||Financial statements of the Va’ad Heverat Me’ah She’arim for the years 1932,1934, 1936, and 1942. Each statement begins with a brief introduction, smaller in each subsequent issue, from R. Hayyim Joseph Kereizer, financial officer. There are also statements from the Va’ad. Each issue shows income, expenditures and details moneys spent on such items as repairs.
Me’ah She’arim was the fifth neighborhood to be built beyond the Old City walls, It was was established in 1874 by Jerusalemites from the Perushim community (those opposed to Hasidism), including R. Zalman Baharan and R. Joseph Rivlin, who together founded the Me'ah She'arim Society and purchased the lands of the quarter from the Arabs of Lifta. The name of the quarter was taken from the Torah reading of the week the society was founded, which talks about the patriarch Isaac: ''Isaac sowed in that land and reaped a hundredfold [me'ah she'arim] the same year. The Lord blessed him'' (Genesis 26:12).
Architect Conrad Schick, who planned the quarter, envisioned a neighborhood consisting of rows of houses encompassing and protecting an expansive inner courtyard which would contain public buildings, cisterns, and perhaps even a flourishing garden. The original, well-organized plan was distorted over the years by the building of additions to meet the necessities of daily life and to accommodate a growing population. Until the eve of World War I, the quarter's gates were locked every night and not reopened until the next morning. The quarter was always religious, but the seeds of its extremist religious character were sown under the influence of the Rabbi of Brisk, Rabbi Joshua Judah-Leib Diskin, who settled in the Old City in 1877 and who was known for his religious zeal. During the British Mandate period the neighborhood still had a large Zionist population that identified with the Mizrachi and Ha-poel Ha-mizrachi religious parties, but from the 1940's this public began to leave the quarter. This process intensified after the War of Independence, when new neighborhoods were built for the veteran population in Kiryat Ha-yovel and Katamon. This population was replaced by haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Holocaust survivors who had come to the country in the 1940's and 1950’s. As the years passed, the tendency of seclusion and isolation from the non-ultra-Orthodox population increased, along with the pattern of expansion by the ultra-Orthodox into the adjoining neighborhoods of Geulah, Zikhron Moshe, the Bukharah Quarter, and other areas. The centrality of Mea She'arim has lessened somewhat with the increase in the haredi population outside the quarter, but it still constitutes a living barometer of trends and issues of interest to ultra-Orthodox society.