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September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘modi’in’

Boys to be Buried Side by Side

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel HY”D will be buried side by side in the Modiin Cemetery today, Tuesday, in a joint funeral.

At the moment the schedule is as follows:

Eyal Yifrah’s funeral will begin at 2:30 PM, in the Beit Knesset Neria shul in Elad,. The burial will be at 5:30 PM in the Modi’in cemetery.

Gil-ad Shaar’s funeral will begin at 3:00 PM, in the Talmon shul, and they will leave to the cemetery at 4:30 PM.

Naftali Frenkel’s funeral will begin at 3:00 PM in Nof Ayalon, and the burial will be at the same time, in Modiin, at 5:30 PM.

The bodies of the kidnapped boys were found yesterday. They were kidnapped on June 12 by terrorists from Hebron, and murdered soon after.

Modi’in: the Next Big Thing in Israel Housing

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

The city of Modi’in has long since stopped being considered a suburb of Tel Aviv. The rising demand for housing has managed to shorten the gap in real estate prices in both cities. Statistics published by the finance ministry last month also indicate that prices are on the rise. Within a year, housing costs in the city will climb 11 percent.

Modi’in has had its fair share of “birth pangs” before it became what it is today. As early as the 1950s, urban planners were eager to transform this strip of land replete with dry valleys into a city, in order to establish population centers away from the coast.

Those plans, however, were put on hold by various governments who instead sought to earmark the area for other needs, whether it be headquartering state and government agencies, relocating a large cemetery that would serve central Israel, or relocating the large garbage dump from the nearby city of Rehovot.

These deliberations and discussions rendered the rocky hills of Modi’in barren. Nonetheless, the goal of establishing a city in the area was never abandoned, and was rekindled in the 1960s and 70s, initially to sustain security and defense considerations. Still, those intentions failed to propel the planning process forward.

It was only in the mid-1980s when the decision to build Modi’in in earnest was finally made. What tilted the scales in favor of building was the housing shortage triggered by the massive immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union. In December 1985, the government needed to find a housing solution as waves of Jews were coming over. The most immediate one was Modi’in. In the early 1990s, the plans were approved, and in 1996 the first residents began moving in.

Ashdar's Deputy CEO for Marketing Racheli Brizel. Photo: Sivan Farge.

Ashdar’s Deputy CEO for Marketing Racheli Brizel. Photo: Sivan Farge.

“The situation today is not that much different from what it was in the early 1990s,” says construction giant Ashdar’s Deputy CEO for Marketing Racheli Brizel. “The government’s strong desire to flood the country with available properties and create an impact on housing prices led it to sign an agreement in which it promised to market 12,000 new housing units in the city, available housing in the center of the country.”

Modi’in lies within Israel’s central region, located atop the hills of Judea, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The city was planned to one day become a major metropolis. Its municipal administration came about by the merger of two neighboring suburbs, Reut and Maccabim. Today, Modi’in has 82,000 residents. The population is expected to hit 120,000 within the next few years. Within a 10-year period, Modi’in will be home to a quarter-million residents.

If construction and building plans are any indication, it would appear that Modi’in is making giant strides toward this goal. The latest government plan calls for the construction of 11,800 residential units in the four main neighborhoods of the city. From now until February 2015, some 3,200 apartments will be offered on the market. The rest of the apartments will become available between 2015 and 2017.

While there is reason for optimism, some are expressing many doubts as to whether this will have the desired impact on real estate prices in the city.

“More than 1,700 apartments were offered on the market over the course of the last six years in Modi’in,” says Brizel. “Every tender that was announced has been higher than the previous one. The movement in the real estate market was what prompted the company to make the decision to move into Modi’in and invest there, even with the high property values.”

Modi’in and Hashmonaim

Monday, November 25th, 2013

With Hanukkah beginning this week on Wednesday evening, Modi’in and the nearby settlement of Hashmonaim are appropriate choices for this week’s feature.

Hanukkah, which means the Festival of Dedication, celebrates the rededication of Jerusalem’s Holy Temple in the 2nd century BCE, following the triumph of a small band of Jews, led by the Maccabees, over the powerful Seleucid-Greek army. Under King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Greeks had sought to impose their culture and erase any trace of Jewish observance.

The Maccabees hailed from the village of Modi’in, and the story of Hanukkah and the Maccabean Revolt took place in the Modi’in region and Jerusalem.

