Ben Yehuda Street (Jerusalem)

Ben Yehuda Street at night.

Ben Yehuda Street (Hebrew: רחוב בן יהודה‎), known as the "Midrachov" (Hebrew: מדרחוב‎) is a major street in downtown Jerusalem, Israel. It joins with Jaffa Road and King George Street to form the Downtown Triangle central business district. It is now a pedestrian mall and closed to vehicular traffic. The street runs from the intersection of King George Street east to Zion Square and Jaffa Road. The street is named after the founder of Modern Hebrew, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda.


Ben Yehuda Street by day.
Ben Yehuda Street on Shabbat, when businesses are closed (view from Zion Square).

Ben Yehuda was already one of Jerusalem's main streets long before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. As a busy thoroughfare, it has been a prime target for terrorist bombings between 1948, when the worst atrocity happened, and 2001, during the Second Intifada.[1]

In 1983, the street was closed to automobile traffic.[2] In Hebrew it is called a midrachov (pedestrian mall – a Hebrew neologism formed from the words "midracha" [sidewalk] and "rechov" [street].[3] Many of the businesses cater to tourists. The street is lined with souvenir and Judaica shops and sidewalk cafes, and street musicians play there throughout the day.[4] It was long considered the "secular heart of Jerusalem," but since the 2000s, disaffected Orthodox Jewish youth have joined the mix of tourists and locals.[5]

The comedy club Off the Wall Comedy Empire (also known as Off the Wall Comedy Basement) is located in the basement at 34 Ben Yehuda Street.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sheleg, Yair (3 December 2001). "A short history of terror". Haaretz. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  2. ^ "מדרחוב בן יהודה (Hebrew)". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Ben-Yehuda Street". Fodor's. 2010. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Ben Yehuda Street". Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  5. ^ Carmeli, Yoram S.; Applbaum, Kalman (24 April 2004). Consumption and Market Society in Israel. Berg Publishers.
  6. ^ [1]

Coordinates: 31°46′53″N 35°13′03″E / 31.7815°N 35.2176°E / 31.7815; 35.2176