Chaim Margulis
Chaim MargulisChaim M.

You don't have to take my word for it. Try it yoursel:

First go to the website: - then select

U.S. Citizen Services - Then select

Passport Services - then select

“Renew a passport”

[[[[ You may notice the words “Palestinian Affairs Unit” at the top of the page under “Passport Services” - this is apparently just meant to be a Tab. Don’t be alarmed... yet ]]]]

Then select:

Renewal in person - then select

Continue to instructions for renewal in person - then select

Appointments - then select

An appointment Embassy Jerusalem

Schedule an appointment at the US Embassy Jerusalem

You should now be able to see the following:

Schedule an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

And there's the rub. Please note when making an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem that you must select Jerusalem as the city and Jerusalem as the country.

If you choose Israel as the country, the system will automatically redirect you to make an appointment at the Branch Office in Tel Aviv.

US passports on map
US passports on mapiStock

As Jerusalem Day approaches, we Jews are asked once again, “Why is this city, this land so important to you?” The soul of the Jewish People includes memories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; crossing the Sea en route to Israel from the slavery in Egypt; the yearning for the Land and the Holy City throughout our thousands of years of exile.

When we recall that even after the State of Israel provided a place for Jews following the Second World War, we remember that the Old City, the site of our Temples which was then under Jordanian rule, was not available for Jews to pray. It was after the Six Day War in 1967, only when Israel gained control of the Old City that ALL religions freedom to pray at their respective Holy Sites.

My grandfather used to tell me that before 1967, when Jews were not allowed to pray at the Western Wall, he had to climb up onto the roof of his building in the Geula section of Jerusalem just to get a glimpse of the Old City.

The significance to the Jewish People of our return of the Temple Site should not be underestimated. While it is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible, Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Koran.

In recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, President Trump’s was stating an obvious truth that many were afraid to say: that Jerusalem, the heart of the Jews, belongs to the State of Israel. It was a moral, yet brave decision to recognize a fact that many were unwilling to accept.

As Jerusalem Day, when Israelis celebrate the anniversary of the liberation, unification and above all, the return of our beloved city to the Jewish People approaches, we hope that our joy at President Trump’s decision was not premature. The significance of the United States keeping its promises is something the entire world pays close attention to.

Let us hope that the wording on the US Embassy site, long a bone in American oleh throats, is an oversight which will be promptly corrected.

Chaim Margulis is a long-time oleh from Chicago who has been living in Jerusalem with his family since 1997.