Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

4 Teves 5768 - December 13, 2007 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Jerusalem Earmarks NIS 100 Million for Construction of Religious and Educational Facilities

By Yechiel Sever

As the Jerusalem City Council prepares for budget talks, the municipality submitted data on projects soon to be carried out. The compiled data shows during the coming year the municipality will build mikvo'os, botei knesses and botei medrash throughout the city at an unprecedented level of NIS 100 million ($25 million).

This amount of construction was made possible through Mayor Rabbi Uri Lupoliansky's successful efforts to renew the work of the Municipal Locating Committee that identifies sites for construction of public buildings, despite legal obstacles placed before him. Many of the plans for the construction of buildings are currently in the execution phase and are scheduled for completion during the coming year. Tenders have already been issued for some of the other plans, which will begin within the coming year.

In light of a High Court case filed against the City of Rechovot, the court had in effect cancelled funds earmarked for religious facilities by all local authorities. Following that decision, which caused the Jerusalem Locating Committee to cease its operations, Mayor Lupoliansky directed city officials to hold joint meetings with the relevant government ministries together with legal experts, in order to devise a supplementary procedure, work guidelines and criteria that would allow the committee to be reactivated within the law.

Rabbi Yitzchok Hanau, director of the municipality's Department of Religious Facilities, said that since their efforts started to take shape, over the past few months the municipality has allocated dozens of lots throughout the city for the construction of religious facilities. These allocations came in response to needs that have come about in recent years in neighborhoods where the religious or chareidi population has grown.

As part of the new construction plan, municipal planning officials are to make changes in the City Building Plan (known as the TABA -- Tochnit Binyan Arim) in order to zone additional lots not originally designated for the construction of public buildings.

The Mayor also introduced a new regulation making the municipality responsible for initiating and funding the procedure for changes in the highly complex City Building Plan, in order to spare substantial expenses that until now have been imposed on the respective associations that undertook to build the facilities.

This year the municipality is also slated to build dozens of kindergarten and school classrooms at locations throughout the city, including a number for chareidi institutions, at a value of NIS 50 million ($13 million).

Deputy Mayor and Chareidi Education Commissioner Rabbi Uri Maklev said that the municipality is currently formulating a master plan for chareidi education in which the Education Ministry is expected to fund the construction of additional classrooms in the hope that than in the coming years all chareidi educational institutions will be provided with permanent facilities, and not have to study in rented rooms and prefab structures.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.