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Street in Nachlaot

Nachlaot (Hebrew: נחלאות‎, also Nahlaot) is a cluster of courtyard neighborhoods in central Jerusalem, Israel known for its narrow, winding lanes, old-style housing, hidden courtyards and many small synagogues. Neighborhoods in Nachlaot (plural of nachala, lit. "homestead") include Mishkenot Yisrael, Ohel Moshe, Mazkeret Moshe, Zichron Yosef, Sukkat Shalom, Zichron Yaakov, Shevet Ahim, Nahalat Ahim, Batei Broide, Batei Munkacs, Batei Rand, and Knesset Yisrael.


View of Nachlaot from Sacher Park, February 2015
Street of the Stairs, Nahalat Ahim

The neighborhoods that make up the Nachlaot district were established beginning in the late 1870s outside the walls of the Old City, which was becoming increasingly overcrowded and unsanitary. The first was Mishkenot Yisrael, built in 1875. The name comes from a biblical verse (Numbers 24:5): "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob/Thy dwellings, O Israel." Mazkeret Moshe was founded by Sir Moses Montefiore in 1882 as an Ashkenazi neighborhood. Ohel Moshe is a Sephardi neighborhood established alongside it. Former Israeli president Yitzhak Navon grew up in Ohel Moshe, and the neighborhood served as the inspiration for his play Bustan Sephardi (Sephardi Orchard). The Banai family, a famous family of actors and singers, lived in Nachlaot.[1] A Syrian Jewish community settled in Nachlaot in 1900 and built the Ades Synagogue, which was completed in 1901. Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda outdoor market is located next to Nachlaot. Rabbi Aryeh Levin, known as the "prisoners' rabbi" for his visits to members of the Jewish underground imprisoned in the Russian Compound, lived in Mishkenot Yisrael. Nahalat Ahim, south of Rehov Bezalel, was founded in 1925 for the Yemenite community.[2]


In the wake of gentrification projects in the area, housing prices have risen steeply.[3]


At one time Nachlaot had a higher concentration of synagogues than anywhere else in the world, around 300 within a radius of just a few blocks.[citation needed] Many of these were not much more than a tiny room with space for only about a dozen worshippers. Over the decades, many have closed, and now there are about 100 left, such as Kol Rina, an Orthodox synagogue which offers prayer services modeled after the tunes and spirit of the late Rabbi Carlebach, and the N'vei Shalom (Raz) Synagogue, offering an inspiring Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service intended to not just fulfill one's responsibility to pray, but to stir the heart and spirit. Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz runs a weekly Friday night service outdoors, at Reshimu.

The neighborhood includes the world famous Ades Synagogue, Ades Congregation, the flagship of the Syrian Halebi community, as well as the synagogues located in the Knesset Aleph (Beis Rachel), Batei Broide, and Batei Rand neighborhoods, following the tradition of Old Jerusalem, including followers of the Vilna Gaon as well as Hasidic tradition.

Or Zaruaa Synagogue, founded in 1926 by Rabbi Amram Aburbeh for the Ma'araviim Jewish congregation, served as a yeshiva for religious students too. The building located on 3 Shmuel Refaeli street in Nahalat Ahim neighborhood was declared a historic preservation site in 1989, under cultural heritage protection. Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel, the chief Rabbi of Erez Israel appointed Aburbeh as chief rabbi of the Nachlaot neighbourhood from 1924 to 1951. He was succeeded by Rabbi Rahamim Levy, who served as Rav of Nachlaot until 2013.

Cultural landmarks[edit]

Barbur Gallery is a nonprofit space in Nachlaot for contemporary art and artists offering changing exhibitions, musical performances, movie screenings, video-art and art lectures.[4]

Notable residents[edit]


Coordinates: 31°46′57.8″N 35°12′42.03″E / 31.782722°N 35.2116750°E / 31.782722; 35.2116750