Ein Karem is one of the most enchanting places in Jerusalem. Its tangible and intangible assets, physical, natural, cultural, spiritual and historical, all contribute to creating a magical and charming ambience. The story of Ein Karem goes back to Biblical times, when it was known as Beth Hakerem ( home of the vine). One of the most important holy sites for Christianity, Ein Karem attracts three million visitors a year, at least one third of whom are Christian pilgrims.
A conservation plan for Ein Karem was prepared and approved more than forty years ago. Unfortunately the plan’s guidelines have frequently been disregarded, while the city itself has grown and overtaken the picturesque village. The fact that Ein Karem is now a neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and is no longer a village outside the city, presents a significant challenge and may lead to irreversible consequences. Nevertheless, Ein Karem is an integral part of the city. This requires a plan which takes into account a detailed and balanced approach that takes into account both the needs of urban infrastructure, the vision of the residents and institutions, but yet never forgetting the spirit of Ein Karem and its candidacy to be recognised as a World Heritage Site.
The Green Pilgrim Jerusalem team has been asked to formulate a vision for Ein Karem and to work in cooperation with the and with the support of all the Ein Karem stakeholders (residents, institutions, churches, planning authorities, etc).Our goal is to formulate a vision that could be realised through feasible programs in all areas: physical, economic, tourism, social and cultural. Beyond providing a practical solution to the different challenges, our wish is to help preserve the unique character, landscape and heritage of Ein Karem.