Beit Orot

Beit Orot

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Beit Orot, is a new Jewish neighborhood on the northern ridge on on the Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge in East Jerusalem with three peaks running from north to south. The highest, at-Tur, rises to 818 meters . It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes...

 in East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 in Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, near the Augusta Victoria Hospital. The Irving Moskowitz Yeshiva & Campus, a Religious Zionist yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

, is the nucleus of the neighborhood.


The purchase of the land that was to become Beit Orot was arranged in 1990 by Hanan Porat
Hanan Porat
-External links:...

, an Israeli politician, and financed by Irving Moskowitz
Irving Moskowitz
Irving I. Moskowitz is a Florida-based businessman who built a business running hospitals and legal gambling in California. He is the founder of the eponymous "Moskowitz Foundation" which was created "to help people in need regardless of race, creed, politics or religion"...

, an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 philanthropist. The site was chosen for its historic significance: during the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 in 1967, Porat was a paratrooper and his commander, Giora Askenazi, was killed there in the fight for the Old City in Jerusalem. The purchase of the land represented the first Jewish acquisition outside the Old City after the Six Day War. Porat founded Beit Orot together with Benny Elon.

The purchase was controversial, as the site of Beit Orot had originally been planned as a Palestinian school, and the purchase of the land for the yeshiva was opposed by then-mayor Teddy Kollek
Teddy Kollek
Theodor "Teddy" Kollek was mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 to 1993, and founder of the Jerusalem Foundation. Kollek was re-elected five times, in 1969, 1973, 1978, 1983 and 1989...

, but Kollek was soon voted out of office and the purchase allowed to be concluded. The project continues to stir controversy as Palestinian and international authorities decry continued Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

 in Palestinian neighborhoods.

Cornerstone Ceremony

On January 31, 2011, a cornerstone laying ceremony was held for four apartment buildings with a total of 24 homes that are the beginning of the new Jerusalem community of Beit Orot on the Mount of Olives Ridge. In attendance at the ceremony were Knesset members, Jerusalem city councilmen, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee
Michael "Mike" Dale Huckabee is an American politician who served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. He was a candidate in the 2008 United States Republican presidential primaries, finishing second in delegate count and third in both popular vote and number of states won . He won...

, and actor Jon Voight
Jon Voight
Jonathan Vincent "Jon" Voight is an American actor. He has received an Academy Award, out of four nominations, and three Golden Globe Awards, out of nine nominations. Voight is the father of actress Angelina Jolie....


Jerusalem Day

Beit Orot hosts a popular program for Jerusalem Day
Jerusalem Day
Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in June 1967...

. Beit Orot's location overlooks a panoramic view of the entire city of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

and the Old City walls. As part of the Jerusalem Day program, there are multiple free guided tours of the Mount of Olives Ridge, the area of the 1967 battle. One tour follows the path that the paratroopers took to the Lion’s Gate on their way to liberating Jerusalem.

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