* Outside of our House in Yemin Moshe, Jerusalem *


A View from the North-East to the Windmill.

Yemin Moshe is called after Sir Moses Montefiori, an English philantropist who with his Dutch-born wife Judith Cohen were the first to build a Hospice and a windmill for the Jews outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The building started in 1854 and was completed in 1865.

Fifteen years later, Montefiori bought with the heritage money of Judah Turah (born and buried at New Port (1775-1854) in Rhode Island) a piece of land towards the North of the hospice. Hundred and forty units were build and were ready to be occupied by 1892. This quarter was later named Yemin Moshe, in Hebrew "the righteous Moses" in honor of the philantropist who got the deal through with the signature of the sultan of Porta (Istanbul).


The ruin we purchased in 1974

Our home is located at the highest row of the quarter near to the windmill. The streets of Yemin Moshe are paved with roughly cut stones and are without any motor traffic. The quarter is build on a slope which extends from King David street (famous for its King David Hotel, Sheraton Hotel and the YMCA) to the Sultan's Pool which today can be (and often is) converted into an open amphitheatre where during the summer many festivities take place.

The streets, five in number, run north-south, at equal distances cut by three west-east staircases of roughly 180 steps. After 100 years, the quarter which once was No-men's Land between 1948-1967 (Six Day War) deteriorated quickly as can be seen on the photograph above.

In 1968, it was decided to restore the "spirit" of this quarter and private people submitted plans to restore the putchased ruins. A committee was formed to overlook the submitted plans.


Yemin Moshe, the Old City and the Hebrew University on the background

Our house is the higher one, left of the windmill. In West-East direction, Yemin Moshe is higher than the Old City, but 50-100 meters lower than Mount Scopus on which resides the Hebrew University with its three faculties of the Humanities, the Social Sciences and Law, as seen in the photograph above.

The walls of the Old City, as seen in the photo above, are from the time of Suleiman the Magnificent who built them in 1635.


A View over Yemin Moshe

At the highest level, there is a parking place, one of the four, surrounding the quarter. Within the quarter, one goes by foot.

All lines of electricity, water, TV, gas and telephone are underground so that they don't disturb the view or the stone and green features for which Yemin Moshe is so famous. TV antennas are forbidden. The quarter has a central antenna as well as Cable TV for one who wishes to be connected.

Birds of all kind have made Yemin Moshe their haven, so have the cats in the trail of the birds.


Patio at ground level and staircase leading up

Our Home has three floors, two at the west side, whereas three at the East (being on a slope). A Loft on the third floor crowns it all.

The house is made of stone (Mizzi Ahmar) cut diagonally by means of a chisel. All window frames and doors from the second floor upward are of made of wood.

Iron is used for the ballustrade of the outside staircase and that of the two balconies as well for the shutters at the lower western floor.


Iron Shutters on Jerusalem Stone Windows


A View from our balcony towards the windmill

The windmill was designed by an Englishman and had the purpose of grinding wheat for the population of the early Jewish hospice in 1865. The jews had to be paid to come to work and live in the Hospice because in those days one was afraid to live outside the protection of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. However, The upper part of the windmill did not turn towards the wind and soon, the mill was unusable. The story goes that the mill-stones made of basalt were rolled from Gaza to Jerusalem over the main road because they were too heavy to be caried.

At the west side of our home, we can see the beautiful gardens which were designed to encircle the entire Old City of Jerusalem with a green belt which would take care that the Old City does not disappear between highrise (Take, for example, the case of the "disappearance" of St. Paul's Cathedral in New York).

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