Municipal Services in Jerusalem-Network of Services
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 Municipal Services in Jerusalem-Network of Services


  Jerusalem: Urban Characteristics and Major Trends in the City's Development


J. The Network of Services in the Jerusalem Municipality

The various department of the Municipality of Jerusalem provide a detailed account and explanation of their activities alongside their budgetary proposals and work programs. This chapter presents a brief look at their overall considerations and a summary of the Municipality's responses, stemming from a growing city and population, the establishment of new neighborhoods, and the rising rate of population dispersal in all areas under the Municipality's jurisdiction.

The establishment and development of new neighborhoods in peripheral area demands the constant redistribution of services to accommodate these areas. This includes laying the basic service infrastructure-water, sewage, roads, public gardens, etc.-as well as the provision of social and other services in these new neighborhoods.

Jerusalem's heterogeneous population and the demographic changes that the city is undergoing requires services to constantly be reorganized to meet the needs of the different sectors of the population. This is true both on the neighborhood level and the municipal level. In addition socioeconomic trends around the world, in Israel, and in Jerusalem affect the consumption of services.

This chapter is based on explanatory notes to budgetary proposals for the 1996 fiscal year as presented by the various departments of the Municipality of Jerusalem and on additional comments provided by the departments.

J1. The Welfare Offices

The Department of Welfare provides localized social services, recruits volunteers, finds employment opportunities for people under their care, cares for children, the family and the elderly, offers foster care facilities, and provides rehabilitative programs for the intellectually impaired, the disabled, prisoners, and addicts.

The Department provides services on two levels: municipal and local. Municipal services are provided to all residents of Jerusalem, regardless of where they live. These can be divided into two types of services: specialized professional care stations, and municipal information centers. Local and neighborhood services are provided by four regional bureaus: the Northern Bureaus, the Southern Bureau, the Eastern Bureau, and the Western Bureau. The regional bureaus are responsible for 22 teams/neighborhood offices.

In the framework of the program to augment the distribution of services throughout the city, increase services to residents, and improve the quality of services, two new neighborhood offices were opened in 1995: Pisgat Ze'ev and Silwan.

The Social Service offices are responsible for over 30 thousand files: Northern Bureau, 13,458; Southern Bureau, 7,198; Western Bureau, 5,035; and Eastern Bureau, 1,174. By the end of 1995, number of residents under the care of the Department of Welfare was 141,000. This was an increase of 5.9 percent (7,823 people) from the previous year.

J2. Educational Services

The educational network in Jerusalem includes the Jerusalem Education Authority and the Department of Ultra-Orthodox Education, which was founded in response to a decision of the City Council on 29 November 1993.

All components of the educational system must provide a response to the city's growing population, to demographic trends in the city and in the neighborhoods, to the development of new neighborhoods, etc. Jerusalem has a very young population, and the large number of children and youth is expressed in the educational system in terms of the growing number of educational institutions established to accommodate the rising number of students and the development of new neighborhoods.

The Jerusalem Educational Yearbook 1995/1996 presents the following statistics concerning education in Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Education Authority

  • In the academic year 1995/1996, the educational system in Jerusalem (excluding schools under the auspices of the Department for ultra-Orthodox Education) numbered 94,717 students, among them 9,878 students in kindergartens, 30,835 children in elementary schools, about 10,000 students in junior high school, 18,840 students in high school, 23,398 students in the Arab sector, and 1,822 students in special elementary education;

  • In the academic year 1995/1996, there was an increase of 1.7 percent in the number of students in the municipal educational system as compared to the academic year 1994/1995;

  • The Jewish sector of the Jerusalem Education Authority encompasses 494 institutions, with 2,523 classes and 69,494 students.

  • In the academic year 1995/1996, there were 1,822 students in special education programs (elementary school) in 71 institutions with 249 classes.

The Ultra-Orthodox Educational System

  • In the academic year 1995/1996, the ultra-Orthodox educational system numbered 59,722 students, among them 15,109 students in kindergartens, 31,427 children in elementary schools, and 12,549 students in junior high school and high school;

  • In the academic year 1995/1996, there was an increase of 12.4 percent in the number of students in the ultra-Orthodox educational system as compared to the academic year 1994/1995;

  • Two hundred educational institutions are affiliated with the ultra-Orthodox educational system;

  • In 1995/1996, there were 1,151 students in the special education system (not including mixed classes).

