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Synopsis

James Finn (1806-1872)  was a British Consul in Jerusalem, in the then Ottoman Empire (1846–1863). Finn was a writer and philanthropist. He was a great believer in productivity, an ideology that was very much in vogue at the time, and in 1853 purchased for £250 Karm al-Khalil (Arabic for “Abraham’s Vineyard”, lit. “vineyard of the loved one”, which in Hebrew became Kerem Avraham) a barren piece of land outside the walls of the Old City. Kerem Avraham was established as a training farm for Jews in agriculture and to become productive citizens. Finn employed Jewish labourers to build the first house there in 1855. Cisterns for water storage were built and a soap factory was established which produced high quality soap sold to tourists.

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