Nachalat Heftziba residents and apartment buyers were pleased
to hear that the building permit was signed this week by
Modi'in Illit Mayor Rabbi Yaakov Gutterman.
Both the apartment purchasers and other residents have been
suffering for two years as a result of a High Court petition
filed by radical organization Peace Now, which led to a court
order to freeze construction and not occupy the apartments.
The trials and tribulations reached their peak when the
construction company folded — for reasons unrelated to
the litigation — leaving the project completely
When the problems first started to emerge, a buyers'
committee was formed, headed by the moro d'asro HaRav
Meir Kessler, HaRav Y. Silman, HaRav A. Dvir and HaRav A.
Mittelman. The committee represented all of the buyers in the
High Court case and pursued other legal channels until
eventually obtaining the decision to permit construction to
continue. But the ruling was too little, too late since it
came a few weeks after Heftziba came crashing down last year
Following the company's collapse the buyers' committee
launched intensive negotiations with Solel Boneh, which was a
partner in part of the project, and with Bank Yerushalayim,
which accompanied part of the project. Long months of talks
eventually brought an agreement drafted by the committee's
legal advisor, R' Avrohom Gronich, which should allow the
companies to complete building the neighborhood and
registering the apartments under the rightful owners' names.
The main points of the agreement are a commitment by Solel
Boneh and Bank Yerushalayim to complete the apartments,
general neighborhood development and listing rights, while
the buyers have pledged to transfer the balance of payment
for their apartments to the official receiver, along with an
extra $25,000 each to cover the enormous debts left behind by
Heftziba CEO Boaz Yonah, while the two companies will
shoulder the brunt of the debt.
During a large meeting held at the end of Shevat, the
rabbonim serving on the committee called on the apartment
buyers to join the agreement, which almost all 315 purchasers
eventually signed. The agreement won praise from the judge
and special manager Atty. Molcho, who called it very
successful and hailed it as an example for other Heftziba
In addition to the financial aspects of the agreement the
committee constantly worked to draw new plans for the
neighborhood because during the High Court petition some
slight flaws were found in the original Taba (land registry)
plans, so the court ordered the Taba approval process and the
construction permits to be redone from scratch. Highly time-
consuming work had to be done by various entities involved in
the case, especially the Engineering Department, which is
headed by City Engineer Sarit Zolstein. After all of the
problems that had already been encountered nobody dared take
chances by cutting corners, so every detail had to be carried
out without compromise. Every plan goes through seven
separate checks by qualified officials before being inspected
by the Civil Administration, which is in charge of approving
fundamental aspects of the city building plan.
This week the project entered the phase of renewed
construction when the Mayor signed the new construction
permits given for all of the buildings in the project,
without exception, and now dozens of Solel Boneh workers are
already busy at the construction site.
Rabbi Wallenstein, one of the heads of the neighborhood
committee, expressed his deep gratitude toward the Mayor for
his concerted efforts along with hopes the neighborhood
quickly reaches completion. So far Nachalat Heftziba has been
the first Heftziba project to emerge from the morass of legal
and financial difficulties in the wake of the company's