Kiryat Ye'arim

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Kiryat Ye'arim
  • קִרְיַת יְעָרִים
  • قرية يعاريم
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • ISO 259 Qiryat Yˁarim
 • Also spelled Kiryat Yearim (unofficial)
Beth midrash in Kiryat Ye'arim
Beth midrash in Kiryat Ye'arim
Kiryat Ye'arim is located in Jerusalem, Israel
Kiryat Ye'arim
Kiryat Ye'arim
Coordinates: 31°48′13.53″N 35°6′9.03″E / 31.8037583°N 35.1025083°E / 31.8037583; 35.1025083Coordinates: 31°48′13.53″N 35°6′9.03″E / 31.8037583°N 35.1025083°E / 31.8037583; 35.1025083
District  Jerusalem
 • Type Local council
 • Head of Municipality Avraham Rozental
Population (2016)[1]
 • Total 4,206
Name meaning Town of forests

Kiryat Ye'arim (Hebrew: קִרְיַת יְעָרִים‬), also known as Telz-Stone, is an ancient place mentioned in the Bible and the modern site of an ultra-Orthodox town in the Jerusalem District of Israel. It is bordered on one side by the Arab village of Abu Ghosh, and on the other side by the secular community of Neve Ilan.[2] In 2016 it had a population of 4,206


Kiryat Ye'arim is located approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of Jerusalem, just north of the Tel AvivJerusalem highway. Neighboring Kiryat Ye'arim to the northeast is the Arab town of Abu Ghosh. Kiryat Ye'arim is between 661.8 and 749.5 meters above sea level.[3]


Kiryat Ye'arim (Town of Forests) is named for Kiriath-Jearim mentioned in the Bible in relation to King David's transport of the Ark of the Covenant to -> Jerusalem. Here the Ark was said to have rested for 20 years. (This is also mentioned in a few other books such as the book of Samuel.) David then removed it to Jerusalem (I Chronicles 13, 5-8). There are those who believe that a nearby tel is the remains of the biblical town. Another theory is that the biblical town is the present Abu Ghosh.[4]

Six hundred dunams of modern-day Kiryat Ye’arim were purchased before 1948 by Menashe Elissar, a businessman who was attracted to the site as the location of the biblical Kiryat Ye’arim.[5]

The modern community was established in 1973[6] by a group of students and teachers from Yeshivat Telz in America. Despite the official name of "Kiryat Yearim," it is widely known as Telz-Stone, after the yeshiva and American Greetings founder-chairman Irving I. Stone, who helped to finance the community's early development.[2]

Kiryat Yearim, circa 1904

Archaeological dig[edit]

In 2017 it was announced that the first archaeological dig at the site will begin, led by Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University and by Christophe Nicolle and Thomas Römer of the College de France.[7]


According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), at the end of 2005 Kiryat Ye'arim had a population of 3,100, predominantly Jewish, with a growth rate of 1.2%. Many of the residents are immigrants from North America, Europe and South Africa.


Kiryat Ye'arim is home to three Orthodox post-high school yeshivas aimed at foreign students, particularly from the U.S.: Neveh Zion, Keser Dovid and Yishrei Lev [8]