Communities of Safed

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Tzfat Communities
Tzfat Communities
קהילות בצפת
Other Names:
Tzfat Real Estate Agencies, Brokers, Broker, Agent
Various communities and groups in the city of Safed, Israel.

The population of Tzfat has grown since Israel’s independence from approximately 2000 residents to, as of 2011, over 33,000 residents. The population is a mixed population religiously, socially, culturally and economically.


[edit] Overview

Throughout its history Tzfat has served as the home of Jews from many different ethnicities and backgrounds. The Jewish community that existed during the times of the Crusaders consisted mainly of Jews whose families had lived in Palestine for centuries. By the 14th and 15th centuries, Jews were arriving in Tzfat from Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Turkey and other distant points of origination.

Ashkanazi Jews from Eastern Europe began to immigrate to Palestine in waves during the 18th century and many settled in Tzfat. Language difficulties and varying customs prevented these new immigrants from fully integrating with the existing Sepharadic community. Following World War II thousands of refugees arrived in Tzfat, both those who fled from North Africa countries and European refugees who survived the Holocaust. They settled in mixed neighborhoods of Tzfat and blended their traditions and customs.

[edit] Sepharadi Jews

The majority of the Sepharadi Jewish population of Tzfat is comprised of Jews from Morocco and Tunisia. These people fled their homes after the Israeli victory in the 1948 War of Independence when their countrymen turned on them. According to United Nations estimates over 600,000 Jews were forced to flee from Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq and other Arab lands. Refugees settled in existing towns, villages and cities throughout Israel along with new settlements which were established specifically for their settlement needs. Most of the Sepharadic Jews who came to Tzfat were from the Morocco-Tunisia region.

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[edit] Ashkanazi Jews

Following the 1948 War of Independence a wave of Ashanazi Jews immigrated to Israel from Europe. Most were Holocaust survivors or refugees from Communist countries. Among these immigrants were “Haredi” -- ultra orthodox -- Jews, both Hassidic and non-Hassidic, immigrants who identified with the National Religous community and secular Jews. Some of these immigrants established their own synagogues based on their countries of origin, such as the “Hungarian” and “Romanian” synagogues but through the years these synagogues have grown to include all residents, both Sepharadi and Ashkanazi.

[edit] Chabad

The Chabad Hassidic community has a large infrastructure in Tzfat. Although Chabad institutions have existed in Tzfat since the 1800s, the community began to develop during the early 1970s when the then-leader of the movement, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, directed a nucleus of his followers to move to Tzfat and establish Chabad institutions. Through the years the community has grown to include several thousand families. “Kiryat Chabad” -- Chabad-town -- is centered in the Canaan neighborhood of Tzfat. Chabad operates educational institutions throughout Tzfat which are open to all residents.

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[edit] Breslev

The Breslev Hassidic in Tzfat consists of mostly two groups, Na Nach and the Rabbi Kenig community which is centered around the Kiryat Breslev neighborhood in the Old City. Kiryat Breslev began to develop in the 1960s when Rabbi Gedalia Kenig, moved to Tzfat. He built up Breslev institutions including a “yeshiva” -- seminary -- and boys’ school. Today this community is run by his son Rabbi Elazar Kenig.

In the 1980's Nanach's began moving to Tzfat and their leader Rabbi Yisroel Dov Odesser spent time living in the city.

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[edit] Sanz

Sanz Chasidim have a mini community in Tzfat. They operate a Shul, Kollel and run some housing complexes for their members.

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[edit] English-Speakers

English-speakers who immigrated from English-speaking countries settled in Tzfat beginning in the early 1960's. Members of the community are integrated into various Tzfat institutions, religious and cultural life and employment, though the English-speaking community runs many of its own self-help groups. These include a unique English library, charities, newsletters, educational activities, and self-help groups. Many new initiatives, including unique educational, religious, environmental and cultural programs were introduced to Tzfat by local English-speakers.

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