An increasingly growing amount of Gerrer chassidim are leaving the city of Haifa in recent months, and others are planning to move in the near future, B’Chadrei Chareidim reported.
The report said that a source told them that the Gerrer exodus from Haifa is due to a recent Ministry of Health report on the dangerous level of pollution in the city. A few chassidim who spoke to the Gerrer Rebbe about moving from the city received his bracha and many began following in their footsteps. However, no one was specifically instructed by the Rebbe to leave.
“It’s reminiscent of the wave of Gerrer chassidim who left Tel Aviv over a decade ago, when many of them moved to Bnei Brak for their chinuch of their children,” a Gerrer chassid told B’Chadrei Chareidim. “At the time many of the chassidim who moved received the Rebbe’s bracha and encouragement but nevertheless nobody was instructed to leave.”
One Gerrer chassid who’s been in Haifa for many years told B’Chadrei: “It’s the talk of the day in Haifa now. Wherever you go, everyone is talking about the Gerrer chassidim leaving the city. I heard that chassidim are moving all over Israel. People are leaving but they’re first looking for a job in the new place – they’re not simply leaving. These are people I grew up with. There are chassidim who have already lived in Haifa for many years, they’ve already married off children, and now they’re leaving.”
B’Charei Chareidim spoke to a Gerrer chassid who said that some experts claim that living in Haifa with the current air pollution is equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.
The Haifa Bay area is one of the most polluted places in Israel due to it being a center of industry for Israel, with a large industrial area with many factories and oil refineries as well as being the home of Israel’s largest port. The rates of cancer, asthma in children, heart disease and respiratory disease are significantly higher than the national average.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)