Template:Infobox hospital The Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center, built in 1951, is a public psychiatric hospital in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem, Israel. It is affiliated with the Hadassah Medical Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[1] The hospital is Jerusalem's designated psychiatric hospital for tourists who display mental health disturbances, and is widely known for its research on Jerusalem Syndrome.[2]

The hospital is also known for being established on the intact Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, which was depopulated by Jewish forces in April 1948, one month before the creation of the state of Israel.[3]


File:Remains of Deir Yassin (1).jpg

The hospital stands on the site of the former Palestinian Arab village of Deir Yassin, where 107[4]villagers were killed on April 9, 1948 by fighters from two militant Zionist groups, the Irgun and the Lehi.[3]

Construction of the mental health facility began in 1951, using the villagers' houses and the village school. It housed a therapeutic community of around 300 patients[5] who spent almost all their time outdoors, and was called the Kfar Shaul Government Work Village for Mental Patients.[6][7][8]

The hospital grounds are closed to the public, including to the refugees and their families.[9]

Jerusalem Syndrome

The hospital is also known for its association with Jerusalem Syndrome, a condition in which the sufferer is gripped by religious delusions, thinking himself Jesus or that he holds the key to world peace. The syndrome was first diagnosed in 1993 by Dr Yair Bar-El, a former director of the hospital, which has become a kind of "holding pen" for sufferers, according to Time.[10][11] The New York Times reports that 50-200 tourists are overwhelmed every year by the religious significance of the city, and are driven mad by it. "For many it is a short trip," the Times notes.[12]

The New York Times reports that 50-200 tourists are affected by such delusions every year. Around half the sufferers are from North America, and usually the U.S., with the rest from Western Europe; half are Jews and half Christians.[11]

See also


  1. For example, as a source for the location, G. Katz 2002.
  2. The Jerusalem Syndrome
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ettinger, Yair. Deir Yassin massacre, 55 years on, April 10, 2003.
  4. Kana'ana and Zeitawi, 1987, pp. 5, 57; Gelber 2006, p. 311.
  5. Progress in Psychotherapy, American Psychiatric Association, Grune & Stratton, 1949.
  6. Khalidi 1992, p. 292.
  7. The Israel Annals of Psychiatry and Related Disciplines], Jerusalem Academic Press, Israel Psychiatric Association, 1972.
  8. Hodgkins 1998, p. 109.
  9. List of Zochrot visits, Zochrot, accessed June 14, 2009.
  10. Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2003.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Beyer 1995
  12. Haberman 1992.


Further reading

  • McGowan, Daniel. Deir Yassin Remembered, video showing scenes of the village's houses inside the hospital, Deir Yassin Remembered.
  • McGowan, Daniel and Ellis, Marc. (eds) (1998). Remembering Deir Yassin: The Future of Israel and Palestine. Interlink Publishing Group.
  • Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press.
  • Zochrot. Remembering Deir Yassin, 2006.

Coordinates: 31°47′11.31″N 35°10′40.92″E / 31.786475°N 35.1780333°E / 31.786475; 35.1780333

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