Modi’in, now a thriving city of 83,000 and fast-growing, is often referred to as the “Land of the Maccabees.”

Modi’in’s complete name, since 2003, is Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut, following its merger with the towns of Maccabim and Re’ut, which were founded in 1985 and 1987, respectively, and united into Maccabim-Re’ut in 1990.

“I find it positively inspiring to live where the Maccabees once lived. You can see for yourself the sites of their former presence, and it makes me feel even more committed to living in the historic Land of Israel,” said artist Leah Laker, a Modi’in resident.

Designed to preserve its natural landscape by renowned Canadian-Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, Modi’in, established in 1996, is a semi-suburban city surrounded by greenery. It includes many facilities and services for contemporary families, such as the ultra-modern Azrieli Mall.

Modi’in’s population consists of a well-integrated combination of religious and secular residents, including native Israelis and immigrants. They are mostly middle-class professionals, and many commute to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem; Modi’in lies midway between. As well, an industrial park in the north end of the city provides employment in high-tech and other fields.

The settlement of Hashmonaim, located two kilometers east of Modi’in, was named for the Hasmonean Dynasty, which was founded by the victorious Maccabees and ruled in Judea from 164 BCE to 63 BCE.

Established 26 years ago, Hashmonaim is known for its small-town, religiously traditional atmosphere.

More than 50 percent of the population is American, and thus it is not surprising that a baseball diamond lies at the entrance of this suburban paradise. The native Israelis and immigrants from other countries are more diverse, with a combination of Sephardic, Ashkenazic and Yemenite backgrounds.

Hashmonaim boasts lovely detached and semi-detached homes and includes entertainment and programming for children of all ages. Numerous amenities for families include modern playgrounds and diverse sports and music programs.

Modi’in, which caters to families who enjoy a city feel, and Hashmonaim, a blissful town in the center of Israel, are truly a blend of ancient Jewish history and world-class innovation.

Visit United with Israel.

Rock-Throwing Terrorists Return to Route 443

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Palestinian Authority Arabs Monday morning hurled rocks at motorists on Route 443, which connects Modi’in with Jerusalem, despite two checkpoints on the highway that also serves as alternate route to Highway 1 to Jerusalem.

No injuries were reported.

The Supreme Court three years ago ordered that the government open the road to Palestinian Authority drivers, ruling that security could be provided without prohibiting them from using the road. Terrorist attacks killed six people on Route 443 during the height of the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, and the roads was closed to the PA in 2002.

Iron Dome Tested Near Jerusalem

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system was tested near the city of Modi’in, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, before  being removed on Wednesday, Haaretz reported.

A battery stationed there would protect the Jerusalem area from rocket attacks. At least two rockets were fired from Gaza at Jerusalem during last November’s Operation Pillar of Defense, landing in open areas. One of them exploded close to an Arab village in Gush Etzion.

Iron Dome systems have been deployed throughout central Jerusalem for tests in recent days, according to reports.

Israel has five Iron Dome batteries, which have been stationed throughout the country as the need arises.

Last month, an Iron Dome battery stationed in the north was unusable for more than four weeks after sustaining flood damage in January. The battery was in storage when it flooded, damaging its electrical system, which has since been repaired and is now functional.

Director: Some Modi’in Parents Let Kids Use Culture Hall as Bathroom

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

It could be a comment on the performance onstage, but the operators of the municipal Cultural Hall are livid over a few recent cases in which small children relieved themselves in the public arena, not in the bathroom – with the knowledge of their parents.

Hall Director Dina Peled, who related that “one time the mother of a small child took him to pee in a trash can in the Hall. We were shocked by the incident, but apparently it was just the beginning. Another mother took the child to defecate over a garbage can. We hadn’t recovered from those two events, when, last Saturday, we got another case: a mother left her child’s soiled underwear in the hall, near everyone, and left.”

“If a child has an ‘accident,’ it is perfectly acceptable to take the soiled undies and leave it in the bathroom garbage can,” Peled said. “These things happen, it’s happened to all of us, as parents and as children. But to leave it in on the parquet floor in the auditorium, in front of everyone? Can anyone understand such a thing?”

The Modi’in Maccabim Reut Culture Hall was inaugurated 5 years ago, and Peled has been the director from the start. She told The Jewish Press that she’s been in the field of establishing and running cultural facilities for 25 years, and this is the very first time that she’s encountered such a phenomenon.

