Beit Zayit (Hebrew: בֵּית זַיִת, lit. House of Olives) is a moshav in Israel. Located just outside the Jerusalem municipal border to the west, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2019 it had a population of 1,708.
|Etymology: House of Olives|
|Founded by||Egyptian, Romania and Yugoslav Jews|
A village named Beit Zayit is mentioned in the book of the Maccabees, but it is believed to have been further north, possibly at the site of the Palestinian Christian town of Bir Zeit, north of Ramallah. Beit Zayit was established on land that had belonged to the depopulated Palestinian village of 'Ayn Karim.
With the expansion of the moshav in the late 1990s, including the purchase of land by newcomers and renovation of old homes, Beit Zayit became a trendy alternative to living in Jerusalem.
In 1962, dinosaur footprints were discovered in the garden of one of Beit Zayit's residents, and are on display at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This is the only place in Israel where evidence of dinosaurs was discovered, and one of few such sites in the Middle East.