25 years ago Rabbi Chaim Gantz left his home in Kiryat Arba and moved to Tel Aviv with his wife, 9 children and 25 students, to found the Ma'aleh Eliyahu Yeshiva.
Rabbi Gantz, who studied at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, which is immersed in the values of unity and love of Israel, had a vision and was not deterred by the hardships in its realization.
He left a supportive environment, and moved to Israel’s cultural, business and social center where there was very little active religious communities.
Rabbi Chaim discerned the need to worktowards the creation bridge between the various social groups in the area. He also identified the strong desirefor true cooperation on the basis of the common denominator of Jewish roots.
Out of the desire to answer this need,he established the Beit Midrash in Tel Aviv with a group whose strengthis drawn from the Torah. Through this group, he hoped to creat an atmosphere of growth, harmony and mutual respect among the various groups in the city.
Today, Rabbi Gantz is the predominant spiritual leader in Tel Aviv, and the vision became a reality.
From 25 students the yeshiva started with there are now almost 200 yeshiva bochurim (students) plus 70 serving in the army and 50 avrechim, married students that live in the neighborhoods close to the Yeshiva.
The yeshiva have more than a 1,000 of alumni - graduates most of which are in continuous contact with the Yeshiva and the Rabanim.
Apart from living in a highly secular neighborhood and building normal neighborly relationships the Yeshiva initiates and organizes various projects such as:
Teaching non-religious boys for Bar Mitzva
Learning in a CHEVRUTA (learning companions) with older people
Assisting families sitting SHIVA
Visiting and arranging KIDUSH for sick people in the ICHILOV medical center, which is close to the Yeshiva
Supporting shools-synagogues in vicinity by joining in prayers and appointing Rav Kehila of the synagogue from the Yeshiva teachers and graduates
Hundreds of other activities which contribute to strengthening Jewish identity and connection to Judaism among many who are disconnected and even hostile
There are also about 25 soldiers and officers in the Israeli Army, who live on the Yeshiva's premises and learn Torah in the evenings.
Rav Chaim Ganz is a well-known and highly appreciated public figure as a Rav and a spiritual leader. He has a close relationship with many Rabanim in the area from different sectors of observant Jews. (i.e. the very orthodox and even non Zionists and the various Zionist orthodox ones) and is involved in developing educational and outreach programs and other means of spreading Judaism in the city that doesn’t sleep and all around Israel.
In Rav Chaim's own words:
With your generous donation you
will be a strategic partner in the
great work of illuminating Tel Aviv
with the light of Jewish values.
True, there are many other
wonderful Jewish outreach projects
in all parts of Israel, but the unique
importance of our programs is that
their aim is to create change in a
place that influences the culture
and character of the entire country.
Any progress in bringing the people
of Tel Aviv closer to Judaism will
radiate to the whole country.
The growth of the Jewish People
as a nation is a certainty that is
not dependent on us, and requires
courage and patience, but we can
help it along, just as we pray each
day: “May the offspring of David,
your servant, flourish speedily.”
May the Shechina rest on our joint
efforts, With great appreciation.