Har Bracha – The Community

About the Community

Har Bracha is a religious community which is located on Mount Gerizim in the Shomron. Har Bracha is mentioned in the Book of Deuteronomy: “When God your Lord brings you to the land which you are about to occupy, you must declare the blessing on Mount Gerizim…” (Deuteronomy 11:29). There are approximately 350 families currently living in the community.
Har Bracha is essentially composed of young families in their twenties and early thirties, however, there are also older families with married children who are raising the third generation on Har Bracha. The atmosphere amongst the residents is one of warmth and caring, including assistance to women who have given birth and families in distress. Social activities, such as presentations for the children and women’s evenings are constant features.
There is a large library, Kupat Cholim Leumit which gives services to all the different branches, and Tipat Chalav. We have a large grocery store, a pizza shop, clothing, cutlery and more.
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A Little History… The community started as an army outpost, and in the year 5743 (1982), it was decided to turn it into a civilian community. Unlike other communities, there was no previous establishment of a group of families ready to move to there, and therefore, a number of families from surrounding settlements were called upon to help populate the new community. Approximately four years later, the majority of families had left – leaving three families alone!
After a few months, a group of families from Machon Meir arrived to help get the settlement off the ground. Five years later, in the Jewish year 5753 (1992), the Hesder Yeshiva of Har Bracha was established. Since its establishment, the community has grown consistently.
Torah Life
Har Bracha is a Torah-based community. There are many classes given during the week, including Daf Yomi, halacha, and, of course, all the classes given in the Yeshiva are open to the public at large. For the women, there are five regular classes every week, and in addition, many women learn nightly in pairs. The Rabbi of Har Bracha, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, is involved in the life of the community, and his door is always open to anyone who needs help or advice.Education

Har Bracha is blessed with approximately 1000 children between ages 0-18. There is a large day-care center and six kindergartens. The majority of public school age children attend the new school established in Har bracha  . Up till today most of the high school age girls learn in the regional Ulpana in Kedumim/Revava, while the boys of similar age attend various Yeshivot throughout the country. This year a girls high school was founded and is expected to expand Beezrat Hashem.The youth of the community receive special attention. For the girls – from fifth grade on, and for the boys – from third grade on, there are adult counselors who are responsible for each age group – running activities and providing individual care.

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Additional Neighborhoods

Aside from the central community, there are two branches. To the west: “The Western Hilltop”. On the eastern side is the “Ronen Hilltop”. The Western Hilltop is a made up of mobile homes and one permanent house which are located one kilometer from the central community. Presently, four families live in this neighborhood however, with the completion of six additional mobile homes, more families are scheduled to join them in the near future. The “Ronen Hilltop” is located south of the community, overlooking the road which leads up to Har Bracha. It is named after a graduate of Yeshiva Har Bracha, Ronen Arusi, who established it. This hilltop is populated by 20 families.

 

Employment

The various educational institutions in the area supply employment for a large portion of the residents: the kindergartens and day-care center in the community, teaching in the schools in Elon Moreh, Itamar, Karnei Shomron, Ariel, and others. Many other residents work in various jobs and fields, basically in the Tel Aviv area. Others are still students, many of whom study in the Judea and Samaria univercity in Ariel.

 

Agriculture

The high altitude and hilly atmosphere of the region makes the area suitable for growing vineyards and certain fruit trees. Har Bracha is the home of a large vineyard which produces grapes for wine. The owners of the vineyard established a winery ‘Har Bracha Winery’, and their wines are considered prestigious – having won prizes in wine festivals in Israel and throughout the world. There are also orchards and hot-houses which grow flowers for export. The community is located on Mount Gerizim, not far from the unique Samaritan village. Adjacent to the Samaritan village is “Mitzpe Yosef”, an outlook over Joseph’s Tomb, Mount Eval, the city of Schem and its surroundings. On the road leading up to the community there is a wellspring which has been converted into a mikveh, and serves numerous men from the area who ‘tovel’ before the Sabbath and holidays.

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The Future

Har Bracha, thank G-d, is constantly growing, and each year approximately 25 new families join our community, a fact which requires the continual planning and building of new houses. We are in the process of building the ‘Tzurim’ project which will add a 145 new apartments. We are doing our best to keep up with the growing demand!

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