Pro­duc­ing con­tent on the Web since 1995.

some say­ings of ר‘משבצונה“ל

For many years I have worked hard, and strug­gled with mas­ter­ing virtuous. Now, in addi­tion, I’m work­ing on becom­ing more virtual.
This is an expres­sion of that effort.
* * * * * * *

השיבנו ה‘ אליך ונשובה חדש ימינו
כעוד לא היו
* * * * * * *
ומביא גאלה…

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All pho­tographs are by Mark Hurvitz unless they are obvi­ously not (or credit oth­er­wise is given).

The pho­tos in the ban­ner at the top (only a shal­low sliver of a much larger photo) are either from our home or our trav­els and are offered for their beauty alone (though a brain-teaser for me: “Where was that?”).

the Jerusalem of…

What places have been called

  • Lit­tle Jerusalem”

  • The Jerusalem of…”

…and based on what criteria?

  • Did the local pop­u­la­tion des­ig­nate their place as such?
  • Did Jews from else­where iden­tify the loca­tion in that manner?
a par­tial list accu­mu­lated to date (Octo­ber 10, 2010)

In the eyes of the Jer­ban Jews, their island within an island (more than 80,000 Muslims—Ibadis, Malikis, Hanafis—live var­i­ously around them) is a sort of dis­pora Holy Land, “the antecham­ber,” as they put it, “of Jerusalem.” The main syn­a­gogue, called “The Mar­velous,” and long a major pil­grim­age site for North African Jews, is con­sid­ered to date from the destruc­tion of the first Tem­ple in 586 BC.“
Clif­ford Geertz, “The Ulti­mate Ghetto” a review of The Last Arab Jews: The Com­mu­ni­ties of Jerba, Tunisia, by Abra­ham L. Udovitch and Lucette Valensi, Hard­wood Aca­d­e­mic Pub­lish­ers; in The New York Review of Books, Feb­ru­ary 28, 1985, p. 14. (No page ref­er­ence to Udovitch and Valensi)
[empha­sis mine]

Tea­neck, New Jersey

Tea­neck is known as the Jerusalem of New Jer­sey (?) ca. 1988.
Heard men­tioned in town by Mark Hurvitz.

Vilna / Vilnius

Jerusalem of Lithua­nia, Illus­trated and Doc­u­mented. Col­lected and arranged by Leyzer Ran. 3 vol­umes, New York, 1974. (Vols. I and II 14,1/2 inches by 11% inches, hard bound; vol. III paper­back: 11 inches by 8,1/2 inches; Library of Con­gress Cat­a­log Num­ber 73– 90918). Avail­able from: Vilno in Pic­tures, Inc., 34–40 93rd Street, Jack­son Heights, NY 11372.


Moi­ses Ville, Argentina cf arti­cle “Moi­ses Ville, The Jerusalem of South Amer­ica” by Nina Bar­ra­gan, The Jew­ish Monthly, Jan­u­ary 1991.

Waco, Texas

… “some­times known as Jerusalem on the Bra­zos River.” New York Times 3÷2÷93 page A8.

Woodville, Mis­sis­sippi

Jews in Early Mis­sis­sippi, Leo & Eve­lyn Turitz, quoted in Evens, Eli N, The Lonely Days were Sun­days, page 59.

Banja Luka (Bosnia)

Mirka Mujadzic Bosn­ian Par­lia­men­tar­ian: “Banja Luka is our Jerusalem.” New York Times, Octo­ber 2, 1994.

Alliance, New Jersey

In this coun­try, Ore­gon had its New Odessa (foiled by ide­o­log­i­cal rifts), Michi­gan its Pales­tine com­mu­nity (near Bad Axe), Kansas its Beer­sheba, and New Jersey’s Alliance was dubbed New Jerusalem by 1882.”
Joseph Bran­des, Fair Lawn, N. J. Let­ter, May 2, 1996 New York Times May 7, 1996

Romeu, Por­tu­gal

As reported by Ina­cio Steinhardt:

In one of my trips to the Mar­rano belt to the north of Por­tu­gal, I found a lit­tle vil­lage, in the province of Tras-os-Montes, by the name of JERUSALEM DO ROMEU. I even had a pic­ture of me taken near the sign with that name.
ROMEU is a larger vil­lage up-hill with an inter­est­ing local museum. There was an hand­writ­ten book where, among other things there was a phrase in Hebrew, obvi­ously copied by some­body who did not under­stand the letters.

