Mahane Israel

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Mamila Pool, 1854.
An alley in Mahane Israel.

Mahane Israel (Hebrew: מחנה ישראל, Mahaneh Yisra'el) is the second Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem after Mishkenot Shaananim,[1] and the first built by residents of the Old City on their own behalf, as part of the process to "exit the walls" (Hebrew: היציאה מן החומות). Mahane Israel is a "communal neighborhood" and was built by and for Maghreb (western North Africa) Jews.

Mahane Israel was established by the Moroccan-born Jewish leader Rav David Ben-Shimon in 1867.[1] Although the neighborhood was described as very small, it wasn't significantly smaller than other neighborhoods built at the same period. The houses were poorly built and the residents were spirited and courageous. Men studied in different shifts throughout the night in the central Shul – Tzuf Devash. The Torah learning provided a spiritual shield against the dangers of the night. Also this way they were up and alert[clarification needed] to fend off any possible surprise Bedouin attack.

The community of west North Africans[edit]

Jews from the Maghreb at the end of the 19th century numbered more than 2,000 persons, comprising 25% of the entire Sephardic community in Jerusalem.


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-26. Retrieved 2011-01-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Coordinates: 31°46′35.93″N 35°13′17.57″E / 31.7766472°N 35.2215472°E / 31.7766472; 35.2215472

See also[edit]