April 19, 2024
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April 19, 2024
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‘Shirat Gil-Ad’ Beit Haknesset and Community Center in Neve Talmon Nears Completion

Take a deep breath. You are driving up the winding road of the Western Benjamin region, 20 minutes from Modiin, 600 meters above sea level. The air is fresh and clean. Surrounding you is a green, natural landscape. Along this picturesque horizon lies one of the most beautiful areas of Eretz Yisrael.

Twenty-eight years ago, in the winter of 1989, a group of dreamers climbed this mountain. On this very site, referred to as the Mountains of Gofna, Shmuel Hanavi prophesied, and later the kingdom of the mighty Chashmonaim was established. Under one of the lush and lofty trees that cap the mountain, Devorah the Prophetess sat and advised the nation. From this lofty vantage point, the young Israeli dreamers beheld the valley of Yehuda below them and “Mercaz Ha’aretz” (center of the country) before them and their hearts yearned for the realization of the ancient dream of the return of the nation to its original homeland. Thus, one of the key outposts of religious Zionism was born.

This is Talmon—young people who do not hesitate to speak of Zionism even in 2017, families who each day put down further roots on the mountain. This cohesive community values an excellent quality of life for highly educated and principled individuals. Talmon is populated by Torah learners and skilled professionals, a true “ingathering of the people” from every corner of the country. Simply put, Talmon is “a home that is a community and a community that is a home.”

Conveniently located 15 minutes from Route 443, the road from Yerushalayim to Tel Aviv, Talmon allows easy access to these two major educational and workplace centers of the country. The yishuv hosts some the finest students of higher religious education from throughout the country, graduates of Yeshivot Hesder and veterans of some of the most elite units of Tzahal (IDF). Families of recent olim from throughout the world live alongside native Israelis. The community represents all of the colorful streams of religious Zionist thought to create a harmonious tapestry. Talmon residents are pleased with and proud of their community.

In Talmon and the adjacent Talmonim communities, where children blessedly abound, schools are of key importance. The area boasts some of the finest educational institutions in the country including daycare, kindergartens, elementary schools, a girls’ ulpana (high school) and a kollel for young men.

Neve Talmon, created to accommodate the expanding population of Talmon, provides an even more spectacular pastoral vantage point. From its heights the entire coastal plain, from Gedera to Hedera, can be seen. Even the ports of Ashdod and Ashkelon are visible from Neve Talmon.

Most importantly, the yishuv is considered an “Otef Natbag,” an aerial security zone for Ben Gurion Airport and its surrounding air space, thus making it key in the security and defense of the country.

The ever-growing population of Neve Talmon resides in single and attached homes. Most recently, multi-level apartment buildings were constructed to accommodate the demand for housing. As the population expands, the current beit knesset, housed in a caravan, can no longer accommodate all of the residents.

In response to this exponential growth, 10 years ago Neve Talmon embarked upon a major construction project, the creation of a community beit knesset to house a large sanctuary, a beit midrash and Torah library, and a sizeable simcha hall to celebrate the many blessed events of the community. Through small donations from within the community as well as outside, five million shekels were already collected, thereby allowing the construction of the outer facade and the preliminaries of the simcha hall.

Following the horrifically tragic kidnapping and murder of the three young yeshiva boys in 2014, the community decided to name the beit knesset in memory of Gil-Ad Shaer, whose parents and siblings reside in Neve Talmon. Since its founding, it was unanimously decided that “the best answer to grief is a vibrant community center.” The new beit haknesset, named “Shirat Gil-Ad,” will perpetuate the “song” of Gil-Ad and the memory of the other kedoshim of Talmon.

According to Rav Zev Rosenfield, the recently appointed rav of the community, “During this past year alone, 28 new families moved into Neve Talmon, making the urgency for a bigger makom tefillah even more pressing. We are witnessing continued growth as married children move back to the yishuv and siblings of current residents move in and form large groups of extended families. In addition, our goal to accommodate multiple nuschaei tefillah on Shabbat will necessitate additional space.”

Residents Tamar Eisner and Avi Kari have worked tirelessly on the beit haknesset project for the past decade. Their hope is that religious Zionist communities abroad will similarly understand the crucial role Neve Talmon plays in the security and defense of the lives of Israelis and visitors on a daily basis. Literally every plane that takes off or lands at Ben Gurion Airport is protected by the secure airspace provided by the strategic location of Neve Talmon and its surrounding areas. For this reason alone, it should be a privilege to help complete Beit Haknesset Shirat Gil-Ad so it can be ready for this coming Yomim Tovim season.

Opportunities for dedications include the interior of the main sanctuary, the aron kodesh in both the main sanctuary and the beit midrash, the women’s section, the memorial boards, mezuzot, library and many other areas under construction.

Please visit neve.talmon.org.il to learn more about how you can enable the completion of this architecturally beautiful and vital project in the heartland of our precious Eretz Yisrael. For further details about the project, call Avi at 053-6065600 or 02-9975011.

By Pearl Markovitz


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