This week’s featured place is Ma’ale Adumim, a beautiful, modern city that plays a major role in Israel’s security.
Ma’ale Adumim, established by 23 families and six individuals in 1975 on the second night of Hanukkah, is a beautiful, modern city in Judea that lies along the ancient route from Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley. It is located seven kilometers (4.3 miles) east of Jerusalem on the edge of the Judean desert.
“God was with them, and a new community was born,” proclaimed Ezra Ridgley, a Canadian pro-Israel activist who has compiled a series of videos describing the region of Judea and Samaria, the historic heartland of the Jewish people. With its state-of-the-art design and architecture, Ma’ale Adumim has become a “showcase city for all of humanity,” with “almost no crime,” Ridgley said.
The biblical name of Ma’ale Adumim is Hebrew for Red Ascent, referring to the reddish hues in the rock formations lining the climb to the city from the Dead Sea.
Described in the Book of Joshua as a border area between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, Ma’ale Adumim has a pleasant, semi-desert climate. The summer months are hot and dry but pleasantly refreshing in the evening; the desert winds blowing between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea regularly cool the area. The winter nights are not quite as chilly as in Jerusalem.
In modern days, the land was vacant, and much of the surrounding hills have remained as such. Exotic birds and plant life continue to flourish in this contemporary city built on empty desert land.
The uninhabited area was under Jordanian control between 1947, when British rule in the region came to an end, until the Six Day War in 1967. Prior to the British Mandate, it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Today it forms an important line of defense along the strategic Jordan Valley.
Not only does the city have good planning; it has natural beauty as well. The exquisite scenery includes the hills of Jerusalem to the north and west, and breathtaking desert mountains southward and eastward.
With its clean air, beautiful parks and close proximity to the capital, Ma’ale Adumim has become a desirable location. There are clubs and activities for young families as well as for seniors. The city is home to a mixed population of religious and secular, Ashkenazim and Sephardim. It offers a good quality of life, boasting many amenities, including a community center, sports complexes, malls, culture, entertainment, a public library and state-of-the-art transportation, medical and emergency services.
Mayor Benny Kasriel, noting the housing shortage, has been urging the Israeli government to approve tenders that already had been issued by the housing ministry for the planning of a new neighborhood. It would be located in an area known as E-1, connecting Maale Adumim to Jerusalem.
“In Ma’ale Adumim, we have a natural growth of 700 people a year,” he said, according to a report on the Israel National News website. “All of our kindergartens are full, and kids that grow up want to establish their homes here as well.”