Peled emphasized that in each case, the Culture Hall’s security cameras documented the parents in action. “We don’t want to shame them by starting to search for them publicly, but they did things that should not be done. The bathrooms are a short walk away from the spot where they were – and it wasn’t an accident, or something beyond their control, they simply didn’t care. Letting their child relieve himself over a trash can when the bathrooms are six feet away is just unbelievable. There are available bathrooms near the hall entrance. These parents’ behavior simply hurts all of us.”

Peled told The Jewish Press that, having watched all four tapes, she found no common denominator to the offending parents, in this community which is comprised equally of religious and secular Jews.

It is interesting to note that while showing a film about parents who encourage their children to do their business in public is most likely against the law in Israel, the actual act is not. Peled told The Jewish Press she did not think these were violations of the law, but she insisted they certainly violated any sense of public decency and ethics.

The Culture Hall team calls on all their guests to complain if they see similar inappropriate behavior: “If we get there, we can take care of this offense immediately. It doesn’t make sense that our customers will have to suffer the consequences of these behaviors,” said Peled.

Post-Chanukah Musings at the Maccabees’ Hometown

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Late last week, as the sun was setting, I stood in the center of an archaeological ruin in the town of Modi’in, Israel, about a five-to-ten minute walk from my home. Israel has thousands of archaeological sites, some of tremendous historical and religious significance and others which will be investigated but likely bulldozed someday, as they are deemed of lesser value and standing in the way of the modern state’s progress.

What made that evening very special was the fact that it was the start of Shabbat, the seventh night of Chanukah and the site was Umm el-Umdan, containing an ancient rural village, mikveh and beit knesset, confirmed as one of the oldest ever unearthed in all of Israel, dating back to the Hasmonean Period. Given its location and dimensions, some archaeologists contend that it was very possibly the home of the Maccabees themselves. The beit knesset was unearthed in 2002 and according to the Israel Antiquities Authority the layout is similar to only a handful dating from the Second Temple period such as those discovered in Gamla and Herodium.

A large gathering of men and women from the surrounding Buchman neighborhood had entered the site. For the past several years the residents have come to this place to welcome Shabbat and pay tribute to the Maccabees. The men stood in the central part of the site, in a rectangular area that was probably the main floor of the beit knesset. In front of me was a small indentation in the stone framework surrounding the floor, perfectly positioned to accommodate an ark to hold Torah scrolls. As I looked past it, I realized that it was perfectly oriented on this hill to face Jerusalem. Our prayers began- we completed mincha and proceeded with a very beautiful kabbalat Shabbat service incorporating the music of Shlomo Carlebach.

However, it was not lost on any of us that this site has remained unmarked, undeveloped and virtually ignored by both municipal officials and our national government. Although Umm el-Umdan holds a prominently high position on the national registry of “Heritage Sites,” the only thing of note that has occurred here is that the weeds engulfing its large stones have periodically been pulled by municipal workers. The average city resident doesn’t even know the location of the site although it lies squarely along the main entry road to Modi’in from the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. In fact, as we were preparing to pray last night, a jogger came by and shouted a thank you to us, saying “I never knew this was here.”

While standing and praying in the quickly receding daylight and having great difficulty reading from my siddur, just to our right, perhaps 200 yards away, I could see Modi’in’s new pride and joy: our recently opened extreme sports park lit up as brightly as Yankee Stadium at a night game and full of skate boarders. I’ve been told that it’s the biggest and best one in the country. The juxtaposition of the two sites really struck me: all I could think of was Maccabees vs. Hellenists. Please don’t get me wrong. I love skate boards. In fact in high school back in the 1960s I owned a first generation board and used it often. I believe Israel has room for all of us, no matter what path we choose to go down.

But that’s the rub— How could we have been standing those 200 yards away on this incredibly meaningful site, in the town where the Maccabees’ efforts assured Jewish continuity and be in the dark? How could this archaeological site be so ignored and treated almost as a nuisance by the municipal government, without – aside from the weeds being plucked – a shekel having been invested in site preservation? Without a shekel spent to put up a proper historical marker acknowledging the beit knesset’s existence in our town? Without even a string of cheap light bulbs strung to allow people to pray comfortably and in safety at the site? Maybe what we have forgotten is how to be modern day Maccabean activists who need to let our countrymen know how we feel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/post-chanukah-musings-at-the-maccabees-hometown/2012/12/18/

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