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This article is about the neighborhood in Jerusalem. For the Haifa neighborhood, see Romema (Haifa).
Israel Broadcasting Authority head office in Romema. IBA head office.jpg
Israel Broadcasting Authority head office in Romema.

Romema (Hebrew : רוממה, lit. Uplifted) is a neighbourhood in northwest Jerusalem, Israel, just off the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway at the main entrance to the city. It occupies the highest hill in Jerusalem. [1] [2] Romema is bordered by Kiryat Mattersdorf and Mekor Baruch.

Hebrew language Semitic language native to Israel

Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language native to Israel; the modern version of which is spoken by over 9 million people worldwide. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only living Canaanite language left, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language.

Jerusalem City in the Middle East

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

Israel country in the Middle East

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.



The name of the neighborhood is based on Psalms 118:16: "The Lord's right hand is lifted high (romem)". [1]

Psalms Book of the Bible

The Book of Psalms, commonly referred to simply as Psalms or "the Psalms", is the first book of the Ketuvim ("Writings"), the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and thus a book of the Christian Old Testament. The title is derived from the Greek translation, ψαλμοί, psalmoi, meaning "instrumental music" and, by extension, "the words accompanying the music". The book is an anthology of individual psalms, with 150 in the Jewish and Western Christian tradition and more in the Eastern Christian churches. Many are linked to the name of David, but his authorship is not accepted by modern scholars.


British Mandate

Romema was founded on a hill outside the historical city of Lifta in 1921. The initiator of the project was attorney Yom-Tov Hamon, an expert in Ottoman law and land-ownership issues, who arbitrated disputes among Arab landowners in the region and opened sales of the land to Jews. [1] The original building plan called for 24 houses surrounding a central square. [1] The Jewish section of the neighborhood was built with private funding. Most of the original streets were named for Hebrew newspapers of the era: HaZvi , edited by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Ariel, HaOr, Torah Mitzion, and Moriah. [1] In 1931 a water reservoir was erected here. [2]

Lifta Palestinian Arab village on the outskirts of Jerusalem

Lifta was a Palestinian Arab village on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The village was depopulated during the early part of the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine. During the war it housed Jewish refugees, and after the war was settled by Jewish families, who subsequently mostly left in 1969-71, following which parts of the village were used as drug rehabilitation clinic and a high school. It is located on a hillside between the western entrance to Jerusalem and the Romema neighbourhood. In 2012, plans to rebuild the village as an upscale neighborhood were rejected by the Jerusalem District Court. In 2017 the last Jewish residents left Lifta, and the village area was declared an Israeli nature reserve.

<i>HaZvi</i> Hebrew-language newspaper published in Jerusalem by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda from 1884 to 1914.

HaZvi was a Hebrew-language newspaper published in Jerusalem from 1884 to 1914 by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, a leading pioneer of the revival of Hebrew as a spoken tongue.

Eliezer Ben-Yehuda 19th and 20th-century Hebrew grammarian, newspaper editor and Zionist

Eliezer Ben‑Yehuda was a Hebrew lexicographer and newspaper editor. He was the driving spirit behind the revival of the Hebrew language in the modern era.

Extant architecture shows the area's original affluence, wealth, and diversity. These include the three-story residence of Arab Haj Muhammad, who owned quarries in nearby Lifta and was a judge in the city's Muslim courts; the elegant home of Jewish hotelier and businessman Yehiel Amdurski, and the home of Rabbi Yehuda Fishman-Maimon. [1]

Yehuda Leib Maimon Israeli politician

Yehuda Leib Maimon was an Israeli rabbi, politician and leader of the Religious Zionist movement. He was Israel's first Minister of Religions.

By 1948, the population was diverse, with Arab, Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewish residents. [1] At the beginning of 1948, during the Civil war, Christian Palestinians and Muslim Arabs living in the Arab section of Romema as well as the nearby village of Lifta were forced out of their homes due to violence from Jewish paramilitary groups such as the Irgun, as well as clashes with Arab militia men. Due to the Absentee Property Law, Arab residents were not allowed to return to their homes by the Israeli government, a point of contention for Palestinians who held property there. [3]

Ashkenazi Jews ethnic group

Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or simply Ashkenazim, are a Jewish diaspora population who coalesced in the Holy Roman Empire around the end of the first millennium.

Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews or Sephardim, originally from Sepharad, Spain or the Iberian peninsula, are a Jewish ethnic division. They established communities throughout areas of modern Spain and Portugal, where they traditionally resided, evolving what would become their distinctive characteristics and diasporic identity, which they took with them in their exile from Iberia beginning in the late 15th century to North Africa, Anatolia, the Levant, Southeastern and Southern Europe, as well as the Americas, and all other places of their exiled settlement, either alongside pre-existing co-religionists, or alone as the first Jews in new frontiers. Their millennial residence as an open and organised Jewish community in Iberia began to decline with the Reconquista and was brought to an end starting with the Alhambra Decree by Spain's Catholic Monarchs in 1492, and then by the edict of expulsion of Jews and Muslims by Portuguese king Manuel I in 1496, which resulted in a combination of internal and external migrations, mass conversions and executions.

