The settlement of Tekoa sits on a West Bank hilltop, flanked by areas under Palestinian Authority control. It is home to about 300 families, both religious and secular.
The head of the community is the charismatic Rabbi Menachem Fruman. A renowned authority on Jewish mysticism, he is revered by his students.
The rabbi is a veteran peacemaker who has made overtures to the Palestinian leadership and militant groups. He says a democratic Palestinian state in the West Bank is conceivable.
The heart of the settlement is the yeshiva - or Jewish seminary - founded by Rabbi Fruman. Here, young religious Jews from around the world come to study holy texts.
Tekoa is peaceful with no sign of the political controversy which surrounds the issue of Jewish settlements. There is an army unit based on the site, in case of emergencies.
Homes in Tekoa cost between $90,000 and $150,000, while facilities include a winery, post office and a dairy.
Boaz Moshkovich, 46, moved to Tekoa in 1989. An immigrant from the former Soviet Union, he says he would not leave Tekoa unless it fell under Palestinian Authority rule.
Tekoa is one of about 70 settlements on the "wrong" side of Israel's West Bank barrier. Residents fear the barrier will become a border, leaving them disconnected from Israel.