A quiet and lushly green neighborhood that is far from most other residential areas, Beit HaKerem is synonymous with calm affluence. This predominantly secular Jewish neighborhood retains an old Jerusalem character while simultaneously evoking an unmistakable aura of prosperity. The ancients knew a good thing when they saw it: the area where Beit HaKerem is built has been a popular place of residence since ancient times. Excavations have uncovered remnants from the First Temple, Second Temple, Byzantine and Mamluk periods. The neighborhood of Beit HaKerem was founded in 1922 during the British Mandate of Palestine. Considered a “garden neighborhood,” Beit HaKerem was separated from urban Jerusalem by expanses of undeveloped land.
The neighborhood was designed by the architect Richard Kaufman, who is otherwise famous for his Bauhaus style (a German school of design popularized in the early 20th century). A park in Beit HaKerem named Gan HaEsrim (Park of the Twenty) commemorates twenty residents of the neighborhood who were killed in the 1948 War of Independence. Danish Square honors the resistance movement in Denmark that rescued most of its Jews during the Holocaust. The monument in the square is shaped like a boat, for the boats that carried Jews to safety in Sweden. Today, Beit HaKerem is a thriving neighborhood with a population of 15,000, the majority of whom are secular Jews. There is, however, a minority of religious Jews, primarily modern Orthodox. While Beit HaKerem is tucked away in a remote corner of the city, far from urban noise and the impingement of other residential areas, it is still a burgeoning community.
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