NIS 2.1 million was allocated to shuls in Yerushalayim after the funding was approved by the city council. A total of some NIS 7 million was allocated to shuls, with the latest payment of NIS 2.1 million approved this week. The funds were earmarked for 20 shuls in various stages of construction.
Last year, over NIS 5 million was allocated for some shuls in the beginning stages of construction while others were wrapping up projects. The NIS 2.1 million allocation was due from the Ministry of Religious Services to complete the program.
According to a Ladaat.net report, an urgent meeting was held with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, attended by Rav Eli Simchuf, who holds the religious services portfolio on the city council and Minister of Religious Affairs Yitzchak Cohen, after a check which followed requests to expedite payments, the government ministry released the funds which were then approved by the city council.
The funds were actually approved in the past and the building projects are in need of the infusion of cash to permit continuation of projects. Some of the shuls still require funding for infrastructure and final completion, not included in the major building plan. Rav Simchuf expressed his hope that the expeditious response seen in this case will continue in the future towards completing the shuls which are badly needed in many areas.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)