Arad to Religious Zionists: Make your home with us

Hundreds of Jews participate in Independence Day celebrations and prayers in Arad's center.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Independence Day prayers in Arad
Independence Day prayers in Arad
Bnei Akiva group of Arad

Hundreds of people joined Arad's Independence Day celebrations on Monday night.

This is the second year in which the city's religious and secular families gathered in the city's main square to hold Independence Day prayers.

Teachers and students from the Otniel Hesder Yeshiva led the prayers, gave speeches, and sang songs.

Dovi Hilkiya, who leads the city's Religious Zionist community, said, "Most of Arad's citizens do not know about Religious Zionists. They've never seen Independence Day prayers. It was very important for us to strengthen the singing, prayers, and dancing in the city's center."

"The celebrations bring our community and the rest of the city closer together. We are very grateful to the Otniel yeshiva for helping us make this a reality."

Arad Mayor Nisan Ben-Hemo also participated in the event.

"This summer, move to Arad. We need quality young families with values like yours, so that we can overcome the challenges our city faces."

Arad is one of the most beautiful cities in Israel's Negev, but young families are leaving it, exposing the city to a takeover by Arabs.

The city's Religious Zionist community arrived in the form of a "seed group" intended to bring Torah and religious Jews to less popular areas. Last summer, 20 new families joined the city's Religious Zionist community.

"Last year's growth has significantly added to our activities, and we hope it will continue. Next Shabbat, we are holding an 'absorption' Shabbat, when prospective new families can come and see what it's like to live here," Hilkiya said.

"We invite anyone who is looking for a national mission, good quality of life, and a warm community to come here and fall in love with our special city."