J3. Services for the Elderly

Services for the elderly are provided by a number of different Departments:

The Department of Welfare operates a network of 28 neighborhood centers for the elderly, scattered throughout the city. There are ten facilities under the auspices of the Northern Bureau, six under the Western Bureau's auspices, seven under the Southern Bureau's auspices, and five under the Eastern Bureau's auspices.

The Department of Community and Youth operates some 70 clubs for the elderly in all neighborhoods. Two clubs for the elderly operate in East Jerusalem. Some 10 thousand elderly residents participate in the activities of the Department's clubs for the elderly.

The Immigrant Absorption Authority operates 24 clubs for about 2,000 elderly immigrants (connected to the clubs operated by the Department of Community and Youth). Two new clubs for elderly immigrants were opened in 1995 in the framework of the program to increase the distribution of services.

The Department of Public Health provides health services for the elderly, including the prevention of the deterioration of the elderly's health in their natural environment. This service is provided by nurses throughout Jerusalem, who visit the elderly in their homes. Additional services are also provided by the municipality through the Department of Public Health, including subsidized dental care, guidance, hearing tests, and vision tests.

J4. Municipal Services of the Immigrant Absorption Authority

The Immigrant Absorption Authority provides services on two levels: municipal projects located in the City Center, provided regardless of place of residence; and neighborhood services, provided at absorption centers and clubs for elderly immigrants.

There are fifteen absorption centers functioning in various community centers and councils throughout Jerusalem.

Municipal projects located in the City Center include: the Immigrant Cultural Center, the Urban Center for Immigrant Employment, Mitzrachli (a food store with reduced prices for new and veteran immigrants), and a furniture and clothing warehouse in the Bukharim neighborhood. In 1996 a social-cultural center will open for the Ethiopian community. Located in the City Center, it will serve the Ethiopian population, located in nine different neighborhoods.

J5. Cultural Services

The Department of Culture operates on a municipal level and a neighborhood level. Similarly, cultural coordinators operate in the community centers and community councils.

There are 21 public libraries in Jerusalem and 2 mobile libraries (bookmobiles). These libraries serve 21 thousand readers. The mobile libraries serve neighborhoods that are far from the municipal libraries: Gilo, Ramat Sharet, Qiryat ha-Yovel, Qiryat Menahem, Gonen H-1, Giv'at Mordekhai, Patt, Tzameret ha-Bira, and Giv'at Shappira.

J6. Community and Youth

The Department of Community and Youth operates in the various neighborhoods through community workers, clubs for youth, and clubs for the elderly. There are 16 community centers and youth centers scattered throughout the city and 70 clubs for the elderly (see above).

Services for the Advancement of Youth operate in two sectors: the Eastern Sector and the Western Sector. Similar two services, Ma'aneh and Na'an, operate in the city center.

In East Jerusalem, there are 7 clubs for youth, 9 student homes, 5 clubs for the Armenian population, and 19 Scout troops operating in the public schools.

The Educational Welfare Project operates in three regions: North,

South, and West. The Educational Welfare Project operates in both formal and informal educational system, helping the disadvantaged populations in general and weak students in particular. The Project is financed by the Ministry of Education and Culture and operated by the Department of Community and Youth, in cooperation with other Municipal departments. The objectives of the Educational Welfare Project are as follows:

  • Fostering academic achievements and reducing social and educational gaps;
  • Strengthening the students' self-image; cultivating young local leadership;
  • Reducing the drop-out rate in all levels of education;
  • Increasing the number of students taking the matriculation examinations and continuing on to higher education;
  • Promoting cultural and artistic activities among disadvantaged populations;
  • Nurturing gifted and talented students.

J7. Public Health Services

In 1996 the Department of Public Health operated 34 Family Health Centers and 3 regional dental clinics. The Family Health Centers offers services based on residence, regardless of membership in any of the health care programs.