Irgun zionist terrorist group

The Irgun was a Zionist paramilitary organization that operated in Mandate Palestine between 1931 and 1948. It was an offshoot of the older and larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. When the group broke from the Haganah it became known as the Haganah Bet, or alternatively as haHaganah haLeumit or Hama'amad. Irgun members were absorbed into the Israel Defense Forces at the start of the 1948 Arab–Israeli war. The Irgun is also referred to as Etzel, an acronym of the Hebrew initials, or by the abbreviation IZL.

Member of Harel Brigade 10th Battalion in Romema after snow fall, 1948. Romema 1948.jpg
Member of Harel Brigade 10th Battalion in Romema after snow fall, 1948.
Romama from Schneller Orphanage, 1948 Romama 1948.jpg
Romama from Schneller Orphanage, 1948

State of Israel

After the establishment of the State of Israel, Romema became a center of light industry for many decades, home to a large number of garages, foundries, carpentry workshops and factories. [4]

From 1950 to 1991, Romema was the home of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, after access to the zoo on Mount Scopus was blocked in 1949. [5]

In 2007, as businesses closed and properties were bought up by developers, a master plan was commissioned for the neighborhood. [1] Today Romema is Jerusalem's transportation hub: The Jerusalem Central Bus Station and Chords Bridge are located there, and a new high-speed railway terminus is being built opposite the bus station. [6]


Monument to British soldiers, Allenby Square Jerusalem Allenby Sqr.JPG
Monument to British soldiers, Allenby Square

A 3-meter high monument commemorating the British soldiers who fell in the battle for Palestine stands at Allenby Square at the top of Romema Street, where the Turkish Army surrendered to General Allenby during World War I. It was erected by soldiers of the 60th London Division in 1920. The inscription around the base reads: "Near this spot, the Holy City was surrendered to the 60th London Division, 9th December 1917." Etched into the monument are the silhouettes of Crusader knights, drawing a symbolic link between them and the British soldiers who conquered Jerusalem. [1] The British also built a water tower in Romema, which was the highest point in Jerusalem at the time. Water from an adjacent pool was piped all over the city. [1]

The Jerusalem branch of the Magen David Adom ambulance service is located in Romema. [7]

Other landmarks include the Israel Television building, Jerusalem Gate Hotel, Center One shopping mall, Belz Great Synagogue and Rabbinical College with a design resembling that of the Second Temple, and the Aleh Center for the rehabilitation of handicapped children and youth.

Former landmarks included offices of The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz , the Tnuva dairy factory, Amcor refrigerator factory, and Achuza wedding hall. These have been mostly demolished making room for construction of high-rise residential buildings.


Many of the factory buildings in Romema were designed by Rudolf ("Rudy") Reuven Trostler, a pioneer of industrial architecture in Israel. [8] Trostler also designed the five-story building housing the Israel Broadcasting Authority, which was erected in the 1960s as a diamond polishing center. The building was in the International Style with a gray breeze-block grille on the facade that became one of Trostler's stylistic trademarks. [8] When the diamond industry in Jerusalem did not take off as anticipated, the building was renovated for television broadcasting. [9]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Bar-Am, Aviva (10 April 2008). "Walking Tour: Authentic Romema". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
  2. 1 2 Kark, Ruth; Oren-Nordheim, Michal (2001). Jerusalem and its Environs: Quarters, Neighborhoods, Villages, 1800-1948. Wayne State University Press. p. 139. ISBN   0814329098.
  3. Morris, Benny (2003). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. pp. 119121. ISBN   0521009677.
  4. Krieger, Matthew (17 September 2007). "'Jerusalem Post' to be razed for residential housing". The Jerusalem Post . Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  5. Greenbaum, Avraham (August 2006). "The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo". Society of Biblical Literature . Retrieved 2009-09-15.
  6. Romema changes with the times
  7. "Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, With His Sister Marjorie Riven, Dedicates MDA Facility in Memory of Their Father". Magen David Adom. 23 October 2011. Archived from the original on 16 June 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  8. 1 2 "A Concrete Life". Haaretz . Archived from the original on 20 October 2008.
  9. Elizer, Yuval (2012). "Israeli Television and the National Agenda". Jewish Virtual Library . Retrieved 6 August 2012.

See also:

Coordinates: 31°47′24″N35°12′14″E / 31.790°N 35.204°E / 31.790; 35.204