About The Kollel
In the mid-nineteenth century the Ottoman rulers in the Land of Israel began to sell land around Jerusalem, and this was a golden opportunity for Jewish communities. Chabad and the Bucharian community bought land on the ridge above the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Temple Mount from the southeast.
The Turkish authorities would not allow the land to be used as a cemetery, but rather only for agricultural purposes. The two communities therefore used the land for growing wheat for making matza, until the War of Independence in 1948.
Between the War of Independence and the Six Day War in 1967, the entire area was under Jordanian rule. The Jordanians built a large police station on part of the land, and even after the area was liberated in the Six Day War, the building continued to serve as a police station – for the Israel Police.
Arabs began building houses on the rest of the land, prompting the Ateret Cohanim Association to appeal to Dr. Irwin Moskowitz ztz”l, who bought the land and wanted to build a Jewish neighborhood on it in 1992. A group of families organized and drew up plans to begin settling there, but the Israeli government objected because a Jewish neighborhood would interrupt the continuum of Arab houses from the Temple Mount to the Arab neighborhoods that had been given to the Palestinian Authority.
After a legal struggle, permission was granted to build a complex that would not be taller than the surrounding houses, and in 2003 the first 51 apartments were completed and families began to live there. The complex was called Maaleh HaZeitim, inspired by the verse in II Samuel 15:30, “David went up by the ascent of the Mount of Olives…” During the first few years of the neighborhood’s existence, the residents suffered from harassment by the Arabs, from a lack of public transportation and basic public services and institutions.
For several years there was no new construction and the neighborhood’s expansion plans faced many delays. In 2007 Zichron Moshe, a unique Beit Midrash, was founded in the building, and focused on the study of the laws of the Beit Mikdash and the sacrifices, and the sounds of Torah began to reverberate loud and clear on the Mount of Olives. The following year construction began on an additional 66 apartments, and soon after that the police headquarters moved to Maaleh Adumim, several kilometes to the east, and the building was converted into apartments for 17 more families.
This momentum continued after the Jerusalem Religious Council raised NIS 11 million for the construction of a beautiful mikveh, designed to serve a population of 500 families, in the belief that the neighborhood would continue to grow. Another building of 17 apartments was built , and about three years ago construction began on a large public building that will house two synagogues, two preschools, a library, a kollel yeshiva and an event hall.
We invite you to partner with us and to come and see the return of the Jewish People to our land and our inheritance, one step at a time. We hope and pray that we will be able to continue expanding the neighborhood and Jerusalem, and will merit to see the return of the Shechina to the Beit Mikdash.
The neighborhood of Ma’ale HaZeitim and the Temple Mount at a glance.
The Kollel in a lesson.
Ma’ale Hazeitim 3/1 Jerusalem