In the framework of the program to augment the distribution of services throughout the city, increase services to residents, and improve the quality of services, a new center was opened in Sur Baher. In Pisgat Ze'ev two centers now operate in temporary quarters, which is to be replaced by a permanent building (now in the initial planning stages). A center is also planned for the Bukharim neighborhood, to serve the religious community of the area, and a building is being located in the new Ramat Shlomo (Reches Shuafat) neighborhood for a center there.

A new Center was opened in East Jerusalem (outside the Old City) in June 1996. Due to the conspicuous rise in the number of patients treated at the Sheikh Jarrah Medical Center, it will be divided into two centers, housed in the same building.

The Department of Public Health also offers professional counseling services, including home services for the elderly, premature birth prevention services, dental clinics for people in drug rehabilitation programs, etc.

J8. Sports

The Municipal Sports Authority operates and maintains sport facilities throughout the city and runs activities in many different branches of sport.

Table 16 presents the number of existing sports facilities, as well as facilities in the planning stages and facilities under construction. Sports facilities are dispersed throughout the city's various neighborhoods.

There are many different sports activities that take place throughout the city. These activities are held in community centers, scattered throughout the city and serving all age groups: children, youth, adults, and the elderly, as presented in Table 17.

Table 16: Sports Facilities in Jerusalem, 1996

Type of Facility Number of Facilities
Existing Planned Under
Handball Stadium 1 1 0
Squash Courts 3 16 0
Handball Courts 9 1 0
Ballgame Courts 48 5 0
Volleyball Courts 8 0 0
Basketball Courts 121 3 0
Combined Double Court 43 2 0
Grass Covered Playing Fields 4 0 0
Football (Soccer) Fields 24 1 0
Tennis Courts 84 17 0
Swimming Pools 34 8 0
Exercise Rooms 83 8 0
Roller-skating Rinks 4 1 0
Bowling Alleys 1 0 0
Active Recreational Parks 6 2 0
Tracks 8 0 0
Shooting Galleries 1 1 1
Weight Rooms 41 4 0
Basketball Stadiums 68 5 0
Ballgame Stadiums 13 2 0
Volleyball Stadiums 2 0 0
Total 1087 77 1

Table 17: Sport and Recreational Activity in Jerusalem

Sport Number of Activities
Calisthenics 2,450
Junior Basketball 2
Volleyball 45
Judo 136
Karate 212
Synchronized Swimming 4
Self Defense 169
Swimming 645
Aerobic Exercise and Dance 66
Artistic Exercise 21
Corrective Exercise 37
Preventive Exercise 116
Rehabilitative Exercise 3
Physical Development 60
Weight Rooms 61
Tennis 648
Table Tennis 109
Squash 2
Archery 1
Fencing 20
Cycling 14
Roller-skating 15
Dance 42
Wrestling 1
Triathalon 1
Boxing 2
rack and Field 52
Folk Dancing 77
Football (Soccer) 96
Junior Football (Soccer) 208
Basketball 238

J9. Security and Emergencies

The activities of the Security and Emergency Unit in Jerusalem are intended to provide security to the city's residents and visitors. The unit's operational program emphasizes the intensification of security and safety in the city as a whole and to each and every one of its residents. This is carried out by maintaining existing shelters and building new ones, fencing educational institutions, installing and operating emergency alarms in new institutions, increasing the number of civil guard posts, and expanding volunteer activities.

J10. Water and Sewage

The Water and Sewage Corporation (Gihon) provide the residents of the Municipality with water, plans and develops the water network critical to a developing city such as Jerusalem, and maintains and develops the sewer and drainage networks and water purification plants.

