Ma'ale Michmas
Settling the Land of Israel - In the heart of the Binyamin region


Though still quite compact, Ma'ale Michmas has grown substantially since it was founded. There are several distinctly different areas which, while each is small, can still be called neighborhoods.

The Original Structures

The original group to settle here lived in prefab homes called "caravans". These structures still stand and are inhabited, mostly by newcomers who plan on building permanent homes in the future. There are approximately 35 of them, varying is size from two bedrooms to three bedrooms, and they are arranged in concentric semicircles around a communal area. This communal area consists of pre-fab buildings housing the community office, the clinic, the men's and women's mikvehs, the Central Synagogue, the Sephardic Synagogue, and the local grocery store.

The former social hall (moadon) along with several nearby caravans have been taken over by the Noam Rachel elementary school. Future plans for the neighborhood include removal of the caravans and the construction of a large single building for the school.

The First Houses

In the next hill north of the original mobile homes, the first twenty houses were built beginning in 1985. This area is referred to as "Stage One" (shlav alef). They are all detached single-family homes.

The Industrial Zone

In order to build a modest local economic base for the village, a small industrial zone was set up, where a handful of companies do business. These include firms involved in electronics manufacturing, oil and gas exploration and carpentry.

Stage Two

In the early 90's, Stage Two (shlav bet) got underway. A direct continuation of Stage One northward in three rows curving eastward, Stage Two is twenty eight single story detached single-family homes. Since then, approximately one-third have added a second story.

Stage Three

In the mid-90's the first semi-detached homes were built. This project was divided in two parts. Ten units (five buildings) are below Stage One to the south-east, parallel to the village's entrance road. Another eighteen units (nine buildings) are below Stage One to the west. This street is known as the Champs-Elysee, named such because of the large number of immigrants from France who live there.

Mitzpeh Danny

Mitzpeh Danny is a hill and neighborhood named in memory of Danny Frei. East of Stages One, Two and Three and across the highway, Mitzpeh Danny is the hill the highest in the area, and has a commanding view in all directions. It is an especially strategic lookout to the east, overlooking the Judean Desert, the Jordan Valley, the northern tip of the Dead Sea, and the Moab mountain range in Jordan. In 1998, a new neighborhood of mobile homes was established there, currently numbering close to twenty.

Mishkenot Zevulun

Mishkenot Zevulun is named in memory of the leader of the National Religious Party, Zevulun Hammer. Begun in 1998, this is the largest single building project undertaken in Ma'ale Michmas. Located on the hill directly south-east of the original mobile homes, the entire neighborhood will eventually consist of over one hundred detached single-family homes. The houses are arranged in six rows on the eastern side of the hill, curving north-eastward. At present, the first two rows are completed and inhabited, and third row is in advanced stages of completion. Also considered a part of Mishkenot Zevulun, but not part of the actual construction project, are ten homes on the west side of the hill, which were designed and build privately by the houses' owners.

Stage Four

In 1999, work was begun on ten detached single-family homes as an extension north and east of the Champs-Elysee. The occupants moved into the houses in mid-2000.


Between Stage Four and the northern hill, Shaked was begun in 1999. This project consists of sixteen detached single family homes, and was completed in mid-2002.

The community has a strict building code, whose most striking features are:

  • All permanent buildings must have an exterior of "Jerusalem Stone"
  • All buildings must have a flat roof
  • All wiring to a permanent building must be buried underground
  • Solar water-heaters on the roof of a permanent building must be hidden on three sides by an enclosure of Jerusalem Stone

Some photographs © Eli File.
Last Updated Sunday, April 15, 2012.

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