Ein Karem (Hebrew: lit. "Spring of the Vineyard", and Arabic: Ein Kārem, or in literary Arabic ʿAyn Kārim also Ain Karem, Ein Kerem) is an ancient village southwest of historical Jerusalem, and now a neighbourhood of the modern city, within Jerusalem District, Israel. It is the site of the Hadassah Medical Center. It was an Arab town in the Mandatory Palestine's Jerusalem Subdistrict, then depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on July 16, 1948.
Christian tradition holds that Saint John the Baptist was born in Ein Karem, this leading to the establishment of many churches and monasteries in the area. In 2010 the neighborhood had a population of 2,000. It attracts three million visitors a year, one-third of them pilgrims from around the world.
According to the New Testament, Mary went "into the hill country, to a city of Judah" (Luke 1:39) when she visited her cousin Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah. During the Byzantine period, Theodosius (530 CE) gives the distance between Jerusalem and the town of Elizabeth as five miles.
The Jerusalem Calendar (Kalendarium Hyerosolimitanum) or the Georgian Festival Calendar, dated by some before 638, the year of the Muslim conquest, mentions the village by name, "Enqarim", as the place of a festival in memory of Elizabeth celebrated on the 28th of August.
The English writer Saewulf, on pilgrimage to Palestine in 1102-1103, wrote of a monastery in the area of Ein Karim dedicated to St. Sabas, where 300 monks had been "slain by Saracens", but without mentioning any tradition connected to Saint John.