Religious Services Ministry Appoints Rabbi for Industrial Park

Neot Hovav park in Negev has no residents.

Adama's plant in Neot Hovav.
Natalie Kadosh

The Religious Services Ministry and the Negev’s Neot Hovav industrial council appointed a rabbi for communities in the Neot Hovav area Sunday despite the fact that Neot Hovav, an industrial park, has no actual residents. The council said there is still a need for a rabbi due to the thousands of employees who work in the area who need religious services.

On Monday, the council and the ministry announced that they had decided to appoint Rabbi Gad Revach to the position. The move follows a decision in May by the rabbinic appointment committee to assign a half-time rabbi for the area. The cost of funding the position will be equally split by the Neot Hovav council and the national government, via the Religious Services Ministry.

A letter that the ministry sent to Neot Hovav council head Andrei Uzan in August stated that consideration of the appointment of a rabbi for the area was the result of requests from the area and that in response, the ministry asked the council to spell out the particular needs and the “components of the required position.”

Uzan replied that the area needed a rabbi to supervise kashrut, to provide religious programming, provide information on Jewish religious law and supervise the five synagogues situated in plants at the industrial park. The synagogues are not used by the outside public, but a sixth synagogue to be housed at new council offices under construction would be open to the public. Uzan noted that the industrial park is the site of 30 plants with another 10 under construction. Five of the plants have kitchens serving three meals a day while the others use outside catering services that also require kashrut supervision.