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“Lakewood” Of Mexico? Ir HaTorah Of Latin America

A revolution in Torah life in the Chareidi communities of South America is beginning under the leadership of HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein with the establishment of a Chareidi city in Mexico.

The city, aptly named Ir Hatorah, is a colossal initiative being established on a huge tract of land about an hour away from Mexico City, modeled after cities such as Lakewood, New Jersey or Modiin Illit in Israel.

Ponavezh Rosh Yeshivah HaRav Edelstein agreed to serve as the nasi of Ir HaTorah on the direct request of Philadelphia Rosh Yeshiva HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky.

Consultation with HaGaon HaRav Edelstein

In the first stage, houses will be built for about 400 avreichim and their families. All the necessary mosdos for Torah life, including shuls, mikvahs and educational institutions will be established as well.

Consultation with HaGaon HaRav Kamenetsky

Part of the motivation for Ir HaTorah is the crowded conditions in Chareidi areas of Mexico City as well as the high cost of housing, making it difficult for frum Jews to find housing and to establish mosdos Torah. “During the coronavirus pandemic, when crowding became even more of an issue for health reasons, the initiative began to sprout,” one of the developers said.

“The idea really took wing after Yeshivas Toras Eliyahu in Mexico rented a rural area of land outside the city during the summer to enable them to split up the bochurim into capsules, like other yeshivas around the world. The move to a quiet area was a great success, with the bochurim able to concentrate exclusively on learning. More and more bochurim joined the yeshiva in the pastoral area, including ones that had been learning in Israel but were unable to return due to the pandemic.”

The area where the city will be built.

The developers began to advance the project under the leadership of HaRav Edelstein and Nasi of Mosdos Torah Eliyahu HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky.

Simulation of the homes to be built for avreichim.

About half a million square meters of land have already been purchased for tens of millions of pesos for the construction of the first phase of Ir HaTorah in an area about a hundred kilometers from Mexico City.

Mosdos Toras Eliyahu, headed by HaRav Doniel Davidson, was the first to take the plunge and purchased about 60,000 meters to relocate the yeshiva from Mexico and build a  yeshivah complex for its mosdos, which currently includes about 500 talmidim.

As early as this summer, the cornerstone laying ceremony will be held, with the help of Hashem, and construction will begin on hundreds of spacious and expansive houses, in the style of existing construction in the Torah City of America – Lakewood – for the families of avreichim of Mosdos Torah Eliyahu. At the same time, construction will begin on schools, shuls, mikvaos, and a shopping center.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

24 Responses

  1. Ah yes mexico, where ~30,000 cartel murders happen every year. I seriously wonder if this will become a new problem when this place is built

  2. Just for the record: Mexico is not in South American. It lies mainly in North America and some part of Mexico is included in Central America, but nowhere near South America. Whatever the case- “Muy Buena Suerte”- Hatzlacha Rabo!

  3. Mexico loves immigrants, unlike the US under Trump. Mexico City has a huge Jewish community, largely dominated by Syrian Jews. The cost of living is low, taxes are low (probably too low), and unlike the US it has universal health insurance. My wife and I have Jewish friends who have retired to Mexico and we have considered doing so ourselves. A good reason to learn Spanish. No government support for religious institutions, though — Mexico has an even more draconian separation of religion and state than does the US. If your kid is born in Mexico your kid is Mexican forever.

    Historical note: Mexico joined the allies in declaring war on the Axis powers in May 1942. The pretext was that Nazi U-boats sank a tanker carrying oil to the US. The oil was being shipped because visionary Franklin Roosevelt reversed Herbert Hoover’s stupid trade policies, which Donald Trump reinstituted, and got Mexico to agree to ship huge amounts of war material to the US even before Pearl Harbor because he saw that war was inevitable. Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans came to the US to work in farms and factories, replacing Americans who were drafted into the military. And Mexico was the only Spanish speaking country in the world to send a military unit to fight the Axis. It formed an air squadron of volunteers known popularly as the Aztec Eagles; after training in Texas the US sent them to the Phillippines where they helped to defeat the Japanese there. It is the only time in Mexico’s history where Mexican military units engaged in combat outside of Mexico. 15,000 Mexicans also served in the US military during WW2.

  4. did anyone bother listening or watching the clip of the phone call between rav shmuel shlita & rav edelstien shlit”a ( forget the headline)
    bmechilas kevodo hagadol…to write ” under the direction of ” at the request of.. based on a 90 second phone call where rav edelstien clearly asked what do u need me for if i’m 6000 miles away ? and at the end said it needs yishuv hadaas… decisions that can have a profound effect .. being coached by rav sholom..
    such a project has huge ramifications to the extended mexico frum community .. even lakewood has affected the other communities by pooling many bnei torah … and thereby reducing their hashpoh on the hamon am
    the gadlus of rav shmuel shlita is his achrayus to do whatever possible & lend his support to every davar tov yehi ratzon lekayem bonu chachmei yisroel

  5. And now the bad news about Mexico: Some parts of the country have horribly high murder rates. And its leftist government has done even worse than Trump has in its handling of the COVID pandemic. Proof that stupidity is not ideological, it is just stupidity. 🙁

  6. This is one of the geatest chilum Hashem Hagadol in the modern history of Klall Israel after the war. Your stubberness to keep away for the Land of Israel and the torah of Israel and the tikun midot and Vayor Besivlosam of Klall Israel upon holy decision of so called leaders is Meakev The geulah sheleymo! Oye to the generation of leaders and askonim that lead klall Israel of US to perdition.Mamash kriyoh beshem umalchut!Come back ! lost children to the land of kedushat erest Israel!

  7. @meir G “did anyone bother listening or watching the clip of the phone call between rav shmuel shlita & rav edelstien shlit”a”

    Lol, yes, I noticed that! RGE barely knew what RSK was talking about, that’s the extent of him being the “nasi” of the city. Even RSK didn’t seem to really know the situation. Why do we always have to operate in such an incompetent and haphazard way?!

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