The largest of Jerusalem’s pre-1967 neighborhoods in the southwest part, with its 29,000 residents, the only one to be exempt from the obligation of building with Jerusalem stone, has become the hub of one of the city’s major struggles between haredim and non-haredim – the battle over Jerusalem’s identity.

Once a neighborhood hastily built to absorb waves of new immigrants from North Africa and Asia and molded into a “blue collar” neighborhood, in the past decade Kiryat Hayovel has become the main arena of the struggle between haredim and the rest of the population to shape its identity. Near the almost totally haredi Bayit Vagan neighborhood, while it has remained a rather affordable and partly even low-cost housing area, Kiryat Hayovel has attracted many haredi families. But the same holds true for young non-haredi families and many students (most of them studying medicine at Hadassah) who have increased the resident population.

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