Celebrating Mexico’s New City of Torah // Mexican Jews come together to create a new community

By Chananya Bleich

The Mexican frum community is creating a new Jewish neighborhood, from the ground up, in the city of Ixtapan de la Sal, a tourist destination known for its hot springs.
Nicknamed the “City of Torah” by Mexico’s Jewish community, it is intended for chareidi Jews and avreichim who until now were mostly concentrated in two central neighborhoods in Mexico City, which is an hour and a half away. But in recent times, more and more young couples have been struggling to keep up with the expensive housing prices there. Additionally, the area is plagued with crime and abductions. The development in Ixtapan de la Sal is intended to help with all these problems.
The “City of Torah” will contain 120 houses in the first stage. That same number of families have already signed up for these homes and are expected to move in within three years.
The model for the new Mexican Jewish city is the town of Lakewood, New Jersey. The yeshivish community of Lakewood was founded by Rav Aharon Kotler, who started it by bringing a few bachurim there so they could delve in Torah far from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Similarly, in Mexico, the “City of Torah” is far from the big city and is a place conducive to dedication to Torah learning.
In the first phase, the Toras Eliyahu yeshivah will be established in the city, with avreichim and talmidim of the yeshivah living nearby on a 60,000 square meter kiryas hayeshivah. In the style of Ponevezh Yeshivah, the main building will be surrounded by 40 houses built for students who will be dedicating their lives to learning Torah. They will be able to live in these homes free of charge. Later, according to the plan, additional yeshivos and kollelim will be established, along with educational institutions and schools for children.
Ahead of the grand chanukas habayis, hundreds of members of Mexico’s Toras Eliyahu community (known as “Toyers”) participated in an uplifting and special Shabbos at the Marriott Hotel in Ixtapan de la Sal, which is right next to the “City of Torah.” The heads of the Toras Eliyahu institution, who were first to purchase land in the “City of Torah,” joined for the Shabbos.
On Motzaei Shabbos, a special dinner was held, and the city’s architect, Roberto Elias, presented simulations of the “City of Torah” project for the first time. Donors, philanthropists and heads of families from communities all over Mexico have signed up and taken on various commitments to finance the establishment of the kiryas hayeshivah and the purchase of a foundation stone for the yeshivah.
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