The new American consulate in Jerusalem (now with room to breathe!)

Let’s hear it for American consulate 2.0!

Had to go back to ze Fatherland territory to register new baby’s citizenship, get her passport (1/3) and apply for her Social Security number.

For a while now, Jerusalem and Jerusalem-area American-Israeli residents have been going to the shiny new consulate in ‘west’ Jerusalem (is Arnona not a hop-skip away from East Jerusalem, in reality? I kinda thought it was East Jerusalem).

The building is really nice and there’s a lot of American-ness in it. The giant, thick glass window-walls of the interior facility made me feel at home for some reason. It’s a bit airport-y but that makes sense; what with the security details swiping the cars in the (spacey!) parking lot to be tested for chemicals… and all.

Basically, it’s not a dank, old, claustrophobic ichsa with no parking in East Jerusalem. So, win!

Kudos to security for making me drink my own poison (water in an opaque bottle) instead of taking it away and wasting/pouring it out. That’s an Israeli airport technique. As opposed to an American airport technique. So I guess American security is learning?

I had heard that the new facility would be ‘mother-friendly’ which I assumed meant a nice nursing section. If you turn back the time to the last time I went to the American consulate – two years ago – I thought I was meant to breastfeed in public and then got sent to a tiny little corner with a shower curtain around it. This time, from what I could tell, I was supposed to nurse in the bathroom, in a separate space from the toilets and sinks which had a couple chairs. Next to it was what I suspect was a change area (a long counter top). Definitely an upgrade, but most breastfeeding moms would complain about having to use the bathroom.

Well, in any case, I nursed the little one in the gorgeous courtyard outside the bathroom, complete with park benches, shady trees and patches of grass.

In other news, the ordeal was fairly quick, except having to wait nearly an hour at the end for the passport papers to be approved. I’d recommend going on a day when you can get the first appointment slot. The parking is spacious, so if you can drive, go for it. Otherwise – I’m not sure if/how the public transportation works (I saw other people pulling up in cabs). I also think they need to get a bit more organized with how you line up once you’re inside.

But otherwise, not bad, American compatriots.

Comments

  1. raizi says:

    i need driving directions

    1. elie says:

      This site has a bunch of info on it: http://almosteden.co.il/?p=609

      By car:
      Take Rehov Hevron heading south from town.
      Turn left to Daniel Yonovsky Street (the road to the Sherover Promenade)
      Turn right at the first light onto Betar.
      Continue on Betar past all the Kibbutz Rachel apartment buildings
      Turn left on Moshe Aryeh Kurtz St.
      Turn right at the bottom of the hill to David Flusser Street and go up the hill to the building.
      At the circle veer right and then turn left into the parking garage where you should receive directions to the entrance.

      Street Address: U.S. Consulate General, Consular Section, 14 David Flusser, Jerusalem 93392 (near the former Diplomat Hotel)