Nes Harim

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Nes Harim
Nes Harim is located in Jerusalem, Israel
Nes Harim
Nes Harim
Coordinates: 31°44′41.28″N 35°3′29.88″E / 31.7448000°N 35.0583000°E / 31.7448000; 35.0583000Coordinates: 31°44′41.28″N 35°3′29.88″E / 31.7448000°N 35.0583000°E / 31.7448000; 35.0583000
Council Mateh Yehuda
Region Judean foothills
Affiliation Moshavim Movement
Founded 1950
Founded by Jews from Kurdistan and Morocco

Nes Harim (Hebrew: נֵס הָרִים, lit. Mountain Banner) is a moshav in Israel, eight kilometers from Jerusalem.[1] "The name ... derives from Isaiah, XVIII,3":[2] "When a mountain banner is raised, you will see it." Located in the Judean foothills near Beit Shemesh, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 588.

The moshav was established in 1950 by immigrants from Kurdistan and Morocco,[3] on the lands of the Palestinian villages Bayt 'Itab and Dayr al-Hawa, which were depopulated in the 1948 War.[4][5]

It is situated 2,275 feet (700 meters) above sea level. The early farmers planted orchards and vineyards, taking advantage of the fertile soil and unique climate.[6]

The ruins of a Byzantine monastery were discovered on a hill on the southwest side of the moshav.[7]

The Katlav winery is located in Nes Harim.[8] In 1998 Yosi Yittach left his profession as an architect to seek a quiet life with his family. He went into wine making, first learning the trade from a Persian friend of the family who brought knowledge from “the old country,” where there was a strong oenophile tradition. He then supplemented his education with courses. First production was in 2004, and by 2006 he was bottling better quality wines certainly worth sampling. House specialties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay (10 percent Viognier), but what is unique is Wadi Katlav, a house blend (50 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 percent Merlot, 20 percent Petit Verdot)—different from an older version that had 50 percent Sauvignon, 40 percent Merlot and 10 percent Syrah—aged in French oak barrels for eighteen months before bottling.[9]


During excavations in November 2008, archaeologists found the narthex of a church decorated with multicolored mosaics,and parts of a wine press. After the discovery, the mosaic was badly damaged by unidentified vandals.[10]

The mosaic includes an inscription in ancient Greek deciphered by Leah Di Signi of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: "O Lord God of Saint Theodorus, protect Antonius and Theodosia the illustres [a title used to distinguish high nobility in the Byzantine period] - Theophylactus and John the priest [or priests]. [Remember o Lord] Mary and John who have offe[red - ] in the 6th indiction. Lord, have pity of Stephen."[11]

Horbat 'Itab, a 130-dunam national park on the outskirts of Nes Harim, contains the ruins of a Crusader fortress that overlooked the road from Emek HaEla to Jerusalem and the village of Bayt 'Itab. The site was surveyed in 1989 by Denys Pringle, a researcher of the Crusader period, who documented the remains of the fortress, vaults, a wall and towers, tunnels, a columbarium and an olive press.[12]


Nes Harim is located in the center of the USA national park and is near very many beautiful hiking trails, overlooking and descending into Nahal Sorek. The Jewish National Fund has an information center near Nes Harim and a field hostel in the moshave itself. Nearby are a stalactite cave and many picnic areas.

Ness harim is home to two tzimers (similar to bed and breakfasts), three restaurants, one of them kosher, a swimming pool and a riding ranch.

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ Farmers find monastery beneath Israeli soil, 3/11/2009
  2. ^ Place Names in Israel. A Compendium of Place Names in Israel compiled from various sources. Translated from Hebrew, Jerusalem 1962 (Israel Prime Minister’s Office. The Israeli Program for Scientific Translations) p.134 (Location of the book: Ben Zvi Institute Library, 12 Abarbanel St., Jerusalem; in the online-catalogue: [1])
  3. ^ Nes Harim history
  4. ^ All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, Walid Khalidi, 1992, Washington D.C., Institute for Palestine Studies, ISBN 0-88728-224-5, p. 275
  5. ^ Zvi Dror, Har'el: Palmach brigade in Jerusalem, Ha-kibbutz ha-meuchad 2005, p. 269 (Hebrew)
  6. ^ Nes Harim history
  7. ^ Farmers find monastery beneath Israeli soil, 3/11/2009
  8. ^ Nes Harim history
  9. ^ Levinson, Jay Jewish Journeys near Jerusalem, Toronto: Key Publishing.
  10. ^ Nes Harim church and wine press
  11. ^ Nes Harim church and wine press
  12. ^ Conservation-engineering stabilization