Baka

Baka (Hebrew: בַּקְעָה‎‎; Arabic: بقعه‎), (officially Geulim), is a neighborhood in southern Jerusalem, Israel. The neighborhood is bounded by Talpiot to the south, Mekor Chaim to the west, the Greek Colony and German Colony to the northwest, and Abu Tor to the east.

History

Baka (lit. “valley”) was a mixed Muslim, Christian Arab, Armenians neighborhoods built outside the Old City of Jerusalem at the end of the 19th century. The neighborhood had an agricultural character until the 1950s. Its population changed,. The neighborhood became a central location because of the Jerusalem Railway Station located at its edge. The station linked Jerusalem from the 19th century until service ended in 1998. Many streets in Baka are named for the Twelve Tribes: Judah, Issachar, Zevulun, Reuven, Shimon, Gad, Ephraim, Menashe, Benjamin, Dan, Asher and Naphtali.[1]

In the 1950’s began the building a large concrete blocks on what was once agricultural land to accommodate new immigrants. And the neighborhood was characterized by the appearance that combined an old Arab building housing and the new building style. In the ’80s began the building of new architectural projects which mostly were design as inner courtyards surrounded by the living area. (such asDan Ben Street- Azai) at this time the neighborhood was a populated various economic classes, different denominations, different religious worldviews. In the ’90sJerusalemMunicipalitystarted its urban renewal project on the neighborhood blocks, many of which have been renovated and expanded the housing blocks from the 50’s. During the first decade of the 21st century neighborhood housing prices rose and local residents began to replace old wealthy immigrants from theUnited StatesandFrance.

 

Demography

Demographically, the neighborhood contains a mix of religious and secular Jews. It is popular among English and French-speaking olim.[2]

Schools and public institutions

The four main schools are Oranim, Efrata, Geulim A, and Pelekh. Ulpan Etzion, Israel’s first Hebrew-language school, was established in Baka in 1949. The ulpan, directed by Mordechai Kamerat, was used as a model for Hebrew language education across the country.[3] In 2008, the school vacated its college-style dormitories, communal rooms and gardens after the lease expired with the Carmelite Church that owned the property.[3]

Currently, Young Judaea’s Year Course owns a campus situated in Baka, along with an off-campus location at Derech Hevron. Year Course’s participants provides volunteering and assistance to the Baka community. Year Course’s Derech Hevron section, most notablyApartment5, is known for its outstanding service in cleaning up trash and overall excellence in contributing to the area.

 properties in Baka

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