Some 30 descendants of the Templars, a Protestant sect of German origin of that settled in Israel in the mid-1800s, arrived in the Jewish state from Germany recently for an emotional reunion, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
The group, which was hosted by the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, convened at the same building that housed the Templar center centuries ago, located in Tel Aviv's Neve Tzedek neighborhood. Members of the Temple Society believed that inhabiting and working the Holy Land will bring forth the savior.
The visitors were greeted by Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies President Rabbi David Golinkin, who noted their forefathers' contribution to the settlement, agriculture and commerce of the country. They also attended a lecture by Dr. Eyal Eisler, a leading researcher of the Temple Society.
The Templars erected splendid building across the land, traces of which remain in Tel Aviv's Sharona quarter, Bethlehem of Galilee and the northern town of Bnei Atarot, as well as the German Colony in Jerusalem.
They were expelled from the Holy Land in the beginning of World War II by the British army, which considered them citizens of an enemy state. Prior to their expulsion, the society's members supported Adolf Hitler and took part in anti-Semetic activity.