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Mekor Baruch

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Title: Mekor Baruch  
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Subject: Shaar Hashamayim Yeshiva, Solomon Eliezer Alfandari, Zikhron Yosef, Ramat Sharett, Givat Beit HaKerem
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Mekor Baruch

Clalit Health Clinic (right) in Mekor Baruch. The bell tower of Schneller Orphanage can be seen at far left.

Mekor Baruch (Hebrew: מקור ברוך‎, lit., "blessed source"[1] or "fountain of blessing"[2]) also spelled Makor Baruch, is a neighborhood in Jerusalem. The neighborhood is bordered by Malkhei Yisrael Street to the north, Sarei Yisrael Street to the west, Jaffa Road to the south, and the Zikhron Moshe neighborhood to the east.


Street in Mekor Baruch

Mekor Baruch was founded in 1924[3][4] on land purchased from the Schneller Orphanage[5] by the Jerusalem-American Land Company, a consortium of Jerusalem and American investors.[6] The name of the neighborhood was based on the words Yehi mekorkha baruch ("Let your fountain be blessed") in Proverbs 5:18.[4] Differing sources place the beneficiary of the name as Boris (Baruch) Hershenov, one of the investors,[6] or Baruch Aharanoff, an American philanthropist.[7] The consortium mapped out 207 lots, but due to the economic downturn of 1927–1930, construction did not get underway until the 1930s, by which time the consortium had been liquidated.[6]

To the southeast lay an adjacent neighborhood called Ruchama, founded in 1921.[8] This neighborhood was absorbed into Mekor Baruch after 1948.


Mekor Baruch is located 810 metres (2,660 ft) above sea level. The area lies at the head of the Ben-Hinnom Valley, a 3.1 kilometres (1.9 mi)-long valley that winds down Jaffa Road to Independence Park and Mamilla Pool until it intersects with the Kidron Valley.[9]

The main street of the neighborhood is Rashi Street. In the northwest quadrant, a group of streets are named after heroes of the Hanukkah story, Yehuda Hamaccabee, Shimon Hamaccabee, and Elazar Hamaccabee; these streets intersect HaHashmonaim (The Hasmoneans) Street.[10]


Before 1948, Mekor Baruch was considered an upscale neighborhood and was home to Eastern European Labor Party members and Holocaust survivors. In a 1938 census, the population was recorded at 2,500.[4] After the Israeli War of Independence, large numbers of Jewish refugees from Eastern lands moved into the area[11] and the buildings became rundown. In the 1960s, Haredi Jews began to move into the neighborhood. Today the neighborhood is Haredi, with a mix of Ashkenazi and Sephardi residents.[12][3]

In a 2010 real estate report, Mekor Baruch logged a 26 percent increase in home prices, the largest increase in the city, with sales of three-room apartments averaging US $384,000 (NIS 1.5 million). The increase was said to be influenced by the influx of "social centers" to the neighborhood.[13]

Health care

The neighborhood houses clinics for three out of the four Israeli Clalit, Meuhedet, and Leumit.[14] The Clalit clinic is part of the Mekor Baruch Health Clinic, a three-story medical center that includes an emergency room and operating theaters.[15] The Meuhedet clinic on Haturim Street occupies one of Meuhedet's main offices in Jerusalem.[14]

Industrial zone

Mekor Baruch is the site of an aging[16] yet active industrial zone bordered by Yehuda Hamaccabee Street, Rashi Street, and Gesher Hachaim Street.[12] Built in the 1950s by the Jerusalem Economic Corporation,[3] the multi-story complex is home to about 40 companies[17] engaged in light industry, including manufacturers of diamonds,[18] pencils,[3] and Judaica,[19] the MA’AS Rehabilitation Center and Sheltered Workshop,[20] and printing establishments,[3] including the Hebrew language Hamodia daily newspaper.

Schools and yeshivas


Shaar Hashamayim Yeshiva on Rashi Street.


