Ramat Beit Shemesh
Ramat Beit Shemesh (Hebrew: רמת בית שמש, "Beit Shemesh Heights") is a large neighborhood of Beit Shemesh, Israel. The development includes Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph, Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet, and Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel.
Ramat Beit Shemesh was built in the 1990s, doubling the size of the city of Beit Shemesh. The neighborhood lies directly adjacent to the main part of Beit Shemesh and is located on a hill overlooking the old town. It has a large, diverse Orthodox population. The neighborhood consists of Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph (A), Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet (B) and Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel (C). In Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet, families belonging to Edah HaChareidis constitute the majority.
In 2002, following tensions between the Haredi and non-religious population, plans were drawn up to build another secular neighborhood, HaShachar. In 2007, Ramat Shilo, considered a subdistrict of Ramat Beit Shemesh, with both Dati Leumi and Haredi residents was built. In 2009, it was announced that a new neighborhood, Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel, would be built as an entirely Haredi neighborhood on a large block of state-owned land bordering southern Beit Shemesh.
Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph
Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph is a neighborhood of Beit Shemesh comprising about 25,000 people. The neighborhood has numerous parks and public areas being well maintained. The central park is Ayalon Park, the biggest in Beit Shemesh. Shopping is plentiful as well, with 4 supermarkets and a shopping area of over 130 shops to choose from, one is never lacking a place to make his purchases. Although all types of Jews are welcome in all parts of RBS A, there are a few different sections each with its own unique touch and strong points. There is the Dolev section, the Revivim section, and the Mishkenos Yaakov section.
The Dolev section contains a heterogeneous mix of different types of Jews, both native Israelis and immigrants. Religiosity varies as well from Chareidi until Masorti or Dati Leumi. While each group has its own synagogues and schools, in general, the population in the area blends together to form a beautiful cacophony of different ways of doing the same thing. For example, Masos/Masot Mordechai is a place where all types come together to pray at all times of the day. Points of interest in the Dolev section are the Matnas, a community center that services all types of Jews of the RBS A community, and Park Center, a mini-mall of various stores and restaurants. Streets include Dolev, Shimshon, Timnah, Yarkon, and Yarden.
The Revivim section is lower down than Dolev. This area is populated mostly by Chareidim, both Israeli and Chutznikim, with religious levels ranging from American Frum all the way to a few Yerushalmis. With the majority being Chutznik, much of the neighborhood is connected to an American Minyan such as the Gra, Pnei Shmuel, or others. There is a big emphasis on living a Torah lifestyle which pervades the area. Streets include Revivim, Ramot, Gilo, Noam, and Achziv. (A way to remember these streets is their geographic location, from west to east, and from lower to higher on the hill. After Noam, come the GRA streets (Gilo, Ramot, Achziv), which culminate near the GRA shul.)
The Mishkenos Yaakov section is located next to the Merkaz (central shopping area). Here lives almost only Chareidim, both Israelis and Chutznikim, although the Chuznikim tend to lean towards their Israeli counterparts regarding religious/cultural issues. There is an official Rav (Mara D'Asra), Rav Mordechai Goldstein (son of Rav Tuvia ztl), who is looked up to as the respected opinion regarding religious questions and community projects. Points of interest in the Mishkenos Yaakov area include Lev Eliyahu, the synagogue with the most Minyanim in all of RBSA (and most likely the most hasmada (diligence in Torah study), and the Merkaz, the shopping center more than 130 stores of all types. Streets include Sorek (lower half), Kishon, Uriah, Micha, and Shacham.
A further expansion to Ramat Beit Shemesh is the leafy suburbs of Mishkafayim located at the eastern edge of Aleph overlooking the Zanoah quarry. The area, still under development, has started to be populated. The make up is entirely by Orthodox Jews of all strands ranging from Chasidish and Hareidi through to Data Leumi. The area currently has 4 minyanim: Hareidi, Modern Orthodox/Dati Leumi, Sephardi and another catering to those that don't fit in.
Organizations based in Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph include:
- Hatzola Beit Shemesh - An independent organization combining first response and follow-up care of emergency medical situations.
