Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

25 Teves 5768 - January 3, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Jerusalem Municipality Launches Plan to Build Communal Facilities in Ramot

By Yechiel Sever

Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood is set to become a center of activity for the chareidi sector of Jerusalem in the coming months based on a comprehensive plan led by Mayor Rabbi Uri Lupoliansky to build halls, community centers and leisure facilities.

To construct the first of the planned buildings, slated to go up on Rechov Kadima in Ramot Alef, the Mayor recently allocated a sum of millions of shekels, which would supplement similar sums provided by Mifal Hapayis. The building will be used for various leisure activities as well as for facilities for high school girls organized under Benot Batya. The municipality will also build an adjacent park and playground.

Renovation work on the Tvunas Yaakov fitness center in Ramot Alef is now nearing completion. The renovation project, which cost half a million shekels, was carried out to make a range of fitness activities available to the chareidi public, with separate days and special tznius arrangements delineated by the local rabbonim.

The construction of the buildings joins a number of similar plans at other locations initiated by Rabbi Lupoliansky in order to expand community services in the neighborhood and to provide activities adapted to suit the chareidi public. The municipality is currently in the advanced planning stages of Jerusalem's largest educational and community center for the chareidi population, that will replace the structures in the area known as "Har Manadim" (after the Hebrew initials for describing manufactured buildings) that is located at the edge of Ramot 4, near the northwest entrance to the city via the Ramot Road.

Slated for construction at the site are over 100 classrooms for talmudei Torah and other educational institutions, at an unprecedented cost of NIS 140 million ($36 million). The Mayor also raised additional funding from outside sources to build a large multipurpose center at the site and approved the allotment of land for educational institutions and non- profit organizations that will eventually operate there.

On a large area of 40 dunams (10 acres) surrounding the new complex the municipality plans to develop greenbelts with innovative play equipment for the students attending the institutions as well as neighborhood residents. Also to be built at the complex are a conference and an events hall, as well as an enclosed fitness center with separate days for men and women. In collaboration with the local rabbonim the municipality is considering the possibility of building a swimming pool with very strict standards of modesty.

The plans for the community complex include special emphasis on safety and traffic arrangements. The municipality has hired the services of some of the country's top traffic engineers to evaluate how to best accommodate traffic at the entrance to the facility while maximizing pedestrian safety.


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