The water network is being expanded in 1997, and will stretch for 1,032 kilometers. The sewer system and the drainage system will stretch for 1,122 kilometers. Jerusalem and its environs are home to the following water and sewage facilities (details are provided for 1997, based on the 1997 budgetary proposal):

The Water System:

Length of Network (km) 1,032
Number of Consumers 151,600
Number of Water Meters 150,000
Number of Reservoirs 17
Number of Pumping Stations 10
Number of Main Pipes 12
Average Age of the Water System (years) 13

The Sewage System:

Length of the Sewer System (km) and Drainage System 1,122
Number of Pumping Stations (Sewage) 3
Number of Purification Plants 1
Number of Pre-processing Plants 2

J11. Urban Improvement and Beautification

The Department of Public Gardens is responsible for maintaining and developing 988 municipal gardens, public parks, tree-lined avenues, green strips along roads, small corner gardens, groves of trees, playing fields, and recreational facilities, covering an area of 5,271 dunams. In 1995, 28 new gardens, parks and small gardens, covering an area of 173 dunams, were added to the city.

Table 18: Parks and Gardens, 1995

Description Units Area (Dunams)
Municipal Garden, Tree-lined Avenues, Green Strips along Roads 318 3,715
Public Parks 521 1345.5
Small Public Parks 149 210.5
Total 988 5,271

Source: Budgetary Proposal of the Department of Urban Improvement and Beautification, 1996

J12. Sanitation

For purposes of garbage disposal and public cleaning, Jerusalem is divided into 11 districts. Throughout the city there are dumpsites (1,388 with a volume of 6 cubic meters, 187 with a volume of 23 cubic meters, 24 with a volume of 32 cubic meters), garbage containers (10,173 with a volume of 350 liters, 4,003 with a volume of 900 liters), waste bins (160 units with a volume of 76 liters), and garbage trucks (19 units with a volume of 22 cubic meters).

The Department of Sanitation operates 4 waystations: the Pisgat Ze'ev-Ma'ale Adumim Intersection (Danno), Ramot, the Sheep Market, and Giv'at Shaul. The municipal dumping site is located in Azariyyeh, under the municipal jurisdiction of Ma'ale Adumim.

Sixty-six public restrooms throughout the city are also maintained by the Department.

J13. Firefighting and Rescue Services

The Department of Firefighting and Rescue Services operates 4 fire stations in the city:

  • Give'a: The main station, in Giv'at Mordechai;
  • Rimon: A secondary station in Romema;
  • Egoz: A secondary station in Wadi Joz;
  • Neve Ya'akov: A temporary secondary station in Neve Ya'akov.

Station Status Plans for Future
Give'a Main Station Alternative Location near the Sha'arei Zedek Hospital; Detailed Plans- in process
Rimon Secondary Station Alternative Location; Detailed Plans in process
Egoz Secondary Station Alternative Location
Neve Ya'akov Temporary Secondary Station
  Secondary Station Southwest
  Secondary Station City Center

J14. Community Councils and Community Centers

The community Council plays an important role in directing new developments on the neighborhood level and among the bodies working therein. The purpose of the Community Council include the fostering of democracy on the neighborhood level, the effective exploitation of resources, the securing of resources for development, the development of local services, the participation of residents, the integration of educational and social activities, administrative and organizational decentralization, the nurturing of responsible young leadership, and emphasizing the special nature of the neighborhood (based on Witenberg, Ya'akov, Community Administration in Jerusalem: Dilemmas and Challenges, The Jerusalem Company for Community and Centers and Councils).

There are 28 community councils and centers operating in various neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

A committee composed of all factions represented on the City Council (the "Eleven-Member Committee") and the Jerusalem Company for Community and Centers and Councils is working to expand the network of community councils in Jerusalem, to promote the system of elections to council administrations in the various neighborhoods, and to define the geographical boundaries of the different councils.


The Municipality of Jerusalem is constantly seeking ways and means of improving the services provided to the city's residents and visitors. It takes full responsibility for improving the quality of living of all sectors of the urban population, in all the city's neighorhoods.

Of course, this demands constant planning so that the existing services are accessible to a growing and diverse population, scattered over such a vast geographical area.

The practical implications of this is that planning committees in each department draw up the most detailed programs for their respective departments. This is being conducted in conjunction with a continual assessment of services in terms of both quality and cost. At the Municipality of Jerusalem we believe that this is the only way to ensure that each and every resident of Jerusalem receives services of the highest imaginable quality; and it is the services we provide that are the most important prerequisite for development, growth and prosperity.

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