  • Bais Yaakov Seminary
  • Mesoras Rachel Seminary[23]
  • Talmud Torah Hamesorah, formerly the Zionist Tachkemoni School founded here in 1929


  • IDF Jerusalem Recruiting Center[24]
  • Prima Palace Hotel (formerly Central Hotel)[25]
  • Hazon Yeshaya Humanitarian Network - food support, dental care, vocational training,[21] now managed by Carmei Ha’Ir.
  • Miklat l’Omanut art studio and gallery

Notable residents

A plaque on a new apartment building marks the site where Rabbi Solomon Eliezer Alfandari lived until 1930.

Cultural references

Much of the action in Amos Oz’s novel My Michael takes place in Mekor Baruch.[28][29]


  1. ^ Wirth-Nesher, Hana. "Impartial Maps: Reading and writing cities" in Handbook of Urban Studies, Ronan Paddison, ed. (2001). Sage Publications, Ltd., p. 62. ISBN 0-8039-7695-X
  2. ^ Berghash, Rachel (2011). Half the House: My life in and out of Jerusalem. Sunstone Press. p. 57.  
  3. ^ a b c d e "Jerusalem". Jewish Virtual Library. 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Rossoff, Dovid (1998). Where Heaven Touches Earth: Jewish life in Jerusalem from medieval times to the present. Guardian Press. p. 588.  
  5. ^ Chinkis, Binyamin. "A Peek Behind the Gates of the Schneller Compound". Hamodia Israel News, 2 July 2009, pp. A22–A23.
  6. ^ a b c Glass, Joseph P. (2000). From New Zion to Old Zion: American Jewish Immigration and Settlement in Palestine, 1917-1939. Wayne State University Press. p. 278.  
  7. ^ Tal, Eliyahu (1994). Whose Jerusalem?. International Forum for a United Jerusalem. p. 235. 
  8. ^ Bar-Am, Aviva; Rechtman, Gershon (1999). Jerusalem Easywalks. Ingeborg Rennet Center for Jerusalem Studies. p. 51.  
  9. ^ Har-El, Menashe (2004). Golden Jerusalem. Gefen Books. p. 123.  
  10. ^ Eisenberg, Ronald L. (2006). The Streets of Jerusalem: Who, what, why. Devora Publishing Co. pp. 92, 144, 345, 391.  
  11. ^ Friedland, Roger; Hecht, Richard. To Rule Jerusalem. University of California Press. p. 110.  
  12. ^ a b "Mekor Baruch". Eiferman Realty. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "Average Price for 4-Room Apartment in Jerusalem: $452,000". 9 July 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Kupat Cholim". Newcomers Guide Israel. 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  15. ^ מרפאת מקור ברוך [Mekor Baruch Health Clinic] (in Hebrew). Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  16. ^ Lichtman, Gail (16 August 2008). "Numbers Game". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  17. ^ Israel Communications Inc. (1970). The Businessmans' [sic] guide to Jerusalem. Municipality of Jerusalem, Dept. for Tourism and Economic Development. p. 27. 
  18. ^ Szenberg, Michael (1973). The Economics of the Israeli Diamond Industry. Basic Books. p. 132. 
  19. ^ "Kaftor Vaferach Judaica: Company Profile". Kaftor Vaferach Judaica. 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  20. ^ Mental Retardation. 6–7. American Association on Mental Retardation. 1968. p. 28. 
  21. ^ a b Shalom Verrilli (20 August 2010). "Touching Every Human Need". Sephardi Hebrew Congregation of Cape Town. p. 3. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  22. ^ "FAQs". Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  23. ^ "Seminars". Newcomers Guide Israel. 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  24. ^ כיצד מגיעים ללשכת הגיוס ירושלים? [How to get to the Jerusalem Recruiting Center?] (in Hebrew).  
  25. ^ "Prima Palace Hotel". Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  26. ^ Sofer, D. "Rav Shlomo Eliezer Alfandari".  
  27. ^ Friedland and Hecht, To Rule Jerusalem, p. 42.
  28. ^ Magill, Frank Northen (1990). Cyclopedia of Literary Characters II 3. Salem Press. p. 1065.  
  29. ^ Wirth-Nesher, Impartial Maps, pp. 61–62.

External links

  • Aerial street map of Mekor Baruch
  • "Jerusalem – Secular Jews Tour a Foreign Culture: Hareidi Jews" Vosizneias, 14 December 2010

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