Jun 26, 2008

why the Maar is necessary in RBS

There is an interesting discussion going on on the local neighborhood email list.

Someone posted that he runs a local business employing local people. They have expanded to about 12 employees, and possibly will expand more. The owner of the rental they were using as an office has sold his apartment and they have to look for a new place to relocate to.

They cannot afford to pay rents in the offices in the RBS "Business Center", as there is a shortage of space there and prices are too expensive. They cannot afford it, and would go out of business paying those rates (as some businesses already have).

They searched for an appropriate apartment they could convert into an office. They found one after the other, each time being told by the residents that they will not allow them to run a business in their building. The building is zoned as being residential and not for business, so they have the right to protest it.

If he does not find an apartment soon, one that the other residents let him use, he will have to shut his business, or grossly cut its size, thus putting his employees out of work.

This person has now realized, so he says in his post, that this was exactly the purpose of the Ma'ar, the business center, that Bet Shemesh had been planning to build at the edge of RBS. It was meant to provide local businesses with a place, offer local job opportunities, etc. He had previously been against the Maar (because that is what he was told to do by the askanim and Rabbonim - he was told how bad it would be).

Now that he sees the need, he sees the lack of infrastructure available to small businesses, he understands how important the Maar really is for the development of RBS. Unless we want to people to stay specifically poor and without work because of no employment possibilities locally, the Maar is crucial. there are no other adequate facilities locally.

Sure, maybe specific details of the Maar can afford to be changed. Things such as ensuring RBS does not become the Maar parking lot with everybody going to the Maar from outside needing to drive through RBS. Certain type of atmosphere, type of businesses and the like, not being in conflict with the neighborhood. And more issues I am sure. They could easily make changes, sit with local reps and figure out the concerns and the needs of the locals and adjust the plans accordingly where possible.

But by automatically rejecting the Maar for no good reason, just because they are evil and "will destroy our neighborhood and our youth" with absolutely no basis, is just harming the local residents rather than helping them.


  1. A new Azrieli Center just opened in Modiin, with plenty of office space....

    Come...join us...it's bli-i-i-iss!

  2. I think you are making a big mistake. there I a need to differentiate betweem "office space" and "shopping space + college campus + city hall building + student housing + ampitheatre + etc."
    while no one would deny that the former can be benificial, that is nothing to do with the mear.
    in addition, there currently exists office space (to my knowledge) both in the eizor taasiyah and the "big" mall. both of these are within a twelve minute drive which is much less than any of the working people in american suburbs travel (even the five towns which is not a suburb per se).
    buisinesses as opposed to shopping stores don't have to be in the middle of residential areas.
    furthermore there was once plan to build an office complex (like har hachotzvim and gan technologiya in yerushalayim) under nahar hayarden between dolev and hayarkon. that would also be a good solution which could make everybody happy.
    therefore leave the mear buried as is or if any changes are thought of it should be in terms of building more schools and yeshivos, something which is also desperately lacking in RBSA and which is "at least"as important to the community's future as is it's financial future

  3. It is a disgrace at the way in which certain factions of the community gloated when the Ma'ar was shot down.

    Such a celebration over an issue painful to many.

    What was worse was how a certain local organization displayed their opinion by covering the Ma'ar billboard with their banner right after the decision was made.

    RBSA should be a community for all of its residents.

  4. I think the gloating was well deserved. it dind't just get "shot down" it came after much effort and hard work by the various parties involved.
    beseides no major celebrations were made unles you had the private privilege of being invited to some.
    also a community that is for all its residents would refrain from something that would disturb as many people as the meaar would. in fact, I believe that was exactly the argument that was being used by those opposed to the meaar.

  5. Who wants the maar closed forever? All we want is the maar not in RBSA in a way which will offend many - most of the residents, specifically those that live in that specific area.

    Why doesnt danny just put the maar in BS where the people want it and where it wont offend all the people in the area in which it could be built?

    Why is he insisting on the maar being in RBSA against the majority of its residents, against the majority of the people in the irriyah? The answer lies in the reasons we dont want the maar -- that is exactly why he does want it. he know what it will do to the community. Thats why he wants it. Thats why we are thrilled that it wont be here in RBSA.

    I second the motion to fix up all the schools. Where I live there are no less than 6 schools that do not have proper buildings. Why not put some nice schools in that area?

  6. efforts and hard work?

    What about threats and political bullying?

    There are certain populations who get their way through intimidation, rioting and "kol korei".

    Those who don't believe in having a mixed area should move to beitar, RBSB, Bnay Brak or Kiryat Sefer.

  7. rbsa for all (except chareidim):
    "threats and political bullying" something unique for chareidim huh?
    I guess you haven't read a newspaper this week.

