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Conflict Intensifies in Kiryat Yovel

daven.jpgThe conflict between the non-frum and chareidi community in Kiryat HaYovel appears to be intensifying. The latest round of dispute surrounds sixty-four 55 square meter apartments in two buildings owned by Hebrew University. The small apartments were once dormitories and the buildings are now up for sale. Chareidim are interested, along with a plan to refurbish them by making each apartment one-third larger.

Hearing about the tender for the purchase of the homes, the chareidi community began fundraising, working to raise the cash to close the deal with the realization it could provide modest housing for dozens of families at an affordable price. Opposing the effort by chareidim to acquire the properties is the ‘Ruach Chadasha’ organization. One of the main figures in the organization happens to be Jerusalem Councilman (Yisrael Tatzliach) Yakir Segev, Mayor Nir Barkat’s party. Segev wishes to offer inexpensive housing for university students who are planning to leave the city because of the unaffordable housing, thereby working to fulfill his party’s election promises while blocking the growing chareidi population in the community. Nissim Peretz, who heads the community council, supports the move, to accommodate students and to prevent the houses from turning chareidi. The Parzot Company is also competing in the tender for the buildings.

Interestingly, it appears most of the secular residents are not as opposed as the media would make it appear. The community council’s activist list includes 400 email addresses, yet only about 10% of the secularists are turning out for their counter Kabalat Shabbat program, prompting the decision to move it to a bi-weekly event.

According to the tender published by Hebrew U. in The Marker, there are 25,000 residents in Kiryat Yovel, and about 30% of them are members of the chareidi community.

City Hall reports that in 5769, the neighborhood has 6,904 families, and even if one would include the students of Yeshivat Har HaMor in the “chareidi” category, they barely comprise 10% of the community.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

3 Responses

  1. OK so Kiryat Hayovel might not be a charedei area, can we live with this? Why can’t the neighborhood retain its flavor of secularism?

    Charedim are a minority in KJ, if they want to live there peacefully its possible. Why shouldn’t inexpensive apts be available for university students also? WHY IS EVERYTHING A FIGHT? Seems like throw a tantrum if you do not get your way syndrome.

  2. #1: You may believe as you wish. Those of us who believe in Hakadosh Baruch Hu know that the only ‘flavor’ of secularism is the taste of sin. Which is quite repulsive to us. That’s our taste, okay?

    But as far as your complaint about fights, the apartments were already offered by the university for sale and the charedim took them up on it. Only afterwards did the chillonim suddenly change their minds.

    You don’t live here, I do. You would be shocked to see the lengths the chillonim go to do block charedim. For example, connected to this issue, the force the price of charedi housing to be over twice what chillonim pay. This is done intentionally to limit growth of charedi families, so that they won’t be able to afford apartments and will have to have less children. They cut back our child allowances for the same reason. Reduce our bus service to garbage. They are pulling every trick in the book to stop us.

    The reason is simple. As the US State Department recently observed, in another twenty years Israel itself will be a majority ‘ultra’–either Moslem or charedi. Then we plan, well, to get rid of all the shmutz we can. The chillonim know their days are numbered and are fighting above and below the belt. Well. Hashem has shluchim harbe….

  3. Why is this news? A private seller (Hebrew U) is putting two buildings up for sale on the open market. Like any seller I assume they want to get the best price they can. All bidders are welcome–whether chilloni or chareidi–and best offer wins! Which ever side loses because they were outbid… well, too bad. So I don’t understand what there is to argue about.

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