Ramat Beit Shemesh

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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.

History[edit]

Map of Ramat Beit Shemesh subdistricts

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 Alef and Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet. In Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet, families belonging to Eda Haredit constitute the majority.[1] 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 Gimel, would be built as an entirely Haredi neighborhood on a large block of state-owned land bordering southern Beit Shemesh.[1]

Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph[edit]

Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph is a neighborhood of Beit Shemesh comprising about 25,000 people. The area is beautiful as well, the numerous parks and public areas being well maintained and cared for.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 RBSA, 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 homogeneous mix of different types of Jews, both native Israelis and immigrants. Religiosity varies as well from Chareidi until traditional 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 Ramat Beit Shemesh Aleph 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. Here lives mostly 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.
  • The Mishkenos Yaakov section is located next to the Mercaz (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 Goldstein, 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 the Mercaz, the shopping center of 130 plus stores of all types. Streets include Sorek (lower half), Kishon, Uriah, Micha, and Shacham.

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.

Notable Residents include British born Rabbi Natan Slifkin, a popular and often misunderstood figure.

Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet[edit]

Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel[edit]

Ramat Shilo[edit]

Ramat Shilo was built in 2007 with 340 housing units geared toward Modern Orthodox Jews.[2] 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.[3] The largest institution is Yeshivat Lev Hatorah, a Religious Zionist yeshiva founded by Rabbi Boaz Mori.[4] The local synagogues include Beis Dovid/Pilzno Beis HaMedrash, a Hasidic synagogue representing the Pilzno Hasidic dynasty under the leadership of Rabbi Yehoshua Gerzi,[5] Mishkan Shilo, an Ashkenazi synagogue under the leadership of Rabbi Dovid Bagno,[4] Mishkan Moshe Va'Eliyahu, a Sephardi synagogue under the leadership of Rabbi Shai Naftali,[6] and Ohev Yisroel, a Hasidic synagogue under the leadership of Rabbi Binyomin Flintenstein of the Kapishnitzer Hassidic dynasty.[7]

Notable residents of Ramat Shilo include:

Among the communal organizations is Chasdei Shilo which provides assistance for families with financial difficulties as well as serves as a communal resource network.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°42′50″N 34°58′58″E / 31.7139°N 34.9828°E / 31.7139; 34.9828