JERUSALEM DO ROMEU is located down­hill on the road and is really only a few houses. It is not men­tioned in the maps. I found out that, in spite of the fact that many vil­lages and town­lets have a large pop­u­la­tion of mar­ra­nos, the name of Jerusalem was given in con­nec­tion with a catholic image of NOSSA SENHORA DE JERUSALEM (Our Lady of Jerusalem).

Por­to­bello, Dublin, Ireland

Leopold Bloom wan­dered through the area of Dublin affec­tion­ately known as “Lit­tle Jerusalem” with its Jewish-owned shops and syn­a­gogues that day of June 16, 1904, leav­ing, through Joyce’s per­va­sive sym­bol­ism, an exhaus­tive cri­tique of con­tem­po­rary cul­ture.
Irish Echo
Dublin museum cel­e­brates Jew­ish pres­ence in Ire­land
Reported by Suzanna Hicks

From Jim Mon­aghan
Sub­ject: Death of Span­ish Civil War vet­eran Mau­rice Lev­i­tas
Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 17, 2001
Mau­rice Lev­i­tas dies in Lon­don
By Padraig Yeates
Mau­rice Lev­i­tas (Moishe ben Hil­lel), one of the last sur­viv­ing Irish vet­er­ans of the Span­ish Civil War, died on Wednes­day in Lon­don.
There are now only three Irish sur­vivors from the Inter­na­tional Brigade, which fought in Spain between 1936 and 1939 in defence of the Span­ish repub­lic.
They are Mr Michael O’Riordan, for­mer gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of Ire­land, and Mr Eugene Down­ing, who wrote the only mem­oir in Irish of the war. Both men live in Dublin. Mr Bob Doyle, a for­mer mem­ber of the Com­mu­nist Party and union activist, now lives in Lon­don.
Mr Lev­i­tas was born on Feb­ru­ary 1st, 1917, in Por­to­bello, Dublin, then known as “Lit­tle Jerusalem”.
He was the son of Harry Lev­i­tas from Lithua­nia and Leah Rick from Latvia. His father was active in the Inter­na­tional Tai­lors’, Machin­ists’ and Pressers’ Trade Union, then known in Dublin as “the Jew­ish Union”. The fam­ily emi­grated to Britain in 1927 where Mau­rice became a plumber and sub­se­quently a teacher.
A life­long com­mu­nist as well as a trade union­ist, he par­tic­i­pated in the “Bat­tle of Cable Street” in Octo­ber 1936 when the British Union of Fas­cists was pre­vented from march­ing through the Jew­ish neigh­bour­hoods of London’s East End.
In Decem­ber 1937 he vol­un­teered for the Inter­na­tional Brigade. He fought at Teruel and Bel­chite on the Aragon front before being cap­tured, together with the Irish repub­li­can Frank Ryan, near the town of Gan­desa in March 1938. He was impris­oned for a year in the con­cen­tra­tion camp of San Pedro de Cardea, before being released as part of a pris­oner exchange.
The Irish unit of the Inter­na­tional Brigade was known as the Con­nolly Col­umn and, when a memo­r­ial to it was unveiled at Dublin’s Lib­erty Hall in May 1991, Mau­rice Lev­i­tas read the roll of hon­our of his fallen com­rades.
He last vis­ited his native city in Feb­ru­ary 1997 when, together with other sur­viv­ing brigade mem­bers, he was accorded a civic recep­tion in the Man­sion House by the Lord Mayor.
Mau­rice Lev­i­tas is sur­vived by his broth­ers, Max and Sol, his sis­ter, Toby, and his chil­dren, Bill, Diana, Ruth, Danny, Rachel and Ben. The funeral will take place on Fri­day at Gold­ers Green cre­ma­to­rium, Lon­don. Kad­dish will be said by his brothers.

