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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ateret Cohanim’

70 Jewish Families Clinging to Old City’s Muslim Quarter amid Raging Violence

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

(JNi.media) Israeli Aharon Bennett (Benita) was murdered only a few steps from the gate of the Wittenberg compound in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday, and Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi, a resident of the Jewish enclave who heard the screams and came downstairs to help was murdered, too. On Wednesday morning there was another murderous attack nearby — an Arab female stabbed a 36-year-old Jewish man at the Lions’ Gate, but he managed to cock his gun and shoot her, possibly fatally.

Walla’s Moshe Steinmetz visited the Jewish compound in the Muslim Quarter on Tuesday, and found a group of some 20 youths sitting outside the safety of the gate, right on HaGai Street, the scene of Saturday’s murders, playing a guitar with a mobile karaoke amplifier.

Some 70 Jewish families live outside the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, mostly in the Muslim quarter.

Recently, this Jewish settlement has begun to spread into the Christian Quarter as well. “The windows up here, this is my home,” pointed Rachel Zuberi, 43, a 23-year resident of the compound and the mother of seven. “Here is the door of the Lavi family,” she continued sadly. On Saturday, she heard the murder stabbing scene under her window. “I was here during those rough moments with Neta, when her husband passed away. I discovered what a neighbor she is, and near what great people I live. I draw strength from that.”

With a population of 22,000 in an area of 76 acres, the Muslim Quarter is the largest of the four quarters of the old, walled city of Jerusalem, located in its northeastern part. It extends from the Lions’ Gate in the east, along the northern wall of the Temple Mount in the south, to the Damascus Gate—Western Wall route in the west. The Via Dolorosa starts in the Muslim quarter. The Muslim Quarter hosted a mixed population of Jews, Muslims and Christians until the 1929 Arab riots. Jewish landmarks in the Muslim Quarter include the Kotel Katan or Little Western Wall, and the Western Wall Tunnels, which run below the neighborhood along the Western Wall. There are many Roman and Crusader remains in the quarter.

Despite the difficult security situation, which has become increasingly more dangerous in recent weeks, Zuberi feels that she is living “in the best place there is.” Although she lives in the midst of many Arabs, she is certain: “We’re very happy here. It’s uplifting, magical and addictive. You cannot leave here. This is the place where our forefathers walked, the closest place to the Temple. It is a spiritual connection.”

She notes that where Muslims now reside used to be a Jewish neighborhood, and what she and her friends are trying to do is to “restore the old glory.” She says: “You walk down the street here and see homes whose Jewish mezuzas-doorposts were torn off. We are not invaders here, we’re not a delusional bunch choosing to locate in a dangerous place.”

The apartments in the compound, as well as throughout the quarter, belong to the “Ateret Cohanim” yeshiva, which and leases them to Jewish tenants, some for as little as $250 a month—but the demand is very great and currently there are no vacancies. “There are dozens of families who want to get in right away,” Rabbi Yossi Cohen, one of the first settlers in the Muslim Quarter 36 years ago, told Walla.

Birkhi Zarbib, 23, has lived in the compound with her brand-new husband since their wedding eight months ago. From her apartment window she sees the Temple Mount. She is determined: “We believe we have to settle the Land of Israel and to show Jewish presence. Of course we shouldn’t do it with pressure or nerves, but quietly and calmly, but we need to show that it all belongs to us. Since Rosh Hashanah, the Arabs have begun to rebel, which is why we’re here.” When asked if recent events have increased her fears, she replied that “during hot situations we are closely accompanied by police and soldiers 24 hours a day. It is a privilege to live here, and there is no fear. It is important for us that everyone will come and see that we’re having a normal life here.”

JNi.Media

Hundreds of Jews Join Prayers at Beit Ovadia in Shiloach

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Hundreds of Jews streamed into the Yemenite Village of Kfar Shiloach, a section of the Jerusalem neighborhood also known as Silwan, this past weekend from other parts of the Old City to join their new neighbors at Beit Ovadia and Beit Frumkin for Shabbat prayers.

Residents in Beit Yehonatan and Beit HaDavash, buildings that existed prior to the acquisition of Beit Ovadia and Beit Frumkin, celebrated the expansion of their community with prayers of thanks.

Beit Ovadia in surroundings

Ateret Cohanim and the “Committee for the Renewal of Jewish Life in HaShiloach” helped facilitate the acquisition of the new buildings from Arab owners by an overseas company, Kudram.

