Haredi and secular in Mea Shearim 390.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood in Jerusalem will be the future site of a
secular yeshiva and pre-army program, the Jerusalem municipality announced on
Sunday in the latest step of the neighborhood saga that has pitted
ultra-Orthodox residents against secular and national-religious
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced that the Warburg compound
in the neighborhood will not be dedicated to haredi educational institutions, as
had been decided by the previous mayor, Uri Lupoliansky, who is
The Jerusalem Secular Yeshiva, which provides 15 students with a
four-month intensive learning and onsite living program, will move to Kiryat
Hayovel from the neighborhood of Ein Kerem, where it has been based for the past
year. The program is aimed at bringing people post-army to Jerusalem and to help
them create a connection with the city that encourages them to stay in the
capital. The yeshiva is a branch of the Bina Secular Yeshiva in Tel Aviv, which
was founded ten years ago.
Kiryat Hayovel, located in the southwest of
Jerusalem, is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Jerusalem and tension has
risen as ultra-Orthodox have began to flock to the cheaper rents.
recent years, activist organizations such as Ruah Hadasha (New Spirit) have
created communes and purchasing groups of young families who buy apartments
together to counter the growing haredi influence in the area.
municipality has defined the neighborhood as a “priority area” to receive extra
spending in both physical improvements – including construction of sidewalks and
repaving roads – as well as community programs such as after-school
Barkat said on Sunday that he was “investing a lot of energy
into making Kiryat Hayovel a vibrant and attractive neighborhood for young
families,” and that the secular yeshiva and pre-army seminary are part of that
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“Jerusalem is the spiritual center of all citizens, and we’re
trying to make sure it will also be the spiritual center for secular people,”
said Ariel Levinson, the head of curriculum and the administrative committee of
the secular yeshiva.
Levinson was quick to point out that the secular
yeshiva’s new location is not meant to be antagonistic to Kiryat Hayovel’s
haredi population, and that the institution also attracts haredi participants at
City councilor Yitzhak Pindrus (United Torah Judaism) –
who has been a vocal supporter of increasing the number of institutions in the
haredi community, especially in Kiryat Hayovel – refused to comment on the
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