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Ein Kerem, A Paradise On The Slopes

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Identified by many scholars as the biblical village of Beit Hakerem, these lush, staggered hills boast splendid churches, a stone-encased spring, quaint little alleys filled with art studios and cafés — and a plethora of Old World charm

As soon as the State of Israel was declared in May of 1948, a harried government began seeking housing for the multitude of immigrants pouring into the country. One December day at the end of that year, two trucks pulled into the deserted village of Ein Kerem on Jerusalem’s southwestern border.  Many of the passengers were men, women and children who had only recently moved to the brand-new State of Israel from Morocco and Iraq. The government had decided to settle these new arrivals in Ein Kerem.

But when they saw the sewage in the streets, realized that there was no water or electricity in the village, and got a look at the state of Ein Kerem’s rundown houses, the immigrants balked — and with vigor. Loudly protesting the situation, they refused to descend from their vehicles.

Veteran settlers relate that the ensuing ruckus reached the ears of Elizabeth, a senior nun at the Russian convent located on a nearby slope. Dashing down to the corner, she is said to have shouted at the newcomers in Russian: “This is paradise, you ungrateful fools, you don’t deserve this wonderful place. Get down! Get down! “ Someone must have understood, because at least one of the trucks emptied its riders into the streets and families began moving into the unoccupied dwellings.

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Read the full article over at The Times of Israel.

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Testimonials
I feel prompted to write this email to you all and your wonderful company after the tour my daughter and I took with you throughout Israel. From the moment you picked us up, to the time we arrived for our airport departure, I was impressed with the service you delivered. Shmuel is an absolute legend and quite clearly has a real passion for his country and culture and loves to share it with others. His love and knowledge of Israel and the people whom live there is in my mind what made the trip all that it was. Shmuel has left a large impression on me re-igniting a spark inside me that has been slowly smothered by the pressures of living in our fast paced modern society in the United States. During the tour I came to realize the reality of the Bible stories and felt a new connection spiritually. I can’t thank both of you enough for making such a trip so informative to the average person like myself, as I believe it has left me with a new outlook on life and passion to get out there to what is real - our love of Israel, it’s culture and most importantly to have compassion and support for those who care for this great land. Ignorance only comes through a lack of knowledge and people like Aviva and Shmuel makes a big difference. We highly recommend seeing Israel with them, shalom! Yours Gratefully, Christine and Genevieve Ivory





Christine and Genevieve Ivory