Netanya Residents Fuming Over Plans to Allocate Land for
By L.S. Wasserman
Chareidi and traditional residents of Netanya protested
strongly a municipality plan to approve land allocations for
a Reform synagogue despite the acute shortage of facilities
for botei knesses in the city. As a result, the city
backed down on its plans to approve the Reform request.
In most of the new neighborhoods built in Netanya in recent
years residents have been left without botei knesses.
In one new neighborhood, Galei Yam (Neveh Oz), there are no
botei knesses in the entire area. After two high-rise
buildings were constructed in the neighborhood recently, a
large hall inside was donated for use as a beis
knesses, but local Reform Movement activists actually
filed a legal petition, preventing it from opening. During
the recent election campaign period, cornerstone-laying
ceremonies were held for several new botei knesses,
but construction cannot get underway because of Reform-
sponsored petitions that resulted in temporary restraining
The municipality must now respond to the petition against it.
In the meantime it had scheduled a new proposal to allocate
land for Reform facilities. The proposal stirred heavy
controversy in the city, even within the general population
in view of the Reform behavior.
Rabbonim and public figures note that the chareidi and
religious councilmen strongly opposed the proposal and
threatened to join the opposition. Many residents said they
would rather pray outside in the street than see the city
council approve construction of Reform synagogues.