‘Their Agenda? Expelling Arabs’: The Contentious Movement Taking Root Across Israel

Armed with highly structured organization, a clear religious ideology and considerable resources, they move into neighborhoods around Israel and integrate into community activity, convinced that they're doing a good deed. So why is there such strong opposition to the 'Torah nucleus' groups among the public?

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The Maale Eliyahu Yeshiva in Tel Aviv. Garin Torani volunteers have been active in the education system in secular cities in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
The Maale Eliyahu Yeshiva in Tel Aviv. Garin Torani volunteers have been active in the education system in secular cities in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.Credit: David Bachar

The Neve Eliahu neighborhood in Acre is one of the city’s newest sections, whose first residents moved in in 2017. A Garin Torani group (literally “Torah nucleus,” part of a religious Zionist movement that sets up communities in underdeveloped areas) that had arrived in the city a decade earlier was heavily involved in the neighborhood’s establishment. Neve Eliahu was earmarked for the religious Zionist public – an interview with a rabbi was a precondition for being accepted as a resident.

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