Baka, meaning valley, was established in the 1920’s . It was originally a mixture of Muslim, Christian Arab, and Armenian neighborhoods built outside the Old City of Jerusalem at the end of the 19th century and was predominantly agricultural until the 1950s. After the establishment of the State of Israel, the neighborhood became a central location because of the Jerusalem Railway Station located at its edge. The station was in use from the 19th century until 1998. Baka is also well knows for Ulpan Etzion, Israel’s first Hebrew-language school, which was established here in 1949 and was used as a model for Hebrew language education across the country. During the 1970’s, middle class Israelis began settling in the neighborhood, renovating Baka’s already impressive homes. The exclusive neighborhood has become even more attractive in the past decade, as American and European (especially French) new immigrants continue to invest here.
Baka is made up mainly of unique traditional Arab houses, many of which have been recently renovated and expanded. The neighborhood is rich in greenery, with many parks, and lots of open space. It is home to both religious and non religious Jews, as well as Americans, Israelis, and Europeans alike. Beit Lechem Street, along which Baka stretches, is lined with lovely shops, designer stores, coffee shops and restaurants. Baka is also the home of excellent schools, public transport, synagogues of different denominations, the Chan Theater, and the original Jerusalem Railway station. Though you will have everything you need right here in Baka, we are right on the border of Emek Refaim and the German Colony and are within walking distance from both the Old City and downtown region. Keeping with the trend for themed street names within many Jerusalem neighborhoods, many streets in Baka are named for the Twelve Tribes: Judah, Issachar, Zevulun, Reuven, Shimon, Gad, Ephraim, Menashe, Benjamin, Dan, Asher and Naphtali.