“Like a Picture Postcard” – Touring the village of Ein Kerem
Tour the picturesque pathways of the village of Ein Kerem, following in the footsteps of Christian nuns, Jewish immigrants, and Muslim holy men.
From time immemorial the picturesque neighborhood of Ein Kerem has graced the outskirts of Jerusalem. For thousands of years, its residents have engaged in agriculture, growing olive groves and vineyards, orchards and green gardens. Their lives centered on the village’s fresh-water spring, its source of water and life. During the first century of the Common Era, Mary, the mother of Jesus, arrived for a family visit, carrying the Christian messiah in her womb. Her cousin Elizabeth lived in the village and gave birth to John the Baptist, who foretold the coming of Christianity.
Over the years churches and monasteries devoted to the story of Jesus and John were built in the village. Yet village life continued. Throughout government turnover and historical turmoil, Ein Kerem remained a farming village.
During the War of Independence, the Arab residents fled the village and were replaced by new immigrants from Yemen and North Africa.
We will roam around the colorful alleyways, among the stone houses, terraces, and twisting grapevines. We will hear stories about enchanted monasteries, a youth village for immigrant Holocaust survivors, hidden treasures, glowing stones, and much, much more.
The sites of the tour include Mary’s Spring, the Church of the Visitation, the Church of St. John the Baptist, the Sisters of Zion Monastery (closed on Sundays), the House of the Jewish Girl, and more.
The tour includes entry into churches.