Ashdod, Israel – Negotiations for a Strictly Kosher Beach to Serve the Charedi Community

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    file photoAshdod, Israel – Will a significant part of Ashdod’s beach be open to the ultra-Orthodox community only?

    The Minrav Group is holding negotiations with the Ashdod Municipality’s economic company ahead of the establishment of a strictly kosher resort village, at a total investment of NIS 160 million (about $42 million).

    The compound will be located about 100 meters (328 feet) from the Riviera Beach, in the southern part of the city.

    The Minrav Group has confirmed that a resort village with 220 summer cottages and 80 hotel rooms, stretching over 13 acres, would be build in the area together with haredi entrepreneurs from New York.

    The project will also include a synagogue, a mikveh (ritual bath), swimming pools, a spa and strictly kosher restaurants.

    In a document obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth’s economic supplement, the head of the real estate division at Minrav, Chanan Bartal, writes to the manager of the economic company in Ashdod, “Following our discussion with haredi entrepreneurs and several meetings in your office, it is clear that they are interested in building a haredi resort village, but a precondition is a municipal arrangement for restricting bathing to the haredi public in the piece of shore adjacent to their plot.”

    The municipality’s economic company said in response, “Closing the beach off to haredim is being examined, but a decision has yet to be made. This is one of the company’s demands for setting up a resort village.”

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    61 COMMENTS

      • Read post no. 1….you have already heard from them, except its not the taliban, its worse…some chareidi real estate speculators from Borough Park…….where in the torah does it say its a mitzvah to close off the public beach in a major city with limited shorelines good for public swimming and turn over the land for development into “spas and restaurants” for affluent chareidim….

        • Perhaps you can take a course at aish.com or perhaps do some research about torah values you might be surprised in the depth and buity of our / your religein /heritage.

    1. They should be flexible about accomodating the religious needs for a few hours per week as they do at other beaches in EY but it would be unthinkable to permanently close the beach to the public. Ashdod would be better off putting a landfill on the site than denying the public access because some hareidi investors from new york want to make a few bucks in a land deal. What an embarrassment to even consider such a proposal.

      • “restricting bathing to the haredi public in the piece of shore adjacent to their plot.”

        They only want PART of the beach that will be adjecent to the resort to be seperate. Is that so terrible? They are not imposing their will on the entire city, but if they want to make money off of the charedi public which the resort is geared to they need to have the beach be seperate for their crowd right there. Now explain to me why you would prefer a landfill. The knee-jerk reaction to anything charedim do is really unintelligent.

        • If you are familiar with the beach at Ashdod, you would now that only a small portion of the shoreline is really suitable for swimming, especially for younger children. I said they should definitely consider closing the beach for a few hours a week or maybe one day a week but not cut off any area permanently from public access.

    2. #1i assume your an ehrlicher yid ,shomer torah umitzvos that wants to spread kedusha and taharah accross the land of israel, so please explain what the embarassment is about?

      • In the U.S. and most of Europe, there are laws that guarantee public access to shorelines. This is a terrible precedent , whether it be for a hareidi resort and spa or for some private secular resort or golf club. The shoreline in EY belongs to the public and should not be closed for any reason. Stop trying to make this into a religious issue. Where in the torah are yiddin required to go the beach…they can build a private swimming pool if they are so concerned about tzinus.

        • while I agree with you, I wonder what the law is in Israel. If is is the same the project should not be allowed. However, maybe the law is different and if it is then it should be no problem

        • we are talking about private investors trying to buy land next to the beach, and don’t worry with g-ds help their will be plenty of beaches for you to bath together with whomever you want, whenever you want even on yom kippur and yom azmuoth

    3. Reply to #1: Why such venom about a landfill? They aren’t talking about restricting the entire beach, only “the piece of shore adjacent to their plot.” All you seculars, mixed bathers, avizrayu d’giluy arayosniks have nothing to fear, you can continue to be mored b’paltin shel melech!

    4. #3 the term is not ‘unintelligent’, its ‘ gedoleh sinas am huaretz letalmud chakum yoser…’ a gentile would not object. they respect.. as i’ve seen with eiruv issues in us and yiroel its the sone torah who object

    5. Exclusive beachfronts for developments is common and normal. But when its a chareidi project, everyone screams. I’m sure if it was a gay resort with a nude gay beach requested, there would be an outporing of support. And then you wonder why don’t the chareidim “follow the rules”. Its because you don’t give them the right too.

