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Jan 24, 2008

RBS Haredim against the new shopping complex

RBS has been in the news and in my blog a lot this week, and I now close out the week with yet another RBS posting...They go from one event right into the next.. they must stay awake at night trying to figure out what next to do..

The above sign is the latest sign plastered around RBS.

The city has planned a maar to be built in the area for a long time. A maar is "Merkaz Ironi Roshi" and is a large complex including a mall, municipal buildings, possibly a university branch campus, possibly a small hospital/emergency room/birthing center, sports complex, entertainment (theater? bowling? pool hall?) and more.

The Haredi community has always been against the plans for the maar. They are afraid it will bring in many more people from outside the community and will harm the atmosphere of tznius.

The construction of the maar has been delayed for many years, partially due to the opposition against it. The above sign says that the Ministry of Housing has published tenders for various projects of the maar.It asks how can we stand by quietly while the city harms the chinuch of our children. It questions the need for the maar, as it was planned for when the community was originally intended to be secular and now that it is religious/haredi there is no need for it any longer and why should we suffer from it. It calls on the city to stop and says we will stop the plans to destroy our neighborhood and we want our minimal, legitimate rights.


  1. This is absolutely ridiculous. Instead of trying to prevent the building of a community center, why not work together with the city to devise a center that would serve the needs of this particular community? The mall could contain stores that sell modest clothing, housewares, kosher food, seforim, furniture, and other merchandise that is appropriate for a Hareidi community. The entertainment center could offer separate activities for men and women. If these Hareidim would only reach out to the municipality in a respectful manner, perhaps they would find that the city is willing to take their needs and concerns into account. The end result would benefit everyone involved.

  2. Is this the construction site near the bottom/end of Maapilei Egoz, also known as the beginning of Nahar Hayarden (and RBS B)?

  3. tns - no. this is the future development of the valley across from RBS A....

    raizy - you'd think. wouldn't you? I have said that in the past as well..

  4. all this is great for property values. RBS,especially with the influx of charedi, are creating a polpulation boom. Nice to have property in high demand.

    or rent it out and move.

  5. Where are the similar, adamant posters denouncing violence in the community, and the severe injuring of other Jews?

  6. superraizy - you must not be from RBS A. there is no working together. If there was, this wouldnt be an issue. There is no reason why this center - which will antagonize most of the community or RBS A - is still on the agenda. The property value will go down from this. It will wreck havoc on the one lane roads that are here. And it will bring the lowlifes from the greater BS area to our sweet little town. Not that the people themselves are the problem, but the low class drugs and the like that they bring in. Its truly a scary phenomenon for anyone who has their eyes open to the realities of life in BS

  7. It seems that there are two camps on the issue. There are those against the maar and those for it. Those for it are quiet and not noticed because the city is pushing it and there is nothing for them to fight.

    Those against it are led by the Haredim behind Rabbi Perlstein, but also include some/a lot of DL as well.

    Those for it are led by the DL but also include some/a lot of Haredim.

    The arguments against, aside form the spiritual aspect are like the commenter above mentioned. It will make the neighborhood seedy, lower property values, etc.

    Those for it say it will not lower property values - building a mall or complex like this anywhere else in the country has not lowered property values, nor has it ruined the neighborhoods adjacent. You can look at Tzomet Bilu as an example. I think that is the largest shopping area. The communities surrounding that area do not suffer from seediness nor from increased crime. Their property values have not decreased, rather have skyrocketed. More and more communities are expanding in that area.

    I think the same will happen in BS, if the maar gets built. The real question is if the irya will be inept and build it poorly, and not keep it clean or safe. If they take care of it, it can provide jobs for local residents, either opening stores, employment in stores/offices and the like. It can provide shopping and not force us to continue to go to Jerusalem or elsewhere if we need something sold in anything other than a supermarket.

    Overall, I personally think it can be good for the neighborhood, if the city will take care of it properly.

    Regarding the lowering of property values, I am not sure what the complaint is. Even if it is true and does happen - In other forums the Haredim decry the way prices have skyrocketed and they have been looking for ways to effect some form of price control to keep the prices low. The local rag Hadash has written about these attempts many times. Now they are upset that the property values might fall? (I do not think they will, but I am discussing the argument itself)


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