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Jerusalem

King David (907-837 BCE) conquered the city from the Jebusites in the eighth year of his reign (861 BCE) when the 400- year peace pact between Abraham and the Jebusite forebear King Avimelech expired. The Midrash relates that the name Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) is a composite of “Yireh:” “[G-d] will see,” and “Shalem:” “perfect.”

When King Solomon (849-797 BCE) built the Holy Temple (in 833 BCE) on the site of the binding of Isaac (1677 BCE), Jerusalem became the spiritual epicenter of the world; G-d’s blessing emanates to the entire world from Jerusalem.

The Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies

T he Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies is one of the leading organizations in Jewish education. It provides rigorous Jewish learning, attracting young Jewish adults from across the world. Mayanot’s unique blend of the academic with the spiritual caters to our students’ intellectual needs and, at the same time, creates an environment where discussion and questioning are welcomed, encouraging spiritual growth and self-awareness. With the Mayanot Men’s Yeshiva, the Mayanot Women’s Learning Program, the Executive Learning Program for professionals, and the Mayanot Birthright trip, Mayanot is at the forefront of Jewish life and education.

For more information on Mayanot, including detailed program descriptions, please visit: www.mayanot.edu/

The Ramban Synagogue

This synagogue, which was founded by Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, the Ramban (1194-1270), upon his arrival to Jerusalem in 1267, is the main synagogue of the neighborhood.

The building foundation is comprised of Romanesque vaults resting on Roman (136 BCE–330 CE) and Byzantine (330-1453 CE) capitals. This architectural detail— as well as the fact that there are no Gothic or Moslem features— suggests that the original building predates the Crusader period.

Over the years, the building has been used as a house of prayer, a mosque (when confiscated by a Mufti), and a flour mill. The neighboring minaret served as a police station during the British period.

In 1967, the Jews finally regained their right to the property and the synagogue was reopened, exactly 700 years after the Ramban revived the ancient building. It is located at the corner of HaYehudim Street and the main square.

The Tzemach Tzedek Shul

Located on Chabad Street, this synagogue was founded in 1858 as a center of study, worship and congregating for Jerusalem’s Chabad community.

Rabbi Moshe Segal (1904-1985), a Chabad chasid, entered the building shortly after the city’s capture in the Six-Day War, and slept here the first night to personally guard the building, thus becoming the first Jewish resident of the newly reunited city.

Though terribly desecrated during nineteen years of Jordanian occupation, it was the synagogue which suffered the least destruction, allowing it the honor of housing the first regular minyan (prayer quorum) in liberated Jerusalem.

Today it also houses a yeshiva and is used for outreach programs.

Tower of David

The ancient Citadel, constructed 2,000 years ago by Herod the Great, now houses the Tower of David Museum which illustrates Jerusalem’s long and eventful history.

Western Wall Tunnels

I mmediately after the SixDay War in 1967, a twentyyear excavation project was begun to expose the entire length of the Western Wall.

The complex project, carried out under constant rabbinic and scientific supervision, involved digging beneath residential neighborhoods that had been constructed on ancient structures from the Second Temple period against the Western Wall.

T he ma ny a r che olog ica l findsrevealed new and unknown details about the history and the geography of the Temple Mount site.

Among the finds are enormous courses of remarkably well-preserved, distinctively carved stone as well as the remains of the Herodian (73–4 BCE) road which ran alongside the Temple Mount.

Also found were ancient cisterns, and impressive construction efforts from the Muslim era, as well as a Hasmonean period (139-36 BCE) aqueduct that had been blocked by Herod’s construction of the Western Wall.

Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum

Yad Vashem, Israel’s main Holocaust memorial museum and archive, is situated on the green slopes of Har HaZikaron (Mount of Remembrance)in Jerusalem. Israel’s Holocaust commemoration project began in 1953 with the task of perpetuating the memory of Holocaust victims and documenting the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust, so that it will be remembered by future generations.

The new Yad Vashem museum, opened to the public in 2005, is designed in the shape of a prism penetrating the mountain.

The museum is divided into nine galleries that relate the stories of the Jewish communities before World War II and the series of events including the rise of the Nazis to power, the pursuit of the Jews, their eviction to the ghettos, and “the Final Solution” and mass genocide.

The personal experiences and feelings of the victims of the Holocaust constitute the groundwork for the museum’s exhibits of photographs, films, documents, letters, works of art, and personal items found in the camps and ghettos, as well as excerpts from children’s diaries.

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