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Beit Haddassah

Beit Haddassah

Beit Haddassah

The first floor of the Beit Haddassah building was built in 1893 from donations given by Jews from North Africa.  The building was used for charitable purposes and as an infirmary known as Chesed LAvraham.  In 1911, another floor financed by donations from Jews from India and Baghdad was added to the structure.  Later, a medical care center was opened by a charity organization. 

Jews and Arabs alike were granted medical treatment without payment at this facility.  The pharmacist, BenZion Gershon, lived in a nearby building along with leading rabbis of the Jewish community, Rav Chanoch Chason and Rav Yosef Kastel and their families.

These homes were attacked by Arabs during the 1929 uprising.

The rabbis, the pharmacist and their families were tortured and killed in the uprising.  The medical center at Beit Haddassah was destroyed.  The British police stood aside and did nothing to protect the Jews of the city.  After the riots, the British Government expelled the surviving Jews from Hevron.

The Jewish Community made great efforts to return to Hevron.  A few families returned in 1931.  However, they were expelled once again by the British during the Arab Uprisings of 1936.  Jewish homes were confiscated by the Arabs and Beit Haddassah was turned into a school for Arab children.

With the liberation of Hevron in 1967, efforts were made to return to the homes and buildings that were confiscated.

In 1979, a group of women and children entered Beit Haddasssah.  They lived there for one year, under very difficult conditions that included being under quarantine by the government. 

On Shabbat evening, the 17th of Iyar  (in 1980), Arab terrorists murdered six Jews by the Beit Haddassah building.  The Israeli government decided to allow Jews to return to some of the homes and restore them in the aftermath of this act.  Beit Haddassah, Beit Chason and Beit Kastel were rebuilt and additional floors were added to them.

Today, about 20 Jewish families reside in these buildings.  A museum detailing the history of the Jewish community in Hevron was built on the ground floor.  It contains a room commemorating those who fell in the Arab Uprising of 1929.  A Sound and Light show is also available to visitors.

During the years 1999-2000, another building was erected in the vicinity of Beit Haddassah, known as Beit HaShisha (The House of the Six) in memory of the six Jews killed at Beit Haddassah.  The building contains six apartments.