Rare footage from the 1930s shows Jerusalem as never before, from the lens of the Margulis family, who vacationed in the city and took it with a 16mm camera and a newly acquired color film.
The rare documentation includes footage of the Old City alleyways, the Hebrew University at Mount Scopus, and above all – the Western Wall, long before the modern-day plaza existed, when only a narrow path separated it from the Moroccan Quarter, which was destroyed afterwards. The capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The rare documentation includes footage of the Old City alleys, the Mount Scopus Hebrew University and above all – the Western Wall, long before the modern-day plaza existed, when only a narrow path separated it from the Moroccan Quarter, which was destroyed after 1967. seizing of East Jerusalem.
טיט: אוסף משפחתי ס לוליס וסינמטק ירושלים – ןיון ישראלי לסרטים
The highlyprized material was transferred to the Jerusalem Cinematheque archive, which digitized it and made it accessible to the public.
Photos show Haredi Jews from the Old Yishuv, Muslims wearing traditional garbs, women in elaborate hats, camels, donkeys and beggars on street corners.
The few cars in the streets belong to the people who served in administrative positions.
"The Western Wall always had beggars," says Rabbi Israel Gelis, a 10th-generation Jerusalemite and a well-known story teller.
"In the Book of Proverbs, it says 'righteousness delivers from death,' and indeed charity was a major part of prayer. People used to pray for Jews who lived in the diaspora and were sick or poor, they would receive letters and immediately. Go and pray. When they were done praying, they gave beggars by the Western Wall charity, "says Gelis.
According to Geilis, Jews were the majority of the residents in the capital as the beginning of the 20th Century.
"In the 1922 British census, there were 31,100 Jews, 14,700 Christians and only 13,400 Muslims in Jerusalem. In 1931 there were 53,800 Jews, 19,300 Christians and 19,900 Muslims, and it did not even include the new Jewish neighborhoods outside the Old City walls. , "he says.
"In the footage, you can see Ashkenazi Jews wearing a Jerusalem-style hat with round rims, and a kaftan," says Gelis.
"In order to understand why Ashkenazi Jews wore Sephardic garb, we have to go back to the year 1700, the year when Rabbi Judah Ben-Samuel arrived in Regensburg in the city. He passed away shortly after, at 41, but still managed to buy. Build an Ashkenazi synagogue on the land in the Old City, "says Geilis.
"When he died, he left behind a huge debt to the Arab builders, and after that, Ashkenazi Jews were allowed to live in Jerusalem for over 100 years.
"In the early 19 Century, several Ashkenazi students of the Vilna Gaon
came to live in Jerusalem, and in order not to be recognized, they wore a garb, like the Sephardi Jews.
"It wasn't until 1836 that Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Zalman Zoref was able to settle the debt, and then Ashkenazi Jews were again allowed to live in Jerusalem," says Geilis.
The digitization of archival footages in the Jerusalem Cinematheque began three years ago, and is set to end in another year, finally allowing the public to delve into thousands of forgotten footage pieces from the city's history.
Tamar Hayardeni assisted in preparing this article