No admittance?
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Afula's haredi neighborhoods restrict entrance

Secular communities not the only ones using admittance committees – high demand for haredi neighborhoods, limited availability means phenomenon now being used in ultra-Orthodox sects

At the end of March 2012 haredi media reported that a new haredi neighborhood called 'Yeshuot Moshe' for people belonging to the Vizhnitz Hasidic sect would be constructed in Afula Illit.


An article on haredi 'Hadrei Haredim' website stated that the neighborhood in the northern city of Afula would offer affordable housing solutions for the haredi community.


It appears that the low prices and reasonable location have attracted many haredim who are interested in purchasing the apartments and the community founders are concerned that the character of the neighborhood would be hurt as it was originally meant to only house Vizhnitz Hassidim.


In response, haredi newspaper Yated Ne'eman published an ad on behalf on the 'Hassidic community Vizhnitz – Afula Illit' warning the public against purchasing apartments on the project without first receiving the community leaders' approval.


The ad said that in light of the attempts to take advantage of the growing interest in the Afula neighborhoods and the fact that many have been taken in or paid exorbitant prices for the apartments, "We wish to once again emphasize and warn that in accordance with directives from the community rabbis, anyone who purchases an apartment independently at any price that has not been done through real estate agencies working in coordination with the community is breaking the law."


The phenomenon of admittance committees is a well known one in Israel, especially in small secular towns. Yet apparently, the committees are also used in the haredi sector.


Those who support the trend note that intimate community life, which is the purpose of these communities, is impossible without a major common denominator between the residents.


Those who oppose the idea claim that the admittance committees serve as a way to legitimize cultural, ethnic or economic discrimination. As for the haredi admittance committees, the trend raises concerns of communal segregation.


The Chairman of Hiddush (for religious freedom and equality) Rabbi Uri Regev recently appealed to the Attorney General with a request to launch an inquiry into the phenomenon of admittance committees in the haredi sector.


He claims that the committees are often used as a racial filter to ensure Sephardic people or more modern haredim are kept away.


The Vizhnitz Hassidic Community – Afula could not be reached for comment.



פרסום ראשון: 07.23.12, 14:02
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