"We are Lod" - A hopeful celebration in a burned school

Just a week ago, rioters burned the Maoz Academy in Lod. Today, the academy hosted a brit milah - the symbolic celebration of new life.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Brit milah at the Maoz Academy in Lod
Brit milah at the Maoz Academy in Lod
The family

A brit milah, or circumcision, is always a moving ceremony in Jewish communities, but the one held this morning (Tuesday) in the remnants of the "Maoz" pre-military preparatory academy in Lod had about it a double sense of new birth. Rioters had torched the institution some days previously, and this ceremony was to mark the beginning of a drive to rebuild it.

As the academy is in the process of being rehabilitated, residents of Lod took it upon themselves to remove building materials and renovation tools from the building in order to make room for the ceremony to take place.

To help support renovations, click here.

Approximately 200 people attended, including many residents of the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood, which itself suffered heavily during the riots. The parents, Elyashiv and Samante Sandowski, have named their son Israel Menachem.

"It was such an emotional brit milah,” proud grandmother Rachela Sandowski told Arutz Sheva. "Elyashiv spoke about how Israel represents the nation of Israel, and Menachem represents God, who comforts his nation.”

Danny Zamir, director of the Pre-Military Preparatory Council, said at the time: "As in the events of 1909, Arab residents of Lod elected to attack their Jewish neighbors. They looted, burned, rioted, waved Palestinian flags, and desecrated Torah scrolls. This could have ended in disaster; fortunately, the students and the educational staff were in Jerusalem at the time and were not in the academy.

“This violence will not deter us. The damage to the trust with our neighbors will require significant repair. We, together with the students and staff, will rebuild the academy. Our Zionist path of building, planting, planting, reaching out to our neighbors, and abstaining from violence will not waver. We expect the security forces to ensure civil order and at the same time we intend to continue to expand the educational and community activities of the academy.”

Lod’s residents are not alone in their efforts - a crowdfunding page opened for the cause has already brought in the equivalent of more than one million ILS, including a particularly generous donation from the community of Beth Jacob Atlanta.

To join the cause, click here.