The End of an Era: Jerusalem’s Beloved Gift Store, Happening, Closes Its Doors

The End of an Era: Jerusalem's Beloved Gift Store, Happening, Closes Its Doors

After 30 years of serving the community, Happening, a renowned gift store in Jerusalem, shuts down due to the challenges faced by small businesses in the city.

Jerusalem bids farewell to a cherished establishment as Happening, a beloved gift store in the Malha Mall, closes its doors for the last time. For over three decades, Happening has been a go-to destination for parents and children alike, offering a wide range of fun gadgets, posters, and birthday cards. However, the store’s closure is a testament to the difficulties faced by small businesses in the capital, compounded by the recent war and economic challenges. The story of Happening reflects the changing landscape of retail and the need for businesses to adapt in the face of evolving consumer behavior.

The Ending of One’s Life’s Work:

Happening was more than just a business for Ram Yissaschar, the store’s proprietor. It was his life’s work, following in the footsteps of his father, Benny, who established the gift shop under the name Campus in the early 1970s. Over time, Campus joined the nationwide Happening chain, and the Malha Mall store opened its doors 30 years ago. Yissaschar reflects on the challenges faced by small businesses in Jerusalem, stating that running an independent store in the city is no easy feat due to high expenses and the dominance of big chains in shopping malls.

The Impact of External Factors:

While the recent war and economic fallout have certainly affected Happening, Yissaschar emphasizes that these challenges are just part of a larger issue facing small businesses across the nation. He highlights the steep expenses and the changing shopping behavior of consumers, who now prefer online shopping and discount stores like Max Stock. Furthermore, the recession and high-interest rates have left people with less disposable income, impacting the sales of luxury items like those offered by Happening.

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The Emotional Connection:

Despite the changing retail landscape, Happening held a special place in the hearts of its customers. Yissaschar notes that the store’s business was built on making people happy, celebrating special occasions, and demonstrating love through gift-giving. The recent war in Gaza seemed to intensify these emotions, with people seeking solace and connection through buying presents. The impending closure of Happening has evoked strong emotional reactions from customers, with some even shedding tears over the loss of a beloved establishment that has been a part of their lives for decades.

Moving Forward:

With the closure of Happening, Jerusalem loses another iconic landmark. Yissaschar acknowledges the legacy of his father, who pioneered the gifts sector in Israel, and the impact the store has had on generations of Jerusalemites. However, he believes that adaptation is necessary in the face of changing times. Yissaschar made the difficult decision to close the store, recognizing the need to invest his energy in something new. While the closure of Happening marks the end of an era, it also symbolizes the resilience and determination of small business owners to navigate the ever-changing retail landscape.


The closure of Happening, a beloved gift store in Jerusalem, highlights the challenges faced by small businesses in the city and the evolving nature of consumer behavior. The story of Happening is one of resilience, adaptation, and the need to make difficult decisions in the face of economic hardships. While the closure may leave a void in the hearts of many Jerusalemites, it also serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting local businesses and embracing change in an increasingly digital and competitive world. As Happening bids farewell, its legacy will live on in the memories of the countless customers who found joy and celebration within its walls.

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