Minister Arielo laying cornerstone
Minister Arielo laying cornerstoneElishama Sandman

The cornerstone laying ceremony for the permanent Bnei Akiva hesder yeshiva building in Nazareth Illit took place with Yeshiva Dean Rabbi Yehoshua Weizmann, city Rabbi Yeshayahu Herzl, Mayor Ronen Palut, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and MK Betzalel Smotrich.

In his speech, the Mayor called on religious and haredi families to move to Upper Nazareth and to be partners in strengthening it. Palut mentioned the yeshiva's contribution to strengthening the city's Jewish character.

Minister Ariel emphasized that Galilee settlement is a significant task: "We're here to Judaize the Galilee, and I repeat, to Judaize the Galilee."

Yeshiva head Rabbi Danny Seglis spoke about the difficulties along the way and the tremendous excitement with the cornerstone laying and permanent structure already on the horizon. Netanya Conference Center Director Elhanan Glatt also participated in the event and said, "In the future, we'll be able to recognize the great merit we shared in setting up the yeshiva in Nazareth Illit. Fortunate are we that we merited."

At the end of the speeches, yeshiva Dean Rabbi Weizman and yeshiva head Rabbi Seglis went to lay the cornerstone where the study hall will be. Rabbis from all the city's communities joined. Rabbi Seglis emphasized the well-felt unity in Nazareth Illit and expressed hope that the structure would continue to be "a lighthouse for Jewish unity."

The hesder yeshiva in Nazareth Illit was established nine years ago by a group of students from the Ma'alot Yeshiva, on behalf of yeshiva head Rabbi Yehoshua Weizmann to strengthen the Jewish presence in the city. Today the yeshiva numbers about ninety students.