Jewish Quarter

Jewish Quarter Plaza

The southeast corner of the Old City, the Jewish Quarter occupies about 15 acres (6 ha) and has been inhabited by Jews for centuries. Following the capture of the Old City by the Arabs in 1948, all Jews were expelled and their buildings destroyed. When Israel regained the Old City in 1967, work began to reconstruct the quarter and today, hundreds of people live and study here.

Hurvah Synagogue

The most prominent synagogue in the Old City was the Hurvah Synagogue until it was blown up by the Jordanians in the 1948 War of Independence. Because of disagreements, the Israelis did not rebuild the synagogue in 1967, instead re-erecting one of the arches in memory of the house of prayer. In 2010 the synagogue was rebuilt and dedicated.

The Broad Wall

Reconstruction work following the 1967 war allowed archaeologists to excavate various areas in the Jewish Quarter. One of the most significant finds from the Old Testament period was the Broad Wall. Built by Hezekiah in the days before the 701 BC invasion by the Assyrian king Sennacherib, the Broad Wall enclosed the Western Hill and increased the walled area of Jerusalem five-fold.

Jewish Ritual Bath

Numerous mikvot were discovered in the excavations of the Jewish Quarter, attesting to the importance of ritual purity for Jews in the first century AD. Larger mikvot were often divided by a low wall or column to separate those entering the bath from those exiting. Construction and use of these baths were governed by strict Jewish laws.

Golden Menorah

Constructed by the Temple Institute and based on extensive research, this golden menorah is appropriate for use in the Third Temple. Over 6.5 feet (2 m) in height and plated with 95 pounds (43 kg) of gold, this menorah is the first such constructed since the destruction of the Temple. This menorah is on display in the Jewish Quarter.

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Related Websites

See BiblePlaces’s pages on the Cardo and the Western Wall, for related pictures, text, and links.

Jewish Quarter, General:

Jewish Quarter (Tourist Israel) An excellent introduction to the Jewish Quarter, with special concentrations on the Western Wall, the Hurvah Synagogue, and the Cardo. Minimal photos.

The Old City, Jewish Quarter (Frommer’s) Describes the history and main sites of the Jewish Quarter, including hours of operation and prices at the time of publication.

The Jewish Quarter (Virtual Israel Experience, JVL) Highlights the main features of this quarter in the Old City with links to related topics, especially historical.

The Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter (official site) The page titled “Tourist Sites” gives maps, a detailed history, and photos of several key sites.

Herodian Quarter & Wohl Archaeological Museum Review (Fodors.com) A review of the museums and archaeological sites to be seen in the Jewish Quarter.

1905: A Father of Biblical Archaeology in Israel is Born (HaAretz) A commemorative biography article, published in 2013; it gives an excellent background on Nahman Avigad, who did much of the excavation work in the Jewish Quarter.

Hezekiah’s (Broad) Wall:

The Broad Wall (Jewish Virtual Library) A brief description of the wall and the circumstances surrounding its construction.

Broad Wall (Bein Harim Tours) Gives a brief history and metric measurements of the wall.

The Broad Wall (rova-yehudi.org) A nice introduction with historical context.

Hezekiah’s (Broad) Wall (Dig the Bible) Presents this wall in the historical context of Sennacherib’s attack on Hezekiah’s kingdom, bringing Hezekiah’s Tunnel and the siege at Lachish into the picture.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel and Wall Give a Lesson from Archaeology (Wayne Stiles) Gives clear connections between this archaeology and the Bible, drawing lessons from them.

The Flattened Houses Beneath the Wall (Israel Institute of Biblical Studies) An excellent look at how the Bible relates to archaeology.

The Menorah:

The Menorah (The Temple Institute) Details the biblical instructions and details of construction of the menorah. Brings to light contemporary discussion on some of the structural details.

The Holy Temple Menorah Today (The Temple Institute) A brief article giving details about the menorah standing in Jerusalem today. Includes click-through links for more information.

More Than a Model Menorah (Jerusalem Post) A very readable article about the menorah.

Blueprints for the Holy Temple (The Temple Institute) A look at the blueprints for the hoped-for Third Temple.

Third Temple Menorah Unveiled In Jerusalem (Grant Jeffrey) A brief 1999 article reporting on the unveiling of the Temple Institute’s menorah.