Elazar is a religious (“tzioni dati”) community (“yishuv”) established in 1975 as a “moshav shitufi” (communal moshav)  based on technology and agriculture. It was named after one of the Maccabee brothers, killed in battle not far from this site.

Located in the center of Gush Etzion, right on the Jerusalem – Hebron highway in the Judean mountains, Elazar once held a lone strategic position. Today, across the highway is  the city of Efrat. Some10 years ago, Elazar shed its communal structure and became an open suburban community.

The community has a small “industrial area” set above the residential area and off the entry road,  where carpentry enterprises, a pharmaceutical factory, chicken coops and other small businesses are located. A zoological therapy program / petting zoo opened in Elazar a couple of years ago.

450 families live here today, and a new building project for about 20 apartments is underway, along with a new public buildings area  (nursery, community center, etc.). A “new neighborhood”,  between the industrial area and neighboring Neve Daniel, overlooks the historic  Derech HaAvot (the path of our forefathers) and serves as a Zionistic pioneering response to the current security and political situation.

Elazar is a cohesive community, characterized by diversity within its resident population. This diversity is evident in the age range of the residents, their ethnic backgrounds (with olim from many regions and countries represented), religious practice,  political and life views ,education, and profession. The range is quite surprising, yet the community feeling is pervasive.

The community is run by an elected governing board, who serve in a voluntary capacity. Their decisions are carried out by numerous committees, backed up by a professional technical manager, and 2 part time local residents who are employed as a community co-ordinator  and a youth co-ordinator. Committees include security, culture, education, religious life, building, bet knesset building project, etc.

A central bet knesset, (functioning, but as yet unfinished), a sfaradi bet knesset, a well stocked bet midrash, mikve, and  numerous classes and learning options, comprise the religious life of Elazar. These include  daily and weekly classes given by our rav,  Chaim Iram, and by community members, - for adults and children. Friday morning features a bet midrash learning opportunity both for women and men.

Nursery, kindergarden, and early childcare facilities, co-ordinated through the Gush Etzion  (Etzion bloc) educational  department provide for the youngest generation.  A number of elementary schools in Efrat and Gush Etzion provide different educational options for young students. High schools,  both in the gush and  in Jerusalem, and dormitory schools throughout the country teach our high school students.

Bnei Akiva, with its Shabat and weekday activities -bursting at its seams- and after-school activities of a wide range for varying ages  are held here in Elazar and in the community centers in Alon Shvut and Efrat. A local library, numerous playgrounds, a basketball court  and makeshift moadon  (meeting place/ clubhouse) facilities here round out the life of our children.

Post high school programs of learning or volunteering often characterize our youth’s next stage in life, before army service or sherut leumi (national service).

For further details feel free to contact us at our office at 02-9931193, by Fax: 02 9934878, or by email to rkehila_elazar@yahoo.com.

Elazar is a wonderful community – “Elazar  - Yishuv Nehedar” !



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