Nearly 40 replicas of 770 dot cities across the globe, and more locations keep getting added to the list. In what may be a first, two replicas were built simultaneously in two neighborhoods of one Israeli city…
By Anash.org reporter
Nearly 40 replicas of 770 dot cities across the globe, and more locations keep getting added to the list. Yet, the rate at which replicas have been built over the past number of years has led to many surprises. Just recently, in what may be a first, two replicas were built simultaneously in two neighborhoods of one Israeli city…
The two replicas were built in the Charedi city of Beitar Illit, one of the largest and fastest growing cities in Yehuda and Shomron. The city, named after the historic Jewish fortress city of Betar, whose ruins lie under a mile away, has a population of 60,000, with 100% of the population frum.
Among the many other communities, Beitar Illit is home to a large Chabad community, with shuls, kollelim and mosdos that serve the community. With the community rapidly expanding, a number of shuls have been opened in the recent year.
Over the past months, two new Chabad shuls opened, and both were built to resemble Chabad World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in New York.
The first is a shul that from the inside seems like a ‘standard’ one-room shul, as countless others across Eretz Yisroel. From the inside, the shul is rather unremarkable, with just basic functions needed to serve as a place to daven. It is only when passing by the outside that one cannot help but notice the facade of the building, built as a smaller version of 770 with the trademark red bricks, protruding bay window and the larger windows framed by white stone.
The second model is a larger center, meant to serve as a Chabad center in the city. The replica had actually been started a number of years ago, but work stopped due to unforeseen circumstances. Earlier this year, a group of community members gathered together and committed to finishing the building, and construction resumed.
The building is not yet completed, and the building, constructed with the triple-peaked roof and space for a protruding window, still gives the appearance of a construction site. Nevertheless, the community moved into the building as soon as the inside was ready for use, with work continuing all the while to finish the inside and make the facade resemble the original in Crown Heights.
And while the two replicas perhaps give the city the status of the first to have two shuls that are modeled after 770, they aren’t the only ones in the city. A model of 770 was built in one of the city’s central squares, which was dedicated on Gimmel Tammuz last year as ‘Kikar Hashluchim’. Whilst that model wasn’t intended to be inhabitable, its large size and prominent placement will have many adding it to the roster of 770 models.
A third Chabad shul in the city also didn’t want to miss out. Housed in a caravan, it wasn’t able to be modeled after 770, so the gaboyim placed a large photo of the world’s most replicated building on the outside of the shul.
So, if you are ever visiting Beitar Illit, don’t be surprised if you see another 770 every few minutes…