Photo Credit: JCT
JCT President Chaim Sukenik (R) and Kehilod CEO Noam Dreyfus stand in an apartment that was badly damaged during Arab riots in May 2021.

The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) and local grassroots organization, Kehilod, will award scholarships to young religious students who live in the central Israeli city of Lod, in a measure to help reinforce the city’s religious character and incentivize more young people to move there.

The College’s leadership toured the city’s Ramat Eshkol neighborhood last week and met with students who live in Lod. JCT participants on the tour included President Chaim Sukenik, Director-General Yossi Zeira, Director of the Office of Student Affairs, Assistant Director-General Eli Schaalmann, Dean of Students Rabbi Chaim Elishevitz, and Director of Marketing and Advertising Yehuda Kalman.


The initiative was launched after a tumultuous summer of violence last year when interreligious conflict deeply affected Lod’s residents. The NIS 5,000 ($1,553) scholarship will be automatically deducted from a JCT student’s tuition. JCT will work alongside Kehilod to increase the number of national-religious students living in Lod and will award the scholarship money to those already residing in the city, or those with plans to move there.

“The violent events that took place last summer revealed the need to support efforts promoting Jewish life in the center of the country,” Sukenik said. “This will only be brought to fruition by helping the next generation of young people who are dedicated to living in Lod and keeping its Jewish life alive. To that end, JCT will award scholarships to students who live or have moved to Lod and who are involved in faith-based initiatives. The hope is that they will reside there long-term and enhance the city’s Jewish spirit.”

Israel Baharav, a first-year business administration student at JCT, said, “The violence we saw last summer served as a clarion call to the people of Israel. Strengthening the Jewish community in Lod should be a goal for the entire nation. Every initiative supporting community building and Torah study here is a response to forces looking to push Jews out of the city.”

Noam Dreyfus, CEO of Kehilod (the name combines the words kehilot-communities and Lod) an organization that aims to boost religious Jewish life in Lod’s old neighborhoods, said, “Ramat Eshkol was devastated by interreligious violence. While the physical damage from looting and arson was repaired, for the most part, the vandals didn’t succeed in crushing Jewish life in the city. JCT is the only institution of higher education that believes in the importance of supporting young Jewish communities and, as such, has awarded scholarships to students who are dedicated to the wellbeing of the city and their fellow residents. We are grateful for the College’s friendship and the decision to partner with us.”


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