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
District Jerusalem
Council Mateh Yehuda
Affiliation Moshavim Movement
Founded 1950
Founded by Kurdish and Moroccan Jews
Population (2016) 1,335[1]

Nes Harim (Hebrew: נֵס הָרִים‎, lit. Mountain Banner) is a moshav in central Israel. Located in the Judean foothills near Beit Shemesh and eight kilometers west of Jerusalem,[2] it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2016 it had a population of 1,335.[1]

It is situated 2,275 feet (700 meters) above sea level.


"The name ... derives from Isaiah, XVIII,3":[3] "When a mountain banner is raised, you will see it."


The moshav was established in 1950 by immigrants and refugees from South Kurdistan and Morocco,[4] on the lands of the Palestinian Arab village of Bayt 'Itab, close to Dayr al-Hawa, which had been depopulated in the 1948 War.[5][6]

The early farmers planted orchards and vineyards, taking advantage of the fertile soil and unique climate.[4] The ruins of a Byzantine monastery were discovered on a hill on the southwest side of the moshav.[2]


The Katlav winery is located in Nes Harim.[4] 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.[7]

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.

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


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.[8]

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."[8]

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.[9]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ a b "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Farmers find monastery beneath Israeli soil CNN, 11 March 2009
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ a b c Nes Harim history Kosher Wine
  5. ^ 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, pp. 275, 286
  6. ^ Zvi Dror, Har'el: Palmach brigade in Jerusalem, Ha-kibbutz ha-meuchad 2005, p. 269 (Hebrew)
  7. ^ Levinson, Jay Jewish Journeys near Jerusalem, Toronto: Key Publishing.
  8. ^ a b Nes Harim church and wine press The Jerusalem Post
  9. ^ Conservation-engineering stabilization Israel Antiquities Authority