The area around Clan­bras­sil Street in which most Irish Jews lived in Dublin up to the 1950s and which is of course vividly described by James Joyce was often referred to as “Lit­tle Jerusalem”. Cor­mac O Grada recently pub­lished an inter­est­ing arti­cle on it: Cor­mac O Grada, “Lost in Lit­tle Jerusalem: Leopold Bloom and Irish Jewry”, Jour­nal of Mod­ern Lit­er­a­ture. Vol­ume 27, Num­ber 4, Sum­mer 2004, pp. 17–26.
See also Ray Rivlin, Shalom Ire­land. A Social His­tory of Jews in Mod­ern Ire­land. Dublin 2003.
reported by Dr. Maria Diem­ling School of Reli­gions and The­ol­ogy; Trin­ity Col­lege Dublin


There is a very inter­est­ing film “Rhodes For­ever” made by Diane Perel­sztejn about the lit­tle know story of the Jews of Rhodes. It is 49 min­utes in Ladino, French, Ital­ian and Greek with Eng­lish sub­ti­tles and is avail­able in film or video. It is the first ever doc­u­men­tary devoted to the Jews of Rhodes whose ances­tors found refuge after their expul­sion from Spain in the 15th cen­tury. The com­mu­nity became known as “Chica Yerushalayim-Little Jerusalem”, num­bered 5,000 at its peak — one third of the pop­u­la­tion of the island — liv­ing pre­dom­i­nantly in the Jew­ish Quarter.…What hap­pened to this vibrant com­mu­nity dur­ing the Holo­caust is chron­i­cled in this pro­gram as well as some of the rich cus­toms of Sephardic cul­ture.
Sharon Pucker Rivo
National Cen­ter for Jew­ish Film at Bran­deis University

Toledo, Spain

From Itin­er­ary of the Jerri-Ann & Gary Jacobs Inter­na­tional Teel Lead­er­ship Insti­tute (july 2000):
Explore Toledo, the ancient Chris­t­ian cap­i­tal of Spain, also known as the “Jerusalem” of Spain.
Toledo, the “Sec­ond Jerusalem”
in Frank A Travel Guide to Jew­ish Europe” ? edi­tion page 232.

United States of America

Myer Moses, a leader of Con­gre­ga­tion Beth Elo­him of Charleston, in a pub­lished lec­ture deliv­ered in 1806 to raise funds for the city’s Hebrew Orphan Soci­ety, described “free and inde­pen­dent” Amer­ica as a “sec­ond Jerusalem” and a “promised land.” Quoted in Sarna, Jonathan, Amer­i­can Judaism, pg 51f

Oudt­shoorn (or Udt­shorn), South Africa

Udt­shorn: Yerusha­layim d’Afrike (Oudt­shoorn: the Jerusalem of Afrika)
A chron­i­cle of a com­mune of Yid­dish speak­ing ostrich farm­ers who, before styles changed, sup­plied the lucra­tive mar­ket of feath­ers for women’s hats.
Men­tioned in Lan­sky, Aaron. Out­wit­ting His­tory, p. 220.

Mon­treal, Canada

Sub­ject: LOOKING FOR: Judaica schol­ars from Mon­treal, Canada
Date: May 2nd, 2003
I am work­ing on a project that requires a com­pre­hen­sive list­ing of aca­d­e­mics in all areas of Jew­ish Stud­ies, who are orig­i­nally from Mon­treal — the Jerusalem of the North.
Allan Nadler, Depart­ment of Reli­gious Stud­ies, Drew Uni­ver­sity, Madi­son, NJ, 07940

Zad­nie, Carpatarus (today part of the Ukraine)

My father, the late Haim M. I. Gevaryahu, reported in the intro­duc­tion to a paper­back book about his birth place vil­lage called Zadni (col­lated and edited by Fai­tel Yoso­vitch, Jerusalem ~1980) in Carpatarus (today part of the Ukraine) as follows:

From 92 of the fam­ily heads [in the vil­lage Zad­nie] almost every one knew how to learn Tal­mud inde­pen­dently, and the rest knew how to learn Chu­mash with Rashi, Mish­nayot and Agadot. Such a con­cen­tra­tion of [Jewish/Hebraic] knowl­edge was so unusual in those days, that the dis­trict rabbi of the area, Rabbi Asher Zelig Grun­zweig crowned Zad­nie as ‘Lit­tle Jerusalem.”

