For the first time, the Israel State Lottery (Mifal Hapayis) education fund will pay for projects in Jewish Hevron (Hebron), as it does everywhere else in Israel. The board of directors of the Lottery approved the funding plan Thursday night in a unanimous vote. The proposal was first presented by former director of the National Security Council, Uzi Dayan, who is now chairman of the Lottery.
Lottery proceeds are used to build community centers and run after-school programs, and Lottery-funded projects are found in almost every town and city in Israel, including Arab towns. Until Thursday, Hevron's Jewish community was not on the list for such projects – as a neighborhood in the city of Hevron, the community technically was not under the jurisdiction of any Israeli local authority.
Dayan's proposal overrode that problem, and approval of it has paved the way for programs funded by the state for youth and adults in the Hevron community. Until now residents of Hevron were forced to receive services in the nearby town of Kiryat Arba.
Among the benefits now available to the community will be funding for classrooms for schoolchildren, as well as equipment such as computers and books, and a much-needed community center.
Hevron is the site of the Cave of the Patriarchs, widely revered as Judaism's second holiest site, after the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.