Prof. Daniel Sperber, a resident of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City and an Israel Prize laureate in Jewish studies, has noticed a demographic and sociological change in the Jewish Quarter over time, from a diverse neighborhood of secular, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jews to one that is almost entirely Haredi (ultra-Orthodox ).
Sperber also serves as a rabbi of the neighborhood’s Menachem Zion synagogue, a congregation he describes as “a nature reserve” for religious Zionists. “Once the synagogue was crammed full,” he said. “Now, unfortunately, there are a lot of empty seats.”
Sperber’s sense of the Jewish Quarter’s transformation is born out by new research on developments in the quarter since Jews returned to it following the 1967 Six-Day War.
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