Sandwiched between the elegant Rechavia neighborhood and the quintessentially Middle Eastern Machane Yehuda Shuk, is Nachlaot, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Jerusalem and home to the tension between the old and new, antique and modern and rich and poor.
Sir Moses Montefiore, the much-beloved philanthropist was behind the construction of the neighborhood in the 1800s. Nachlaot was built for the Ashkenazi and Sephardi religious communities of the Old City as well as European and Ottoman Empire immigrants. Many of these houses stand until today and bear plaques that carry the pictures and histories of their earliest residents when modern Jerusalem was being born.
The neighborhood was once dominated by religious old-timers. In recent years Nachlaot has become a haven for artists, musicians and hippy young American Jews, resulting in a Torah-inflected commune effect in the neighborhood. Gentrification of the neighborhood has resulted in English-speaking immigrants buying Nachlaot real-estate and replacing the aged buildings with luxurious Jerusalem-stone houses.
The old Nachlaot still echoes through the neighborhood with Yiddish-speaking enclaves touching hippie havens and melodies drafting out of the dozens of synagogues that are peppered around the neighborhood.
Categories : Neighborhoods