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Ein Kerem, Jerusalem

Israel's insider take:

Like a little slice of Tuscany, Ein Kerem is a quiet village about seven miles west of downtown Jerusalem and an easy day trip from either there or Tel Aviv. Originally an Arab village, Ein Kerem is now the residential quarter of choice for the city's Jewish elite. More importantly, Ein Kerem is considered the birthplace of John the Baptist and a place where Mary stopped on her way to Bethlehem to drink from the Spring of the Virgin. Highlights include the Church of John the Baptist (972-2-632-3000), the Convent of Notre Dame de Sion (972-2-641-5738), and the Church of the Visitation (972-2-641-7291), all near the central Ein Kerem Square, as well as the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

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