      • The photograph in the article is either a joke or these boys are being crudely manipulated to make a point. There is not requirement (even for the ultra-frum) to wear a black suit jacket while swimming. They could wear a short sleeve shirt and that would be more than adequate under halacha.

    6. i don’t see how this stops the public from using it. if a secular woman wants to use it during women’s only hours (or a secular man during men’s only hours) they can.

      • NO they wouldnt! Just as there are private beaches in the USA… Yes thats right they exist and so do “gated” communities which have their own strict standards. No one who is a Torah Jew wants to have to expose themselves or their children to untznius dress and behavior which the majority of seculars bring with them.

        • No one is EY is required to “expose themselves” in violation of their belief in tzinius…the chareidim can purchase rights to private beachfront and enforce whatever rules they want. This article is about PUBLIC beachfront that belongs to all the residents of Ashdod.

      • Correct. All the separate beaches in Israel permit anyone of that gender to attend, regardless of religious affiliation. If someone wants to come to the resort and respect the rules, who said they would not be allowed?

    7. I can see it now…..kicking out anyone who is not “charedi enough”!
      They will start to make rules on what considers you “frum” and how modest you have to be. (woman must be fully clothed even in the water, and men can not wear shirts with pictures or words on them when walking on premesis…..) lol!

    8. I am sure that there already is a separate beach in Ashdod.
      What this seems to be is a Beach Resort that is catering to the Charadi market. Its seems like an excellent idea to me. When will someone try to do this in New York?

    9. #13 oy vey, ‘terrible, terrible’ …what is so terrible.you can say its not right, discrimination, but why this overdramatizing with the word ‘terrible’.why would a shomer torah be against this, after all there’s a issur of ‘gilu aroyous’ involved with mixed swimming. isnt that whats really ‘terrible’ in the holtyland the house of g-d. oh, you dont believe in all this hogwash.so why comment on torah oriented site?

    10. Well said #10.

      This is simply a wonderful idea. It’s so sad that frum yidden all over Eretz Yisroel cannot enjoy bein hazmanim in surroundings they are comfortable in. This is after all the land of yidden. This is long overdue.

      • If the billionaires of society would request that a part of a public beach be made private for them, the cries would be outrageous. Stop using our religion to make demands! We are in golus and that means we are in exile. The definition of exile means that we are sent out of our homes. To define that further – that means the we don’t get to set the rules and make demands, we have to lie low and follow the rules (when they’re not against the Torah). And it doesn’t matter if you are in Europe, American or even Israel. Golus is Golus no matter where you live. Using religion to make demands from the public is definitely not the way to go.

    11. the picture sums up everything that is wrong with this religion. It has been completely hijacked by the religous right. Oh well, I hope they have fun swimming in all their clothes.

      • Completely ignorant. Read above comments on this point… most probably they passed by the waterfall and decided to jump in. Without extra cloths on hand, they hopped in with what they had on. I do it sometimes, and I’m not a black hat. It is completely uncalled for to strip down to your skinnies just to get wet.

        You are completely ignorant of the Charedi, and your comment belies that fact. Post 10 positive things about the Charedi and you will see for your self that they are just like you (human) but they desire a more modest approach to Hashem, May His Name Be Blessed.

        • they should have removed their jackets for safety sake. all that heavy clothing getting soaked can pull a small body down and it limits movement needed to free oneself.

    12. “It’s so sad that frum yidden all over Eretz Yisroel cannot enjoy bein hazmanim in surroundings they are comfortable in”

      They are free to go to any of the many private beaches up and down the coast where they have separate swimming areas. However, don’t ask the citizens of Ashdod to sign a non-competitive deal with a group of real estate speculators from New York who are using this “tzinus issue” as an excuse to close off the beach for some exclusive spa and resort. I’m not sure if giving some heimeshe ba’ala bustas special “bein hazmanim massage, mineral baths and facials” is really somthing that warrants this land grab.

    13. Just like most healthy people are uncomfortable around nude sun bathers, Chareidim are uncomfortable and even more so, are forbidden by the Torah to mix with the opposite gender. I think separate beaches should be the norm in our holy land.
      Barring that, the least they can do is provide some private beach site for Torah observant Yidden.

