Nestled in the beautiful Judean Hills just 15 minutes south-west of Jerusalem, Beitar Illit is known for the quality of life it offers its residents.
The neighborhoods of Givah B house more than 400 English-speaking families, who sometimes feel cut off from the Anglo centers in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh.
Our kehilla was founded four years ago by our Rav, Harav Zev Stark shlit"a, who saw the need of creating a community for this demographic. Since its inception, the kehilla has grown rapidly, developing into a tight-knit community. Anyone who witnesses the kehilla’s annual Purim seudah or simchas beis hasho'eva can feel the remarkable achdus in the air.
A shul is a place that brings everyone together on a daily basis, uniting its congregants.
Our shul began with a weekly Friday night minyan, complete with singing and a Torah talk from different members of the community.
We later added a Shavuos night learning program—with English speakers from outside the community joining for a night of rousing Torah learning—followed by shacharis with the rising sun.
In the kehilla’s six years of existence, we have been “wandering Jews"; we have been housed in three different locations.
The municipality of Beitar has granted us a plot of land on which we are building a permanent home for our growing community.
After receiving semicha from Rav Moshe Shternbuch shlit"a and Rav Yosef Yitzchak Lerner shlit"a in many areas of Yoreh De'ah, Rabbi Stark went on to lead a chabura in the Mir Yeshiva of Yerushlayim for three years. He also ran a rabbanus training program led by Rav Nochum Barovsky shlit"a (Rosh Yeshivas Toras Simcha and Rav of Halichos Yerushalayim Shul in Har Nof) which focused on practical applications of halachic matters pertaining to rabbanim.
He has done tutelage by Rav Matisyahu Deutsch (Rav of Ramat Shlomo and son-in-law of Rav Moshe Halberstam zt"l), Rav Meir Simcha Auerbach (a son of Rav Shlomo Zalman zt"l, and Rav in Beitar), Rav Yosef Yitchak Lerner, and Rav Menachem Koritz.
Rabbi Stark is always available for the kehilla. Whether for guidance or a halachic inquiry, members know they can always turn to him.
When asked to describe the "mission statement" of the kehilla, he says "achdus" and "shteiging" (constant spiritual growth). He also says that he takes great care to make sure that every member feels that they take an active part in the kehilla, and that everyone feels comfortable, accepted, and that they have a 'home'. That is very important for Americans living here in Beitar, he claims, because when someone isn't connected to a kehilla that understands them and their needs, it can lead to a downward spiral in all areas of their lives. His Umesukim MiDvash series has made an uproar in Eretz Yisroel amongst Rabbonim, Avreichim, and the layman alike.
Click here to download his seforim and to listen to some of his shiurim.
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