The Haredi Answer to Tel Aviv: A Night in Israel's Most Crowded City

In a city more densely populated than Karachi, families are crammed in basements, bomb shelters double as classrooms and traffic is atrocious. But there's an unparalleled sense of community

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Hagai Amit
Hagai Amit
Hagai Amit
Hagai Amit

The corner of Ezra and Shlomo Hamelekh Streets in Bnei Brak bubbles with life before 9 on a typical mid-November evening. The branch of the Yesh Hesed supermarket chain is full, and so are the banquet halls in the area. There’s a bustling, vibrant feeling in the air. This section of the city is known in the local argot as “Weddingville,” because it’s where young Haredi men and women come to get married. The area is splashed with signs inviting couples and guests into venues with names like “Royal,” “Filled With Joy,” “Magnificence” – banquet halls in squat buildings of three or four floors.

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