Friday, March 24, 2006

Gerrer Rebbe - Building Medical Center

Haaretz: The Gerrer rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter, is building a medical center for the general public in Ashdod. In 2002 the Knesset enacted a law to build a state hospital in Ashdod, but nothing was done. Ashdod's municipality petitioned the High Court of Justice, which instructed the state to issue a tender for building the hospital by March 13 of this year. The tender has still not been issued. Three years ago, the Gerrer rebbe entered the picture. He lives in Bnei Brak with tens of thousands of Hasids at his beck and call. One word from him could affect the lives of 220,000 Ashdod residents and thousands of others in the vicinity. One of the largest Polish Hasidic communities lives in Ashdod, consisting of some 1,400 Gerrer Hasidic families. In recent years tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox people moved to Ashdod from the more crowded and more expensive cities of Bnei Brak and Jerusalem. Two Agudat Yisrael representatives are city councilmen......
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