2,000 People Attend Ground-Breaking Ceremony For Young Israel Of Bnei Dekalim


bnei-dekalim-1-3Four years after the residents of Gush Katif were forcibly removed from their homes and banished from their communities, the families from Gush Katif took a giant step towards rebuilding their lives and their community by breaking ground on a new shul.

Over 2,000 people from across Israel, as well as numerous friends and visitors from the United States, attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Young Israel of Bnei Dekalim during Chol Hamoed Succos. The shul will be built in Givat Hazan in the Lachish area in Southern Israel, where 150 former families from Neve Dekalim currently reside. In addition to the new synagogue, this budding community will eventually house approximately 500 families, numerous educational institutions, and a commercial area.

When the Israeli government removed the Jews of Gush Katif from their communities in August 2005, the only remnants left behind that provided evidence of their having been a Jewish community in the area were the shuls. Pursuant to halacha, shuls cannot be destroyed by Jews, and therefore the shuls in Gush Katif remained intact during the evacuation. Shortly after the Palestinians assumed control of the area, they desecrated and completely decimated the shuls with great delight. One of the shuls that was left behind in Gush Katif and subsequently destroyed by the Palestinians was the Young Israel of Neve Dekalim.

bnei-dekalim-1-2“After a tumultuous four years for the families of Gush Katif, during which time they experienced unimaginable pain and suffering, it is exhilarating to see them begin the rebuilding process by focusing on an institution that is the cornerstone of every Jewish community – the synagogue,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, the Executive Vice President of the National Council of Young Israel. “We are optimistic that the construction of the Young Israel of Bnei Dekalim is just the beginning of a broader rebuilding effort that will reestablish the Gush Katif community as a central component of Jewish life in Israel.”

Among the many dignitaries who attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the Young Israel of Bnei Dekalim and addressed the crowd were Israel’s Minister of Housing and Construction Ariel Atias and Rabbi Yackov Ariel. The ceremony concluded with the cornerstone laying for the new shuls . Among the individuals who poured cement were Mr. Ceec Harishburg (Chairman, International Movement of Young Israel – Israel region), Rabbi Jeffery Bienenfeld (Co-President, Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel), Rabbi Chaim Wasserman (Co-President, Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel), Mr. Daniel Meyer (Director of Branch Development, Young Israel in Israel), and Mr. Shlomo Julius (Young Israel representative in Neve/Bnei Dekalim).

According to Rabbi Lerner, the initial construction phase for the Young Israel of Bnei Dekalim is expected to take approximately two years. Anyone visiting Israel who wishes to visit the site of the new shuls and meet the families from Gush Katif who are involved in the rebuilding effort should contact the Young Israel office in Israel by sending an e-mail to mush@youngisrael.org, or by calling 972-2-6254983.

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}



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