After the Six-Day War, in April 1968 the State of Israel expropriated the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, an area of approximately 134 dunams including the Western Wall plaza and the buildings inside. In July 1968, the government decided to create the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem Ltd., and in January 1969 the Company was established.
The Company was established with the purpose of developing and restoring the Jewish Quarter, which lay devastated and in ruins following the terrible damage done by the Jordanians when it fell to them in Israel’s War of Independence (1948).
The difficult reality faced by the liberators of the Jewish Quarter and those working to restore it presented them with a significant challenge, as well as an opportunity to excavate and discover the secrets of Jerusalem’s past. The Company is an arm of the government of Israel, and is charged with maintaining the Jewish character of the Jewish Quarter and following the instructions given by the government from time to time.
The Company is owned by the State of Israel via the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Construction, which appoint the Company’s board of directors. The Company chose to locate its premises in the Jewish Quarter.
Since its establishment, the Company has restored and constructed approximately 600 residential apartments, 100 shops, 100 institutions, 2 parking lots, museums and archaeological sites.
The Company leases land from the government, known as Area G or the City of David, an area of 17, 470 square meters including Warren’s Shaft.
According to its founding documents, the company is in charge of all planning, construction and development works executed in the Jewish Quarter. These include residential construction and housing, construction and development of educational and social infrastructure, institutions, businesses, and the construction and restoration of public buildings and monuments in the Jewish Quarter.
The Company is the primary lessee of land inside the Jewish Quarter and also serves as a government housing company.
As a result, it is responsible for all asset-related activities, and is uniquely important to maintaining the national assets and real estate of the Jewish Quarter.
The Company owns the main visitor and tourist sites in the Jewish Quarter, including museums, open sites and visitor centers.
The Company is in charge of preserving, maintaining, developing and operating them for the benefit of the public that visits the Old City and the Jewish Quarter.