The Jerusalem Forest is a municipal pine forest located in the Judean Mountains in the outskirts of Jerusalem. It is surrounded by the neighborhoods of Beit HaKerem, Yefe Nof, Ein Kerem, Har Nof and Givat Shaul, and a moshav, Beit Zeit. The forest was planted during the 1950s by the Jewish National Fund, financed by private donors.
In the early years of the state, Jewish National Fund planted thousands of trees along the western edge of Jerusalem, creating a green belt. At its peak, the forest extended over about 4 square kilometres. Over the years, it has shrunk due to urban expansion and today, it covers about 1.2 square kilometres. The Yad Vashem museum is located in the forest near Mount Herzl. In the middle of the forest, between Yad Vashem and Ein Kerem, there is a recreation center, the "Chaim Tzippori Guest House", (better known as the "Tzippori Center") which has a hotel and youth hostel. On this same campus is the office of "The Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace", an Israeli non-profit organization that runs educational programs promoting tolerance and coexistence.
The forest acts as a refuge for wildlife, and there are packs of jackals that inhabit the forest.
Forest conservation efforts
Projects by the Jerusalem Municipality such as the planned Jerusalem Road 16 threaten the continued existence of the forest, which causes concern among environmental organizations and residents of Jerusalem, especially those living in the nearby neighborhoods. At the end of the 1990s, environmental organizations and residents organized to fight for the future of the forest and its protection.
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- Akiva Eldar (21 April 2005). עד לאן תגיע ירושלים הבנויה [How far will the rebuilt Jerusalem reach?]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- "Jerusalem Forest, the city's green lung, is in danger!". Forum of Organizations for Jerusalem Forest. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012.
- Website of the Tzippori Center (Hebrew)