Getting to Know: French Hill – Ha’Giva Ha’Tzarfatit – Givat Shapira

French Hill, or Ha’Giva Ha’Tzarfatit, located on the North Eastern side of Jerusalem was founded in 1971 during the post Six Day War construction boom. Officially named GIvat Shapira, in memory of Moshe Haim Shapira, and active Zionist leader and former minister, the name some did not stick. There are several differing opinions on how it got actually got it’s name; some say it is after a British Colonel who happens to be buried close by other’s say it may be in reference to it’s original owners – The French Santa Anna Church.

Many homes in the neighborhood enjoy some of the most stunning views of the Old City of Jerusalem and beyond towards the Judean desert. Speckled throughout the community you will find “green areas” and public parks which lends itself to a peaceful quiet suburban atmosphere.

French Hill is a diverse neighborhood where you will find retirees as well as young families, religious and non observant residents living side by side. Currently there seems to be a trend of more orthodox families relocated to the area seemingly as an outgrowth of the adjoining communities of GIvat Hamivtar, and Ramat Eshkol. French Hill also attracts a wide range of students and professionals from the nearby Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital.

There are three commercial centers to service the community, including banks, health clinic, a post office and a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants. There is even a senior citizen’s residence, as well as senior day centers locally several nursing homes in nearby Ramat Eshkol. There is a wide variety of both public and private schools, chuggim (clubs) and religious services available to meet the need of the active growing community.

French Hill enjoys easy access within Jerusalem as well as highways leading away from Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Light Rail which runs through the center of Jerusalem is within walking distance to many areas of French Hill, there are several bus lines with daily service to all points in Jerusalem as well as to Tel Aviv.

Housing costs in the area are attractive compared to other areas of Jerusalem. The average sales price in French Hill currently stands between 1,100,000 nis – 2,700,000 nis based on the size and condition of the property with the average price per sqm being 18,600 nis. Rental prices are competitive as well ranging from 3,690 nis – 4,500 nis for 3 to 4 room apartments.

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