Expelees bring Torah and prayer to the Kibbutz

The expelled residents of Elei Sinai in Gush Katif eventually found residence in Kibbutz Palmachim. Now they are building a synagogue.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Elei Sinai expellees in Kibbutz Palmachim
Elei Sinai expellees in Kibbutz Palmachim
Courtesy Elei Sinai community in Palmachim

Eleven years ago, the residents of Elei Sinai in Gush Katif, set to be expelled from their homes, came to a decision: On the day of the expulsion, they refused to come to a hotel or some other temporary living situation, and instead decided to establish a protest tent.

For a year, the uprooted residents worked to find a living situation that would, as much as possible, resemble what had been in Elei Sinai. The residents slowly moved north until they eventually came upon Kibbutz Palmachim, a veteran kibbutz founded a year after the establishment of the State of Israel.

About three years ago, the former residents of Elei Sinai started building permanent housing, and, about two years ago, they requested to establish a synagogue on the kibbutz.

Two Torah scrolls that were donated to the synagogue expressed the new-found cooperation - one scroll was donated by a former resident of Elei Sinai, while the other was donated by a member of the kibbutz.

Now, out of what they have built as a community from a small synagogue in a hut, sights are set on the next stage - building a permanent synagogue - which, members believe, won't just be built on the ground, but will also enter hearts.

During these days, under the title "From Rubble to Holiness", Arutz Sheva has joined forces with the Committee of Gush Katif Residents to help rebuild the Gush Katif synagogues. Click here for more.