About the project
Holland Village was a manufactured housing site built to temporarily house new immigrants and homeless veteran Israeli families. The 28-acre site was created to ease the housing shortage created by the wave of new immigrants arriving from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union. It was located along the slopes of the Gilo neighborhood on the road to Bethlehem, once a Jordanian military outpost. At its peak, the village housed approximately 2,000 people in 300 manufactured homes. The Jerusalem Foundation initially undertook projects to improve the basic infrastructure of the site, including installing underground electrical lines, paving walkways and installing outdoor lighting. It later created day care centers, kindergartens and a learning center to provide tutoring, support for children with learning disabilities and outings to improve new immigrant children’s capability for academic and social integration. It supported establishment of a library, a health clinic, a mother and child care center and several recreational facilities, including the Ann Harris Sport Court, a youth center and a playground. It also supported after school programs, activities for senior citizens and programs for at-risk teenagers. Programs took place on site and at the Adi Yaffi Community Center in nearby Gilo. Christians for Israel, a Dutch organization led by Reverend W.J.J. Glashouwer and representing thousands of people, raised more than $1 million for projects at Holland Village and sent a 200-member delegation to the village’s dedication ceremony. Residents of Holland Village have gradually moved out and into permanent residences as they have integrated into Israeli society.