A new village for Lubavitcher Chassidim in the South of Eretz Yisroel has gotten the final go-ahead from Israel’s Housing Ministry, fulfilling a request the Rebbe made sixty years ago.
By Anash.org reporter
Sixty years after the Rebbe wrote that “the time has come to look into [creating] a third Kfar Chabad,” a new village for Lubavitcher Chassidim has finally gotten the go-ahead to begin construction.
On Sunday night, during a Tu B’shvat session at Israel’s Housing Ministry, Minister Rabbi Yitzchok Goldknopf, his staff, and relevant agencies approved a plan to speed up the development of the Yishuv. In the coming months, a group of 30 incredible families will move into a prefab neighborhood to supervise construction and shape the warm community atmosphere.
The new community aptly named ‘Ohr Chabad’ is located in the Northern Negev, on a hilltop inside the beautiful Yatir forest near the city of Beer Sheva. The yishuv will have detached houses, each with its own yard. A large 200-room hotel and resort will also be built, to allow groups from all over the world to visit and spend some time in an authentic chassidishe environment.
Spearheading the project is Rabbi Mendy and Bruria Efune, together with a wonderful group of Chabad families, and many other partners. Rabbi Ariel Lemberg of Aguch accompanied the coordinators from office to office and from minister to minister until all approvals and permits were received.
For the past nine years, Agudas Chassidei Chabad in Eretz Yisroel has been working to obtain the necessary permits and funding for the village from various government agencies. After countless ups and downs, and meetings with four consecutive Housing Ministers, the dream is finally in sight.
“Like the original Kraf Chabad, the new village will likewise serve as a center for Lubavitcher Chassidim and a base for many activities in the realm of hafatzas hatorah and hafatzas hamayanos,” Rabbi Mendy Efune told Anash.org.
“We are grateful to so many people who helped us along the way, from the very beginning until now, especially OR Movement who guided us through every challenge and never gave up,” Mrs. Efune said.
Housing Minister Goldknopf told the meeting attendees “You’ve worked for 9 years, that’s enough already! Time to move in.”
Among the families already signed up for the village are a strong group of English speakers, and the organizers are working to recruit more, with a focus on recent or future immigrants from the USA.
The yishuv has an advisory board appointed by Aguch. Members are Rabbi Ariel Lemberg, CEO of Aguch, Rabbi Zalman Gorelik, head shliach to Be’er Sheva, Rabbi Yakov Mendelson, head shliach of Arad, Rabbi Mendy and Bruria Efune, founders of the community.