Yemin Moshe

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View of Yemin Moshe from Old City

Yemin Moshe (Hebrew: ימין משה‎ means "the right hand of Moses (Montefiore)" or "Moses' Memorial") is an old neighborhood in Jerusalem overlooking the Old City.


Yemin Moshe was established in 1892-94 by the Montefiore Welfare Fund outside Jerusalem's Old City as a solution to the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions inside the walls. The Fund was continuing the work done by British Jewish banker Moses Montefiore and the new project was meant to mark the seventh year after the philanthropist's death. The name was referring both at Montefiore's first name, and at a verse from the Book of Isaiah Isaiah 63:11-12.[1]

Land purchase[edit]

The land was bought in 1855 by Montefiore with money from the estate of Judah Touro and came to be known as Kerem Moshe VeYehudit, The Moses and Judith Vineyard, after Montefiore and his wife.[1]

Mishkenot Sha'ananim[edit]

Main article: Mishkenot Sha'ananim
Yemin Moshe in snow. 1920s.

The first modest building project on the grounds was known as Mishkenot Sha'ananim and consisted of two rows of buildings. Its first houses were completed by 1860 and contained 28 apartments of one-and-a-half rooms. The compound also had a water cistern with an iron pump imported from England, a mikveh and a communal oven.[2] Few people were anxious to live there at the time, because the area was open to Arab marauders. The original houses were built with a wall around them and a gate that was locked at night.[2] The second row of houses of Mishkenot Sha'ananim was built in 1866 when a cholera epidemic was at its height in the Old City. Some of the people who took up residence in the new neighborhood refused to stay there at night, but that year, the demand for apartments rose as illness spread.[2]

Yemin Moshe[edit]

The Yemin Moshe neighbourhood proper was built in 1892-94 on the remaining lands around Mishkenot Sha'ananim.[1] Joseph Sebag Montefiore Joseph Sebag-Montefiore, Moses Montefiore's nephew, signed the agreements which allowed for the construction project on the Kerem Moshe VeYehudit land.[3]

In addition to the windmill (see below), which was meant to provide cheap flour to poor Jews, Montefiore built a printing press and textile factory, and helped to finance several agricultural colonies. He also attempted to acquire arable land for Jewish cultivation, but was hampered by Ottoman restrictions on land sale to non-Muslims.


Main article: Montefiore Windmill

Montefiore left an indelible mark on the Jerusalem landscape by building in 1857 the Montefiore Windmill in the area of what later became the Yemin Moshe neighbourhood. The windmill became operational in 1860.[1] The windmill was built with the idea of weaning the residents from their reliance on the halukka, or charity. Moses Montefiore believed that a mill could provide them with a source of livelihood, but it was only operative for approximately 19 years. [4]


Gardens of Yemin Moshe - Lions Fountain, Jerusalem

Yemin Moshe is now an upscale neighborhood surrounded by gardens with a panoramic view of the Old City walls. The original complex of buildings has been turned into a cultural center and guesthouse for writers, intellectuals and musicians. The windmill, as the hallmark of Yemin Moshe, is featured in paintings and literature about Jerusalem and marks the Jewish expansion of the city towards the west.[5]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Eliyahu Wager (1988). Illustrated guide to Jerusalem. Jerusalem: The Jerusalem Publishing House. pp. 176–177. 
  2. ^ a b c "More information about Yemin Moshe". 2005-05-15. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Jerusalem - Beyond the Old City Walls". 1946-07-22. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  5. ^ See, for example, Thrope, Samuel (21 March 2011), "The Metamorphosis: Jonathan Kis-Lev's Jerusalems", Zeek, a Jewish Journal of Thought and Culture, retrieved 5 December 2011 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°46′19″N 35°13′30″E / 31.772°N 35.225°E / 31.772; 35.225