Haredi 'City of Torah' to be built south of Mexico City

The city will work similarly to Modi'in Illit in Israel and Lakewood, New Jersey.

A HAREDI man walks in Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A HAREDI man walks in Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
A haredi (ultra-Orthodox) city will be built in Mexico to house haredi residents of the country and of neighboring countries, according to Arutz Sheva.
The initiative aims to establish a Jewish area outside of Mexico City called "The City of Torah" for the haredi population. The city will work similarly to Lakewood, New Jersey, in the US and Modi'in Illit in Israel.
Mexico, Panama and Argentina are home to large Jewish communities. Haredi communities in Mexico City have run out of space for housing and educational institutions, making the new initiative welcome news for the crowded communities, according to haredi news outlet B'hadrei Haredim.
 
The new city will house about 400 yeshiva students from Mexico along with hundreds of students from Central and South American countries in the first stage.
The initiative garnered interest after the Torat Eliyahu yeshiva in Mexico rented a ranch outside of Mexico City after the coronavirus lockdown and held studies there in capsules, according to Arutz Sheva. The model succeeded and many more yeshivas moved to facilities outside of the city, leading developers from the Jewish community to purchase about half a million square meters of land in an area about an hour's drive from Mexico City, the most populous city in North America.
The new city will be located near Ixtapan de la Sal, located southwest of the capital, according to haredi media.
Dozens of houses and public buildings will be built during the summer, including mikvahs (ritual bath houses), schools, a kosher shopping center and more, according to B'hadrei Haredim.
Torat Eliyahu has purchased land to build a large building for a yeshiva headed by Rabbi Yehoshua Gretzolin.
The project has received support from Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, rosh yeshiva (head) of the Ponevezh Yeshiva, the president of the Torat Eliyahu institutions and Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky, head of the Yeshiva of Philadelphia and a member of the council of Torah Scholars in the United States.
Kaminetzky has requested that Edelstein stand as the president of the new city.
Institutions led by Kaminetzky have purchased about 60,000 square meters of land in the planned city for the new location of the yeshiva that is currently located in Mexico City.