The Torah Core Group of Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv, marked its 17th birthday, Thursday evening at the city's Afek Park. Science Minister Daniel Hershkowitz congratulated those in attendance, adding, "Every chance I get, I mention the core group in Lod as an effort of real Zionism. This is religious Zionism." The city's executive director, core-member Yair Revivo thanked the minister for his part in the effort, including the summer camp run by the ministry.
Referring to the 120 families that moved into the Ramat Elyashiv neighborhood and 80 families in other neighborhoods, core-group chairman Tzur Shapir said, "The excitement here is twofold. We finished another successful year of core-group activity for the city and 200 families were also added to this warm and wonderful community. I hope that next year, Afek Park will be too small to accommodate all members of the core"