The area surrounding Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's Galilee grave, the most visited Jewish site in the country after the Western Wall, has been administered better in the three years since the last comptroller's report on the matter but some problems still remain, says State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss.
For instance, the comptroller says the public committee that has been administering the site since 2008 has supervised only some of the charity boxes on Mount Meron, where the second-century rabbi is said to be buried. The committee is also not using an external accountant to monitor the estimated NIS 3 million removed from the charity boxes, as public institutions are required to do.
It is particularly important to administer the donations properly because funds are now available. The state is putting some NIS 6 million into maintaining the site, up from NIS 120,000 in 2007.
More than 1.5 million pilgrims a year visit Mount Meron, some 400,000 of them on the Jewish holiday of Lag Ba'omer.
Other problems include illegal construction near the grave, the comptroller says.
However, the follow-up report indicates that the site is better maintained than it was in 2008, when the comptroller wrote that there was a "systemic failure" in administration of the site.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now