JERUSALEM (VINnews) — The heads of the community of followers of Rabbi Shaul Alter have signed a contract for a large property on Yirmiyahu street in Jerusalem, just a few hundred meters from the Gur central institutions located further down the same street. The property, which includes the current location of the Chayei Moshe yeshiva ketana as well as a number of apartments and garages, measures 1.5 dunam and cost 40 million NIS ($12.5m) but includes an option to purchase another adjacent property in the future. The community intends to build an 8-storey building which will contain the Beis Midrash and other institutions of the community.
Rabbi Shaul Alter, the former rosh yeshiva of the Sfas Emes yeshiva, left the mainstream Gur chasidic community and formed his own community two years ago, which now numbers some 500 families. The community has suffered from a lack of educational institutions since the children of the families require separate institutions and did not continue their education in the main Gur institutions. This has led to costly rentals of yeshivas and schools and the need for central institutions became paramount.
A few months ago a successful Charidy campaign succeeded in raising 53 million NIS from 48,500 contributors and the community is planning to use this money to fund construction of the first institutions as well as to purchase the land, which had belonged to the Elbaum family. Among the donors to the community are many wealthy patrons who had previously supported the mainstream Gur institutions, such as the owners of the Osher Ad supermarket chain, British magnate Mendy Teitelbaum, Meir Melnick and Motty Klein from New York and other philanthropists.
One of the senior members of the community told Kikar Hashabat that “this is our first purchase and we will continue to buy as necessary. The cost of the entire project of construction will reach 180 million NIS. If necessary we will purchase the plot next to the plot we have purchased already.”
The new purchase at the entrance to Jerusalem allows the community to become firmly entrenched in Jerusalem and to develop economically and practically.