Ateret Cohanim has deep roots in the Land of Israel, linking back to the sole yeshiva that remained and was hidden behind a wall by an Arab during the War of Independence in 1948, Yeshivat Torah Chaim, established in 1887 and which today is known as Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim, which flourishes under the leadership of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner.

Many of those involved with the yeshiva saw the need to further the “physical redemption” of Jerusalem and the need to strengthen Jewish roots in the area after 1967, so a non-profit organization, Ateret Cohanim, was established to further these aims. After facilitating its first acquisition in 1979, yeshiva boys and families moved into a building called ‘Beit HaMa’aravim’ in the old Jewish Quarter (today the Muslim Quarter of the Old City).

Ateret Cohanim helped facilitate and advise Jewish investors from Israel and abroad to purchase properties. It also ensured that a number of centers of Jewish learning (Yeshivot and Kollelim) would blossom in the area. They include Yeshivat Bein Chomot Yerushalayim, Yeshivat Chayei Olam (Today Yeshivat Braslav-Shuvu Banim), Yeshivat Aderet Eliyahu, Kollel Ometz Yishecha (In the Shiloach) and others.

Today, there are also close to 1,000 Jewish residents living in the old Jewish Quarter of the Old City. Jewish life has also sprouted up on the Mount of Olives, in the old Yemenite Village of HaShiloach and in Kidmat Zion, east of the Mount of Olives.

American Friends of Ateret Cohanim , also known as Jerusalem Chai (Jerusalem Lives) helps finance the educational, children’s and social welfare projects connected to Ateret Cohanim. This project helps strengthen Jewish roots at educational institutes in the heart of Jerusalem, in and around the Old City.

children's play group in Old City sponsored by Ateret Cohanim

There are nearly 70 Jewish families, and “hundreds” of students, children, play centers, yeshivot and synagogues in the area around the Temple Mount.

View from Frumkin Old City and Ir david jpg

“Ateret Cohanim has successfully rekindled the flame of Jewish life in the heart and soul of Jerusalem,” spokesman Daniel Luria says.

“With the help of many local and overseas supporters from around the world, it has managed to bring back to the Old City and its environs numerous families and a number of institutes of higher Jewish learning. This in turn is ensuring a vibrant and thriving Jewish life.”

Hana Levi Julian

Ateret Cohanim Opens Pre-Army Yeshiva Across from Old City

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Just outside the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem, a new yeshiva sponsored by the Ateret Cohanim organization is set to open by the end of the month.

It will be the first all-mechina pre-army Torah Learning Center to be established in Jerusalem.

Otzmat Yerushalayim,’ the first such venture on Sultan Suleiman Street, is housed in the Israel Post Office and Bezeq building. In the same building one can also find offices for the Border Police and the national Israel Police.

The building is located at the main intersection near the Flowers Gate of the Old City, also known as Herod’s Gate, according to the yeshiva’s website.

The yeshiva will be open to some 300 pre-army Jewish students in an area that leftist Jerusalem municipality representative Meir Margalit fears is “a sure recipe for violence. This is a very strategic site and there’s a potential her to cause serious disruptions in civic life in this city,” he told Reuters.

Boys from the pre-army Academy of Otzem in Cholot Chalutza (also known as the Mechina from Atzmona in Gush Katif) are the first group to learn in the yeshiva.

The Otzem Academy will send groups of 30 students each to the yeshiva to learn for 7 to 14-day periods over the coming months, according to the statement posted on the yeshiva website.

Students enrolled in pre-army academies throughout the country will send their students to do the same, sponsored by donors locally and abroad.

Facilities include a Beit Midrash, dining room, kitchen and dormitory which can hold up to 30 students at a time. Attendees will participate in educational tours around the Old City in addition to their studies.

A formal “Chanukat HaBayit” – open house” ceremony – is expected to take place around the date of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), the holiday celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.

This year will mark the 47th year since Israeli soldiers took back Jerusalem from its Jordanian occupiers (in the 1967 Six Day War) and the barbed wire cutting the city apart was finally erased from the landscape.  Israel’s restoration and formal annexation of the remainder of the capital has not been recognized by the United States and by the international community.

At present, some 215,000 Jews live in the eastern part of the capital, which is also home to approximately 280,000 Arabs, most of whom hold Israeli identity cards and enjoy state social benefits, including comprehensive health care.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ateret-cohanim-opens-pre-army-torah-learning-center-near-flowers-gate-to-old-city/2014/05/05/

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