      And by the way, it’s good for the economy too.

      • First of all, a large percentage of beaches in Europe are topless and the manage to coexist with the regular bathers with no big fuss..people mind their own business. Mixed bathing is a reality in EY and always will be. Most big cities, including Ashdod, already have a small section of the beach closed off during certain period for separate bathing. Thats as far as it should go. If these chareidim want a private beach, buy it from some other private party.

      • Sea water is very healthy, more so than chlorinated pool water as is swimming although it’s a bit difficult in a tailored suit. The kids need fresh air, exercise and should have a bit less on to get some beneficial sun. Too much is no good but so is too little.
        I wondered about the suits too. Probably as someone said they just jumped in for the fun of it on a very hot day. But certainly dark tee shirts and down to the knees pants should be ok coverage.

    14. This picture looks like the Chinese in the Yellow River. Looks absolutely dangerous and polluted!! Is anyone familiar with water safety that has a problem here with the heavy clothing?

    15. “is really somthing that warrants this land grab”

      They are not grabbing land. They are going through the legal channels and are requesting approval for this project. The residents of Ashdod will decide whether it makes economic and social sense to them. I am just amazed at the hatred some people have for “NY Developers” who are trying to make a living catering to a niche market they beleive would be profitable.

      “Who says they have to go to the beach?”

      Hashem created the world to be enjoyed. There is nothing wrong going to a beach and enjoying it. I am unsure what the more appropriate activities you would rather have them do. The Charedim do have an issue with mixed beaches and they are trying to address their concerns in a public manner and not some shady side deal that goes behind the back of the public.

      • You should be more concerned if you children or grand children will intermarry . No one is telling any one to come to this beach nor are they telling you to change your lifestyle ,these people want to make this accesible for their modest way of life, is this so terrible?. I mean come on !!! Stop this bikkering

    16. “If these chareidim want a private beach, buy it from some other private party.”

      According to you noone can ever buy the rights to a beach from the public so how is it possible to buy the beach from some private party as you propose?

    17. Be Mentchen! It’s ok to appeal to the government when you need their help for a separate beach. How about not rioting and creating a total chilul hashem to the government (and world) on Shabbos. Yes, I understand, the riots are for a “holy cause”. There are much holier (and effective ways) to teach people to truly honor Shabbos. And —- if you are soooo holy that you need to riot to protect Yiddishkeit, maybe you’re too holy to be bathing in the beach. In that case, the lack of a Chareidi beach should be no problem to you.

    18. I’m not particularly sympathetic to Haredi politics, but it’s quite simple. Anyone should be able to do what they want with a private beach. Just as some in Israel are using private properties for nude beaches (of which I do not personally approve), a private owner should be equally allowed to have a beach suited to his Haredi clientelle.

    19. Why can’t they request a private access area only, and thereby give passes only to people who are paying customers of the resort. The same as you have in Jamaica with various resorts and not request an “ultra-Orthodox area”

    20. this picture is caricature and unreal. Nobody and especially these who are not athletic would never be able to swim in a suit, with a tallis katan and shoes. I like to know what is or was the purpose of this fassade

    21. To use the venacular , why cannot the chareidim quietly go to either end of the public beach and swim separately rather than further seeking to wall themselves off from the rest of klal yisroel. Anyone familiar with the beach knows that at either end, away from the two parking areas, there are areas almost always empty even in the summer.

      • It’s muddy and churned up form the kids playing. Who said it’s polluted. Some of the clearest water isn’t fit to swim it. Microscopic critters, ya know?

    22. as long as they are going through the proper channel what do people care.

      They are not doing it in an underhanded way, the city will decide if they want to do it. They could stick to their guns and and no, or they could say yes because yes because of tyhe extra tax base. I would put a clause in that it will always be a for profit area, and rescind anything if they decide to pass it of to a yeshiva or something.

      Or, why not make it private just one section for men and one section for woman regardless if the person is frum or not. would that solve the problem?

    23. #5 with all due respect, its because of the torah that mixed swimming is assur,and its because of the torah that yidden have a cliam to eretz hakdoshe and if one disegards the torah and says this is not for me etc so then the claim th the land has no authenticy.

    24. I dont understand what the problem is. Tel Aviv, Netanya, & Benai Berak have a beach for Charadim. I beleive they will get there wish. And yes non Frum are allowed

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