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Beit Jala
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Beit Jala

Beit Jala (arab: بيت جالا , allegedly from Aramaic 'grass carpet') is a small Palestinian town about 10 km south of Jerusalem, on the western side of the Hebron road, opposite Bethlehem, at about 970 m altitude. Beit Jala has about 15,000 Muslim and Christian inhabitants, while a far greater number of mainly Christian persons descended from former inhabitants of Beit Jala live abroad, especially in South and Central America.

Beit Jala, like Bethlehem is home to educational facilities from different religious denominations, including a Russian Orthodox school founded in 1870. The Latin Patriarchate Seminary, responsible for the liturgical education in the Jerusalem Patriarchate, moved to Beit Jala in 1936. The Lutheran congregation runs Talita Kumi School, which has close links to German Lutherans.

Beit Jala has a hospital and two rehabilitation societies for the disabled: The Arab Society and Lifegate Rehabilitation, a German-Palestinian project. 3500 acres of land are planted with olives, grapes and other crop. Cremisan Cellars, located in the convent of Cremisan, is an important local winemaker.

The Beit Jala Skyline is made up by six churches, of which Virgin Mary is the oldest and St. Nicholas the most important (both are Orthodox), and by two mosques.

See also: List of cities in Palestinian Authority areas

External links