Jerusalem Lone Soldier center blocked by haredi parties

Oren: I feel great shame at the immoral step taken by these religious factions.

January 26, 2015 19:54
1 minute read.
Haredi man and IDF soldiers in Jerusalem.

Haredi man and IDF soldiers in Jerusalem.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Plans for a discounted housing center in the capital for lone soldiers were shelved last week due to objections by ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem Municipality councilmen over funding being allocated to a secular organization.

According to Jared White, director of counseling and education at the Lone Soldier Center, a Kiryat Hayovel facility was intended to provide affordable housing to some of the nation’s 6,000 lone soldiers – soldiers who have no immediate family in Israel – who cannot afford prohibitive residential costs during training.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“We came to the municipality a year ago, and one of our biggest problems is finding lone soldiers a place to live, which the army helps with, but is still not adequate, even though it gives all it can,” White said of the IDF’s NIS 1,046 monthly stipend for lonely soldiers.

During a meeting on the issue, the municipality suggested turning Beit Giora, a five-story former absorption center that has been turned into a youth housing center with more 150 beds, into a discounted housing destination for the soldiers, he said.

Since then, eight lone soldiers have moved into the facility, with others planning on relocating there, although city funding for their rent has not been approved.

However, on Thursday, when the municipality’s finance committee mulled providing NIS 170,000 to the Yovelim neighborhood administration that manages the facility, haredi (ultra-Orthodox) council members voted to scrap the project due to the organization’s secularity.

“The project is operated by the municipality’s Youth Authority and Yovelim, and the haredi council members think both groups are anti-haredi, which of course, is not true,” a municipal official who requested anonymity explained on Monday. “I think this is a misunderstanding that can be resolved.”

In response to the controversy surrounding the haredi opposition to funding the center, United Torah Judaism councilman Yitzhak Pindrus said that the decision is not intended to punish lone soldiers, but rather the disparity in funding between secular and ultra-Orthodox groups.

“We are not against lone soldiers; we are against the Yovelim administration, which ignores the 25 percent of [Kiryat Hayovel] residents who are not entitled to receive money from the administration,” Pindrus said.

Related Content

The International Criminal Court in The Hague
August 18, 2018
What does IDF closing Black Friday war crimes probe mean for ICC?