A small group of yeshiva students has established a new yeshiva in the Neve Sha'anan neighborhood of Tel Aviv - which has lately become a stronghold for infiltrators from Sudan and Eritrea - in hopes of renewing the Jewish identity of the neighborhood.
The Rabbi of the yeshiva, Achiad Ettinger, explained how the new initiative is gaining support from local residents, religious and non-religious alike.
"Our mission is to become a center of Torah learning that also contributes to the community," said the Rabbi.
Rabbi Ettinger related to the difficult situation in the neighborhood whereby Jews who are financially able to leave the neighborhood do so, and those who can't are afraid to leave their houses.
"All we can do is take positive action, create a connection with the local population, and provide a social presence. We are creating social programming for the youth of the neighborhood, we study Torah with them, and we plan to bring young, idealistic couples to the neighborhood to give the community psychological strength."
The rabbi emphasized that their objective was one of solidarity and positively reinforcing the community.
"We're not trying to act against anybody, but only to increase light. Nobody can be against positive work with youth, dialogue about Jewish tradition without religious coercion. For a lot of people, the situation in southern Tel Aviv really hurts," said the Rabbi.