gurion Airport, your passport will be stamped with a three-month tourist visa. For Fellows with 9-month Fellowships, we recommend that you arrange your visa (and if necessary, a multi-exit-entry visa) for Israel in advance from the US (or other country of origin – see separate section on how to obtain an Israeli student visa). If not, then a short time after your arrival in Jerusalem you should go to the local Israeli Ministry of the Interior office (5 minutes away from the Albright) and arrange either a multi-entry-exit visa or an ordinary visa for the period that you will be resident in Israel. (Helena Flusfeder, the Director's assistant will help you to coordinate this). For Fellows with 3-month Fellowships, the three-month tourist visa issued at the airport will be sufficient. Fellows with 4.5-month Fellowships can start out with the three-month tourist visa and then arrange for an extension at the local Interior Ministry office. Those with a dislike of bureaucracy may decide to take a short vacation to Jordan or Cyprus, since on your return, your passport will be stamped with a new three-month tourist visa.
Noble Group Fellows coming from mainland China or Hong Kong should contact the Director's office for visa requirements.
2) Steps to Secure a Student Visa from Abroad
The website of the Israeli Embassy in the United States is http://www.israelemb.org. You can click the link for Consular Services, which provides information about student visas and Israeli consulates in the US. In addition to the embassy, there are nine Israeli consulates across America – each one responsible for a different set of US states. For example, if you are a resident of the State of New York, you would fall under the jurisdiction of the New York Consulate. Their website is http://www.israelfm.org. To obtain a student visa at the New York Consulate, you need a completed application form, 2 current passport photos, an acceptance letter from your educational institution (i.e. the Albright Institute), $25 in cash, and a valid US passport. You should call the Consulate first to make sure that the requirements haven't changed. One Fellow who recently went through this process, went to the consulate in NYC with the required documentation.
Those wishing to travel to other countries in the Middle East should either not have their passport stamped when entering Israel or should obtain a second U.S. passport in the United States. This is not necessary for travel to Egypt. A three-month renewable tourist visa is issued at the port of entry into Israel. Those travelling to Jordan may only receive a one-month visa on their return to Israel, but this can usually be extended by the local Interior Ministry.
3) Airport and Security Procedures
At the point of baggage check-in for your departure from Israel, Israeli security personnel will take you through a security check. This can take from five to sixty minutes with two or more teams of questioners and may involve an inspection of your luggage contents, questions about you and the purpose of your visit to Israel, and questions about any packages you may have received from others to take out of Israel. Appointees should be prepared with their letters of appointment to show security personnel the program in which you are participating. Do not accept packages from strangers to take with you on a plane leaving Israel. If you accept a package from a friend or relative, you may have to unpack the items and repack them yourself during the security inspection.
4) Climate and Appropriate Clothing
For those staying during the winter, warm clothing is necessary as the weather is often cold and wet, and it occasionally snows. The summer is hot and dry, so light-weight clothing is desirable.
5) Immunizations and Health
North Americans do not require any special immunizations or proof of prior immunizations to enter Israel. Appointees from other countries should check with their own health authorities and the Israeli Consulate in their country to determine immunization requirements for entrance into Israel.
All prescription medications must be carried in their original containers. While most medications are available locally, if you require special medication, it is advisable to bring enough with you to cover the length of your stay at the Albright. There are at least three pharmacies immediately accessable to Albright residents.
6) Cultural Adjustment
Life and people outside your home country can be quite different from your expectations. Coming to Jerusalem, you will definitely experience change while visiting a land with a wealth of history and a complexity of cultures and communities. It can be an exciting, deepening, and broadening experience. With this experience comes the need to adapt, as you are a guest in the country. Although this is one of the more developed parts of the Middle East, Orthodox Jews and Palestinians (whether Christian or Muslim) both have very different lifestyles from that with which you may be familiar. Modesty in dress demonstrates your efforts not to offend our Palestinian and Jewish neighbors and is important for your own safety. The rule of modesty applies to conduct as well as dress, especially when dealing with relations between the sexes.
7) Electrical Appliances
Voltage in Israel is 220 volts, as in European countries. Should you wish to bring electrical appliances that work on anything other than 220 volts, plan to bring a 220 volt transformer with you as they are less expensive in the U.S. Transformers can be purchased at electrical appliance shops within walking distance of the Albright. It is a good idea to bring what you need from home.
8) Child Care and Schools for Children
Full-time child care in English for a non-potty trained child is virtually impossible to find in Jerusalem, unless you can locate an in-home care provider (also very difficult to find). For pre-school children, Gan HaRo`eh HaTov offers a Christian-oriented child care program in English (with some Hebrew) for non-potty trained children ages 2-3 years, two days a week, 9:00 a.m.-noon, at a cost of approximately $65 a month. The director is Sandy Shoshany, tel. 535-5522. The Sunshine School in Beit Hanina, in English (with some Arabic), is four days a week from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., at a cost of $300 per month. The children must be potty trained, and the age range is 3-7 years old. The school is run on the British system and is Christian-oriented. The Director is Marion Jadon, tel. 583-3825. The Hebrew University runs a day care center in Hebrew for children from age 2, Sunday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. For older children, the Anglican School is accredited for elementary through highschool (6-18 years) and the curriculum is given in English. The current cost is $8,000 a year. They also run a pre-school and kindergarten at a cost of $5,000 a year. For details concerning the Anglican School programs and fees, write to The Registrar, Anglican School, 82 HaNeviim Street, Jerusalem; tel. 623-4874.
Updated October 2012