Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tel Aviv is rapdily losing religious residents

Haaretz reports:

The inhabitants of downtown Tel Aviv who have been strolling in the Rothschild Boulevard area of late cannot help but notice the abundance of "Apartment for Rent" signs on the balconies of buildings there. Alongside the phone number to call, and the notation "No Agents," there is the caution "Not on the Sabbath," usually hand-written. Tel Aviv, which next year will celebrate its 100th anniversary, is losing its observant religious, a population concentrated in the downtown Lev Ha'ir area.

At the height of its flourishing, in the 1960s, there were 20 Hasidic groups living here. The abandonment began some years ago, when the admors (spiritual leaders) passed away or left the city to live in large ultra-Orthodox centers like Jerusalem or Bnei Brak., and their disciples followed them. Of the many Hasidic courts only a very few remain, and many synagogues and educational institutions have shut down for lack of demand.

According to Yossi Altschuler of the Nihul Nehasim real estate company, which has been active in the Lev Ha'ir area for about 20 years, this process has accelerated.

"Not in huge waves," he says, "but we are definitely witnessing a phenomenon of quite a number of religious families, mostly the elderly, who are leaving the city. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designation of Lev Ha'ir area as a World Heritage site has made it fashionable and has contributed to the wave of price increases. In Tel Aviv there is no chance of a positive influx of ultra-Orthodox population, since they cannot afford the high prices. They prefer to buy in places like Bnei Brak or in other places that are attractive to their public." [...]

1 comment :

  1. Recipients and PublicityJuly 10, 2008 at 9:01 AM

    Who cares?

    There will be less clashes with frenzied Charedim this way.

    It's a win-win situation for everyone.

    Besides, the claim is probably false because with Rav Lau as Tel Aviv's Chief Rabbi, things can't be all that bad.

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