This is included in the His­tory of the Gevaryahu-Gottesman Fam­ily.
reported by Gilad J. Gevaryahu Sat, 10 Dec 2005.

Nehardea, Baby­lon

Some cities, such as Nehardea—known as the “Jerusalem of Babylon”—were entirely Jew­ish.
Eban, Abba, My Peo­ple (new edi­tion), © 1968 Behrman House, Inc. New York. p. 116

Ams­ter­dam, Hol­land The Netherlands

Lit­tle Jerusalem”
Frank, Ben G., A Travel Guide to Jew­ish Europe, 2nd Edi­tion, Pel­i­can Pub­lish­ing Co., Gretna 1996 p. 295
It was referred to as “The Dutch Jerusalem”
Scheindlin, Ray­mond P., A Short His­tory of the Jew­ish Peo­ple, Oxford Uni­ver­sity Press, © 1998 p. 160

Pyongyang, North Korea

Though it is dif­fi­cult to rec­og­nize after fifty years of anti-religious pol­icy, the present cap­i­tal of North Korea, Pyongyang, was once known as the “Jerusalem of the East” for its con­cen­tra­tion of churches and the fer­vor of its con­verts.
Writ­ers From the Other Asia
reported by Jay

Sar­celles (neigh­bor­hood) Paris, France

film 2005 La Petite Jéur­salem
Reli­gion, philosophy,romantic love and sen­sual desire all vie for the heart and mind of a smart, seri­ous teenage girl in this skill­fully bal­anced debut fea­ture from writer-director Karin Albou. Set in the sub­ur­ban Paris neigh­bor­hood of Sar­celles, known as ‘Lit­tle Jerusalem’ due to its large Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion, the film focuses on 18-year-old stu­dent Laura (Fanny Valette) as she tries to rec­on­cile all the con­flict­ing influ­ences and feel­ings to which study and expe­ri­ence have intro­duced her. Liv­ing with her extended fam­ily — which includes wid­owed mother (Sonia Tahar), sis­ter (Elsa Zyl­ber­stein) and brother-in-law (Bruno Tode­s­chini) — means she’s unable to escape her Ortho­dox upbring­ing, although her own immer­sion in West­ern phi­los­o­phy has helped her form a strong per­sonal view of the world, to engage con­tra­dic­tory dreams and lifestyles, tur­bu­lent inti­mate relationships…

Lawrence, New York

With love from the Jerusalem of NY.“
self iden­ti­fied by Rabbi Paula Jayne Win­nig, Tem­ple Sinai of Long Island, Lawrence, NY 11559

Ilynka, Dagh­es­tan

In Frédéric Bren­ner; Dias­pora: Home­lands in Exile, New York : Harper­Collins, c2003.

Lit­tle Jerusalem, Logan County, Kansas

In Guidebook—Geology and Pale­on­tol­ogy of North­west­ern Kansas.

After cross­ing Chalk Creek, we pass a clus­ter of chalk mon­u­ments known as the Lit­tle Pyra­mids. After turn­ing west and again north, we will see a large area of chalk bad­lands called Lit­tle Jerusalem. This is the largest expo­sure of Nio­brara Chalk in the state.

Pit­igliano, Tus­cany, Italy

Pit­igliano sits in the south­ern limit of the beau­ti­ful Tus­cany “La Pic­cola Gerusalemme” got his name both from the ancient medieval land­scape of the vil­lage (that remem­bers the beloved Jerusalem) and the wis­dom of this Jew­ish com­mu­nity, that once brought to the area many cul­tural and social advances (includ­ing the Jew­ish Uni­ver­sity of Pit­igliano, which was founded in the community’s flour­ish­ing days).

If you know of another place that belongs on this list, or if you have an expla­na­tion for why one or another of these loca­tions is so iden­ti­fied with Jerusalem, please con­tact me.