Har Nof is a bustling neighborhood located on the western edge of Jerusalem. Established just thirty years ago, Har Nof’s history hearkens back over 1,500 years when it was an agricultural colony. As one would expect, when construction of Har Nof began in the early 1980s, remains of wine presses and farmhouses were found along the perimeter of the neighborhood.
The Perfect Name
Har Nof literally means Mount View, a perfect name for this neighborhood which is situated on a mountain ridge 800 meters above sea level and offers spectacular panoramic views of the Judean Hills. The neighborhood is built along the sides of a mountain, and many buildings have two entrance levels: one on a lower street and one offering entry on a higher street. These multi-level buildings have become a community icon, which adds to the neighborhood’s charm.
Though located on the western border of Jerusalem, Har Nof offers its residents outstanding access to the city. Numerous bus lines start in Har Nof and wind their way through various sections of Jerusalem. One bus line ends at the Kotel, which is a 30 minute trip. The center of town is within a 20 minute ride and the Jerusalem central bus station, which offers access to the entire country, is 10 minutes away by bus. In addition, the neighborhood is close to Highway One, the main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv artery.
Har Nof has some shopping establishments, but neighboring Givat Shaul, literally five minutes away, offers a veritable smorgasbord of retail opportunities that can satisfy one’s every wish. Many Har Nof residents work in Givat Shaul, as it has numerous office buildings which house many companies.
Har Nof has always been a soft landing spot for American olim for a number of reasons. First, there are many English speakers in the neighborhood. Second, the Har Nof Anglo community is very welcoming, and third, many programs and community services are available to help acclimatize new immigrants. In addition to Hebrew and English, one hears a significant amount of French and Spanish spoken throughout the neighborhood.
Har Nof is a religious neighborhood, of which approximately 70% of its residents are Charedi (yeshivish) and 30% are Dati Leumi (national religious). Due to its residents’ varied backgrounds, Har Nof has a high percentage of professionals and businessmen, in addition to rabbis and educators.
Over the years, Har Nof has become the capital of the Sephardi Shas party, as its spiritual leader Rav Ovadia Yosef and many of the party’s leaders live in the neighborhood. There are also Ger and Vizhnitz chassidim, plus many rabbinic luminaries from the Ashkenazi Haredi community, including Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch and the Bostoner Rebbe, amongst others.
Orot Hatshuva (Photo: CC-BY-SA Wikipedia)
Har Nof is home to countless synagogues, yeshivas and seminaries. A wonderful benefit of living in this neighborhood is the abundance of Torah classes, offered in numerous languages and all levels, for its residents to choose from.
Despite its relatively recent establishment, Har Nof has become a landmark Jerusalem community.
Gedaliah Borvick is the founder of My Israel Home, a real estate agency focused on helping people from abroad buy and sell homes in Israel. To sign up for his monthly market updates, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit his blog at www.myisraelhome.com.