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May 16, 2012

Mehadrin Conference Center

The Haredi city-councilmen in Jerusalem are requesting an allocation of city land for the purpose of building a large conference hall - one that can hold 1000 seats or more.

The said conference hall would be designated for the haredi community alone, and it would be designed in a "mehadrin" style - the kitchens, separate entrances for men and women, I assume [more than] adequate separation between the genders in the halls, etc.

The Iryah's response to the request is that there are already a number of locations in the city that can hold such large events, and in previous years the haredi community has used these locations for their affairs for tens of events to their complete satisfaction. (source: Mynet)

While they explained why they see it as not necessary, they did not, at least publicly, actually say no. I presume that they are going to expect the haredi reps making the request to do more work convincing them of the necessity of such a large hall that would only be usable for one part of the city's residents. And how many such events per year could there possibly be that would require such a large hall? If the hall could be used by the entire city, I could understand the need - together, among everybody, perhaps there are enough events to fill such a large hall on a regular enough basis. But how many events are there in the haredi community alone that would fill such a hall on a regular enough basis to justify the cost of its construction and maintenance?

One could also ask why it is suddenly necessary? Why is it no longer enough to make do with making use of the existing halls to host the events? Perhaps they feel that the community has grown large enough that there is no reason they should make do with renting halls that are not perfectly adequate and then need to be adjusted for a haredi event, with ad hoc separate entrances and separate rooms or whatnot, kashering kitchens, and the like.

I can see the justification for the need for one of their own rather than to continue making do with the existing halls, but I don't see how they can show that the hall will be used regularly enough for such large events to justify the cost.

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1 comment:

  1. The article is simply Haredi bashing. Everyone knows that a Mehadrin building would not have separate Men & Women entrances. There needs to be separate buildings for Men and Women. The buildings must be located in different cities. The Men's building would need to be larger because the younger children would be expected to stay with their Mother's.

    Wouldn't one event in 70 years be enough to justify the cost, as long as the Government shells out for it?


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