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Main > Yeshiva Shavei Hevron > Hevron > The Jewish Settlement
Hevron
The Jewish Settlement in Hevron

There was a continuous Jewish presence in Hevron from Biblical times until the fifth century.

From the end of the sixteenth century, Jews expelled from Spain began to populate the city. They established a new neighborhood and in its center stood the Avraham Avinu Synagogue.
The Jewish neighborhood was also known as the "Jewish ghetto" as a result of the small radius of the area it occupied and the types of buildings that were erected.

Acquisition of Land at Tel Romeida

Between the years 1807-1811, land was purchased at Tel Romeida, as well as the open-air market by the head of the community, Rabbi Chaim Yehoshua Bago (known as "Chaim the Egyptian", by the Arab inhabitants). Rabbi Bago served as the head of the Jewish community of immigrants from Spain and Portugal in Hevron during this period of time.

The first phase, starting in 1807, marks an important period in the history of the Jewish community in Hevron. Rabbi Yehoshua Bago bought a parcel of land measuring 5 dunam from the well-known Arab family, Kashchul. Today, this land serves as the vegetable market in Hevron.

The next phase began in the month of May 1811, when Rabbi Chaim Yehoshua Bago leased an area of 800 dunam from the A-Tamimi family of Hevron. This area included Tel Romeida (Biblical Hevron) and the grave of Yishai, David HaMelech's father. This land was leased from his private funds and handed over to the Jewish community as a contribution. Two certificates of purchase were made out by the Waqf and signed by the A-Tamimi family who, according to their tradition, received all of the land of Har Hevron from the prophet Mohammed.

Tel Romeida is the site of Biblical Hevron and remnants of the citadel of the city can be found there. Present-day Hevron is situated between the fields of the original four quarters of the city.

The Yishuv in the 20th Century

In the year 1929, the Arab inhabitants of Hevron staged an uprising against the city's Jewish inhabitants (the riots of 1929). As a result of the rioting, the British government demanded that Jews be evacuated from the city. In 1931, there was an attempt to reinstate the Jewish presence in Hevron. This attempt was short-lived, as in the aftermath of even greater uprisings in the year 1936, all Jews were forced to leave the city as a final measure. With that, 450 years of Jewish presence in Hevron came to an abrupt end.

In 1949, the Jordanians gained control over Hevron and the rest of the West Bank. During the years of their control, the Jewish Quarter and the Avraham Avinu Synagogue were raised and the open-air market was established on part of the confiscated area.

The Jewish settlement in the city was renewed after the Six-Day War. On its outskirts, the settlement of Kiryat Arba was established, taking its name from the ancient name of the city as it appears in the Torah.

Yeshiva Shavei Hevron, Beit Romano 72, Kiryat Arba 90100 Tel. 02-9963838 Fax 02-9963929 E-Mail: zonenfeld@shaveihevron.org
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