"As someone who has given back to communities throughout the country, you have shown that you are in tune with the unique needs of the Chareidi public. Your door is always open before us" * Hundreds of children from the 'Ohr Olam', 'Eitz Chaim' and 'Ohalei Menachem' Talmudei Torah touched the representatives of Mifal Hapayis in a special event * Chairman of Mifal Hapayis, Mr. Uzi Dayan: "This place has a unique beauty which is reflected in its residents, it was an extraordinary visit. Torah learning and Jewish brotherhood and solidarity have brought the Jewish People its achievements throughout the ages"
"As someone who has been observing your devoted work at Mifal Hapayis, we thank Hashem that Mifal Hapayis is in your hands. In the name of the residents of Beitar Ilit, in the name of the local children and in the name of the Chareidi public, I wish to thank you for your willingness and readiness to assist. As someone who has given back to communities throughout the country, you have shown that you are in tune with the unique needs of the Chareidi public. Mifal Hapayis under your administration exhibits fairness and honesty, without favoritism. It is important for me to stress this now more than ever, as our public is being constantly harassed", said Mayor Rabbi Meir Rubinstein at the inauguration event for dozens of new classrooms and their furnishing in three Talmudei Torah at a total of 15 million NIS, covered by Mifal Hapayis and in accordance with a program orchestrated by the Education Ministry.
Hundreds of students from the 'Ohr Olam', 'Eitz Chaim' and 'Ohalei Menachem' Talmudei Torah touched the representatives of Mifal Hapayis in the special event, attended by Mifal Hapayis Chairman Mr. Uzi Dayan, senior Mifal Hapayis representative Mr. Moshe Bahagaon, Director of Educational Buildings Mrs. Irit Ben Mencahem and Account Executive Mrs. Insa Daron, as well as Municipality Director Rabbi Yehuda Gerlitz, Municipality Treasurer Rabbi Yehoshua Pollack, Director of the Education Department Rabbi Yisrael Tik, senior municipality workers and educators.
The first ceremony was held at the 'Eitz Chaim' and 'Ohr Olam' Talmudei Torah. The esteemed guests were welcomed by the principals of the Talmud Torah and its educational staff. The guests toured the classrooms where the students welcomed them with song and words of gratitude. Immediately thereafter, the guests toured the Chabad Talmud Torah 'Ohalei Menachem', which is also named 'Beit Avraham Nachum' –after the late 10-year-old student Avraham Nachum Dor, z"l, who was tragically killed in a car accident 11 months ago. The guests were welcomed by a choir that sang emotional and moving songs, as well as by the principal, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Cohen, educational supervisor Rabbi Naftali HaCohen Roth, the staff and the members of the Dor family, who lost their only son, Avraham Nachum, and were moved to tears by the ceremony.
Hundreds of students marched in a long line and, one by one, inserted personal thank-you letters to a Mifal Hapayis mailbox that was erected at the entrance to the new building. Throughout the march, the choir sang songs of gratitude and thankfulness. Rabbi Roth said that it is a mitzvah to build classrooms for Jewish children, and blessed Mifal Hapayis with a good, sweet year.
Mifal Hapayis Chairman, Mr. Uzi Dayan, was visibly moved by the event, and said that he had not been this excited by a visit for a very long time. "This place has a unique beauty which is reflected in its residents, it was an extraordinary visit. I feel obligated to share my feelings with everyone present; all the achievements of the Jewish People throughout he ages are only thanks to the merit of Torah learning and the Jewish brotherhood and solidarity which have been maintained in the various communities in the Diaspora. The communities were the backbone of all Jewish families. The three-year-old Jewish boy already knew how to read and write hundreds of years before the rest of humanity began using script. The Torah that was taught and learnt spread faith and knowledge, education and good traits, and the Talmidei Chachamim led the people in the right way."
In a review meeting that took place after the ceremonies, Mayor Rabbi Meir Rubinstein said that students who know how to be grateful and what to be grateful for are children who do not take things for granted. They know that behind every desk, chair and whiteboard, there are people who work tirelessly around the clock to ensure their welfare and success in learning. "We are the youngest city in the country, with 66% of the local population being under 18 years old. Around 2,000 babies are born here every year, and we can tell that you have internalized this fact. I have observed that Mifal Hapayis has invested 50 million NIS in educational buildings in the city in the past five years."
The mayor granted Mr. Dayan with a shofar and an emotional berachah – a verse from Psalms that has the numerical value of "Uzi Dayan, Chairman of Mifal Hapayis" – "Lo te'une aleicha ra'a v'nega lo yikrav b'oholeicha", meaning that nothing evil should befall you and no sickness should near you dwelling place.
Photos: Yehudah Kellman and Shmulik Rachmani