- Kupa Shel Tzedaka - A charity organization helping needy families to rehabilitate them to self-sufficiency. (Mishkenos Yaakov has a separate organization for their needy families.)
- Ezrat Achim - A medical aid organization such as trips to the hospital, x-rays, and loan of medical equipment.
- Mishkan Adei Ad - An organization which assists needy families with the vast expenses of making weddings.
- Hakeshiva - An organization which focuses on the prevention of, and the aiding of teens-at-risk.
Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet
Here live mostly all Charedim. Of those Charedim, most of them are Hasidic of various sects.
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Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel
Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel is located just south of Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph. Gimmel consists of two parts, Gimmel 1 and Gimmel 2. Gimmel 1 is already populated with about 2,000 apartments, Gimmel 2 is currently under construction. With its lowers density building and larger apartments as well as the many open spaces and parks Gimmel 1 is seen as more appealing to the Anglo-Saxon public. Gimmel 1 is officially named "Kiryat Avi Ezri", while Gimmel 2 is named "Kiryat Ovadia".
Gimmel 1 developed into a thriving neighborhood in a very short time and as of 2018 has many synagogues, stores, clinics and schools. Some of the communities and synagogues started by the large community of English-speaking residents include;
- Ahavat Shalom - Rabbi Doniel Faber
- Kol Yehuda - Rabbi Shimon Twerski
- Dvar Avraham - Rabbi Eliezer Greenberg
- Darkei Yitzchok - Rabbi Baruch Dzialowski
- Ezra Hasofer - Rabbi Tzadok Cable
- Tifferes Yisrael - Rabbi Tzvi Miller
- Zichron Chaim Pinchas - Rabbi Moshe Goldstein
Ramat Shilo was built in 2007 with 340 housing units geared toward Modern Orthodox Jews. Since then, the neighborhood has experienced rapid growth and development. The residents of Ramat Shilo are Orthodox Jews, both Dati Leumi and Haredi. The neighborhood has a large community of English-speaking olim. Its residents are both Ashkenazim and Sephardim.
Ramat Shilo has a number of synagogues, yeshivas and kollels. The largest institution is Yeshivat Lev Hatorah, a Religious Zionist yeshiva founded by Rabbi Boaz Mori. The local synagogues include Beis Dovid/Pilzno Beis HaMedrash, a Hasidic synagogue representing the Pilzno Hasidic dynasty under the leadership of Rabbi Yehoshua Gerzi, Mishkan Shilo, an Ashkenazi synagogue under the leadership of Rabbi Dovid Bagno, Mishkan Moshe Va'Eliyahu, a Sephardi synagogue under the leadership of Rabbi Shai Naftali, and Ohev Yisroel, a Hasidic synagogue under the leadership of Rabbi Binyomin Flintenstein of the Kapishnitzer Hassidic dynasty.
Notable residents of Ramat Shilo include:
- Rabbi Avraham Jacobovitz, founder of Machon L'Torah and Jewish Awareness America (JAAM)
- Rabbi Dr. Howard Apfel, Cardiologist at Columbia University Medical Center.
- Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, founder and executive director of Nefesh B'Nefesh
- Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb, former rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah and future rabbi of Ganei HaEla
Among the communal organizations is Chasdei Shilo which provides assistance for families with financial difficulties as well as serves as a communal resource network.
- Ettinger, Yair (8 September 2010). "Black and white in color". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- Haredim make immodest inroads in Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph - Israel - Jerusalem Post
- Where to buy in Ramat Bet Shemesh Aleph
- משכן משה ואליהו - בית שמש (ע"ר) - מאגר עמותות
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-26. Retrieved 2014-05-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- חסדי שילה (ע"ר) - מאגר עמותות
- Mishkan Shilo Ramat Shilo synagogue under the leadership of Rabbi David Bagno
- Kehillat Ahavat Tzion Ramat Beit Shemesh A synagogue under the leadership of Rabbi Menachem Copperman
- Beis Tefillah Yonah Avraham Ramat Beit Shemesh A synagogue under the leadership of Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz
- Yeshivas Ohr Hatorah A network of Kollelim, a Yom Tov fund, and a Hachnossas Kallah fund