SY: Chof Hashaket in Haifa will continue to operate as a separated beach this year as well, following great efforts by UTJ City Councilman Rabbi Aryeh Blitental. The arrangement was secured after the rabbonim of the chareidi kehillos waged a campaign all winter.? The Haifa Municipality had planned to set aside the chain of beaches in Kiryat Chaim for use by the chareidi and observant public and to turn over the Chof Hashaket, which has been designated as a separated beach for years, to a small rowing club.Last year the municipality set up a special committee headed by Councilman Baruch Zeltz, which determined that Chof Hashaket should continue to serve beachgoers seeking a separated beach since it is located far away from the rest of the city’s beaches. Yet a small group of rowers remained adamant, claiming it could no longer continue training in the polluted Kishon River.
Last year the beach was divided into two to accommodate both parties, but this year the municipality planned to give the whole beach to the rowers and to have the chareidi and religious beachgoers go to Kiryat Chaim, which is less accessible and also not entirely secluded from the adjacent beaches.
In waging his battle against the decision Blitental enlisted the help of local chareidi rabbonim. Eventually an agreement was reached to again divide the beach between the swimmers and the rowers by laying a diagonal 2.5-meter high wall in the water. The campaign also succeeded in blocking the rowers’ attempts to eat away at the area designated for the chareidi and religious beachgoers.
The arrangement will allow Haifa area residents to enjoy one of the country’s best separate beaches.