The daily HaMevaser continues to monitor the situation in Kfar Vradim, reporting the local municipality does indeed discriminate against the community’s chareidi population.
In the recent court ruling compelling a chareidi non-profit organization to pay a NIS 5,000 fine for operating an illegal daycare center in a private home, there were also efforts to compel the Kfar Vradim Local Municipality to openly list its criteria for allocating land and permitting the construction of a mikve. In an earlier report, YWN-Israel cited that the municipality leader, Sivan Yechieli, denied any discrimination regarding the construction of a mikve, stating that to date, no formal request has been received.
The frum community reports that the Kfar Vradim Conservative community numbers and handful of families, yet a conservative synagogue is being constructed and Mr. Yechieli took part in a groundbreaking ceremony. They were allocated land by Yechieli while the mikve is not moving ahead.
The frum community is seeking to have the court compel Yechieli to cite the criteria used to decide who gets land and why, challenging the allocation of the land allocated for the conservative synagogue.
During the hearing, Krayot Magistrate’s Court Justice Laufer-Sasson was astonished to learn that only the chareidi daycare center was singled out – with Kfar Vradim officials confirming there are indeed another 15 daycare centers operating in private homes as well, but stating they are for infants and are classified under different guidelines and therefore not illegal. The court also learned there are tens if not hundreds of private homes used to house businesses, no less a violation of the law than the chareidi daycare center.
The community founders label their community as “Zionist pluralistic” but according to HaMevaser’s Eliezer Friedman, Yechieli apparently does not understand the meaning of the world “pluralistic”.
When Justice Laufer-Sasson imposed the fine on the non-profit and the community’s rav, HaGaon R’ Shlomo Goldfarb, she expressed understanding for the plight of the chareidim and explained the law compels her to act, levying a light fine and rejecting calls to issue an immediate closure order for the chareidi daycare facility. She also permitted them to pay the fine in ten installments to facilitate compliance with to the court’s decision.
Under the guise of lacking space in the commercial center and a budget to operate the facility, a demolition order was issued last week for the mikve which is under construction. The report adds that Yechieli has already been quoted in a media interview stating that he entered into his position for one reason and one reason only, to make certain a mikve is not built in Kfar Vradim, even inside a private home.
The municipal authority’s man overseeing the shul’s activities has documented that there are shiurim and lectures for women during the evening hours, all without having first been approved by the municipality, all contributing to efforts to change the character of the community.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)