  8. rbsa for all:

    what does having a mixed area have to do with anything. if someone enjoys living in an area that has a wide mix of people why does he have to support a mear?
    mirachim can manage with or without a meear. if people feel that they can only manage without one why should they be forced to have one for the purpose of unity?
    those who don't want to respect the chareidim's feeling (and thereby don't belive in havin a mixed area) should move to modiin, tel aviv, gush etziyon, givaat sheret, etc. (the list is longer than yours)

  9. anonymous 8:16

    aparently you haven't heard that the mayor himself already knocked down the plans for the meaar

  10. I agree the maar should not be against the atmosphere of the neighborhood. I don't think it has to be, as some people suggest. I think the plans could be altered to fit the community needs more. Certain aspects of it maybe can be taken out and replaced with other things if necessary.

    "Local businesses" does not just mean a hi-tech or accounting office with a few desks and computers. Yes, maybe such an office can go to BIG (if it is not too expensive) or somewhere else local. "Local businesses" also includes stores, for example, people wish to open but currently cannot because the rental prices are prohibitive. A store servicing mainly RBS residents should go out and find a spot in BIG?

    There is nothign wrong with communities having work places available nearby, stores and commerce nearby, and the like.

    Yes, more yeshivas and schools should be built. But why do you think those two things are mutually exclusive? They can build both.

    And also, why should only part of the needs of the community be dealt with? Yes, we need more schools and yeshivas, but there are people who need other things as well.

    Why do you "pooh pooh" people being able to open stores and businesses near their homes and saving the travel time when they could spend that time with their families or learning? I travel every day, five days a week, an hour in each direction to work. I wish I could spend that time with my family or learning or taking care of things on my to-do list that I just never get around to doing. Plenty of people would benefit from having local businesses near their homes, in addition to the fact that many local people would be able to find employment, in stores, offices, and whatever else there will be, in a frum environment near their homes.

    Why do you want people to have to take taxis or even drive to the other side of Bet Shemesh, when they can do their shopping just minutes from home.

  11. those who don't want to respect the chareidim's feeling (and thereby don't belive in havin a mixed area) should move to modiin, tel aviv, gush etziyon, givaat sheret, etc.

    How about this: Those who aren't willing to tolerate non-charedim, and resent the way that they dress etc., should move to Kiryat Sefer or Beitar instead of trying to impose a charedi atmosphere on a mixed town.

  12. Rafi - I agree that we could use some more stores. What does that have to do with a maar? That wasnt the point of the maar to the best of my knowledge. What do stores have to do with a BS court, and the BS irriyah building and move theaters and a university campus...thats what everyone is against. Not stores. You know that.

    There is a difference between your driving an hour in each direction, and driving to BS to that big park near scheinfeld which is about 5-7 mins away. Thats about 1:50 less travel time. Hard to be uptight about travelling 5-7 mins

  13. Point 1:
    The person who was having problems with her business location employs mainly charedi women who support their husbands. None of them own a car. You try getting to BIG without a car on a daily basis (they all work on different schedules so a hasa'ah won't solve the problem).
    Point 2:
    Wouldn't it be great to have a simcha hall and proper grown up shops and facilities nearby so we can stop feeling like a little yishuv where we have to shlap to Jerusalem/Bnei Brak every time we want to buy clothes etc.
    Point 3:
    Funny how there are shopping areas in all the main charedi neighbourhoods (BB/Geu'ulah etc) that somehow don't degenerate into dens of iniquity and semi-nudity. I wonder how they do it?

  14. 1. There is no room in BIG.
    2. Most of the space they're building is already rented out.
    3. Businesses are good for the health of the city because they get charged a higher arnona rate--and they require less support/services than citizens. That means there is less money to pick up the slack for people who don't (or can't) work and pay arnona.
    4. All of the businesses in Matei Yehuda (e.g., HarTuv) may employ residents, but the businesses don't put an agora into the city coffers. That's money that's lost to build the school YOUR kids need.
    4. Simple math says that the city simply won't be able to keep up with the demand for services. Services that YOU want.
    5. The ma'ar was planned well before many of the current posters arrived. No one made YOU purchase next to the ma'ar.
    6. Can anyone name another city in Israel without a modern city center? I went through Yavne the other day and even they have one!
    7. Not sure how many of you remember, but during the hoopla surrounding the ma'ar several years ago, one postette claimed that there would be fraternity parties and bikini-clad women in the Ayalon Park if the ma'ar with a college were built. This individual clearly never studied at an Israeli university where the level is much, more serious.
    8. Maybe the less enlightened could go to Ra'anana or Kiryat Ono to see the colleges and realize how wrong they are. But then again....


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