History through a keyhole

Houses From Within grants you an intimate look at many of Jerusalem's architectural landmarks - public and private.

Jerusalem dates back to the 4th millennium BCE,making it one of the most ancient cities in the world. It has beendestroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times and captured orrecaptured 44 times. The Talmud states it best: "Ten measures of beautydescended to the world, nine were taken by Jerusalem."

As Jerusalem moves into the future, its past isbeautifully preserved in many of its historical dwellings, cared fordevotedly by their occupants. On September 11 and 12, you will have anopportunity to study and review the private mysteries of this enigmaticcity during the Houses From Within exhibit.

Houses From Within offers the public two days to tour privatehomes, churches, synagogues, pilgrimage sites and also modern dayoperations that are redefining the city.


Zamenhoff House- located on Zamenhoff Street, it will be open for several tours. Thehouse was built at the beginning of the 20th century by Christian Arabsand divided during the 1950s to shelter two European refugee families.At that time, Hanoch Rosk began using one of the apartments as anEsperanto publishing house. Esperanto, invented by Dr. EliezerZamenhoff, was a language designed for international communication. ForZamenhoff, the language was intended to promote the peacefulcoexistence of different peoples and cultures.

Beit Avinu - The Mountain Palace - is located in EinKerem. Since the 1880s this compound has served as a British officers'club, a care center for Holocaust survivors, and currently serves as acenter for Messianic Jews. In the garden one can enjoy sculptures andinscripted verses telling the story of Joseph and his brothers and anancient wine press dating back to the Second Temple period.

Tzidkiyahu Cave - the 9,000 square meterstructure is the largest man-made cave in Israel. The cave was drilledunder the Muslim Quarter and used as a strip mine while the city ofJerusalem was being built over 2,500 years ago. The cave runs from nearthe Damascus Gate to the Via Dolorosa, not far from the Temple Mount.Some scholars claim that this cave provided the stones for the buildingof the First Temple. King Tzidkiyahu was the last of the kings of theFirst Temple period. As the Babylonians captured Jerusalem, Tzidkiyahutried to escape the city through the caves, only to be caught, torturedand killed by the invading army.

ACTIVITIES INCLUDE a photography workshop with Baruch Gian,whose works are on permanent display at the Jewish Museum in New York.Gian will guide amateur photographers through the Mahane Israelneighborhood, one of the first neighborhoods built outside of the OldCity by its residents.

In a city where so many ethnicities and ethos collide, thehomes of Jerusalem dwellers reflect the character of Jerusalem society.As the city moves forward into the future, its leaders must evolve fromits people's past - respecting the cultures that have evolved here, thehistorical sites that rest on the city's grounds, and the devotion itsoccupants have to this shifting, simmering city. The architecture ofhomes and buildings in Jerusalem hint at its tales of conflict,destruction, renovation and renewal. The insides of these structureshold the key to our ability to live in the modern world withoutforgetting the traditions and layers of the city's past.

For more information visit www.batim-jerusalem.org