Mea Shearim

Map of Mea Shearim

Conrad Schick made a plan for the original neighbourhood called Mea Shearim. The first plans was to build a smaller complex for arriving jews. The area was surrounded by a high wall with gates that were closed during night-time. Due to the high number of immigrants the area was build more compact and the open areas in-between the houses were soon also build.
The area was established in 1874.
Mea Shearim could be called a “ghetto” in a positive meaning, it was only for a selected group of people, most of them poor and the gates were closed. The name Mea Shearim was inspired from the Bible, Genesis 26:12, Isaac sowed in the land and in that year he reaped hundredfold.

Mea Shearim in its context

Schick’s colleague from Chrishona, Basel, Johannes Frutiger, started a local bank i Jerusalem and financed the project. Through his bank he invested in a number of projects that changed the situation, for example the railway from Jaffa to Jerusalem.

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