Meet the 30 Families Behind the Givat HaUlpana Controversy

Meet the 30 Families Behind the Givat HaUlpana Controversy

Because there have been so many, I am unable to remember all of the horrific terror attacks that have taken place since I moved to Israel 20 years ago. But one attack I will never forget was the tragic murder of mother of 8, Ita Tsur of Beit El, and her 11-year-old son Ephraim Tsur during Chanukah of 1996.

Beit El mother of 8 and terror victim, Ita Tsur z"l

Ita's son, 11-year-old Ephraim Tsur z"l

And I still remember how Binyamin Netanyahu declared during their heartwrenching funeral that the government of Israel would not give in to terror…and would be constructing a new neighborhood in Beit El as a memorial to this murdered mother and her son who were both so committed to the Land of Israel. “They will kill, and we will build and build and build!”

That neighborhood is Givat Haulpana, the neighborhood that the Israeli Supreme Court said must be evacuated 26 days from now (watch the 2-minute Arutz Sheva video at the bottom of this post to understand why claims that Givat Haulpana was illegally built on Arab-owned land are totally bogus).

At this moment, the fate of Givat Haulpana is still unclear, but I wanted to share a translation of a really wonderful article that appeared this morning in Yediot Achronot about the 30 beautiful, amazing families of Givat Haulpana and their 82 children, in order to insert a human face behind the 5 houses at the heart of the Givat HaUlpana controversy.

The following is a translation of the article “Shchenim l”Tsara.”

House number 2008

The Lehrer Family: Chagai is a yeshiva student and Reut is a teacher, 4 children.

The Tovy Family: Dvir is a yeshiva student and Chana is a student, 1 child.

The Sagiv Family: Gai is a teacher and Chagit is a nursery school teacher, 5 children.

The Yosef Chai Family: Erez is a yeshiva student and Yael is a social worker, 2 children.

The Dickstein Family: Didi is an economics student and Uriya is a teacher, 2 children.

The Kitay Family: Baruch (26) and Michal (23) made aliya from their native Australia. They are the parents of Chana (age 1.5) and Yonatan (4 months). "We are afraid that Jews will hear that the government treated us this way, and that will cause them to be less Zionistic and they won't want to make aliya."

House Number 2010:
The Cohen Family: Netanel is a yeshiva student, and Hadar is a teacher.

The Birnbaum Family: Amir is a yeshiva student and a battalion commander in the IDF, Hadas is a teacher, 6 children.

The Nefesh Family: Asaf is a soldier and Liraz is a student, 1 child.

The Tsadok Family: Yair is a student majoring in Communications, and Racheli is studying Special Education. 1 child.

The Freedman Family: Naftali is a student majoring in Computer Science, and Galit is a teacher. 2 children.

The Margalit Family: Ro’ee is one of the directors of the Beit El Yeshiva and Avishag is a grammar teacher. Parents of Aviya (10), Moriah (8), Eitan (7) Yonatan (4), and Alia (2). “We have lived in this neighborhood for 12 years. We did everything in innocence, to turn this into an international conflict is unjust.”

House Number 2012

The Dana Family: Amir is a teacher and a paramedic with Magen David Adom, Orit is an occupational therapist, 5 children.

The Cohen Family: Ezra is a computer programmer and Hila is a teacher, 6 children.

The Kramer Family: Moti and Racheli are educators, 2 children.

The Gudinger Family: Zvi is a teacher and Libi is an education student.

The Yisraeli Family: Amir is a teacher and Batel is a student of technology, 1 child.

The Patel Family: Yoel (28) is a computer programmer and Yiska (27) is a musician. Parents to Ariel (4), Bat Ami (3), and Benaya (6 months). "We hope that justice will be done in our situation and in the other affected yishuvim."

House Number 2013

The Avudraham Family: David is an accountant and Yifat is a secretary. 6 children.

The Lasker Family: Uriya is a rabbi and Yifat is a nursery-school teacher, 7 children.

The Avramson Family: Yosef is an electrician and Chana is a musician, 4 children.

The Shpanir Family: Yonatan is a yeshiva student and Yaara is a nursing student.

The Chassidim Family: Nehorai is a publicist and Avital is a graphic designer, 2 children.

The Shimshi Family: Avi (33) is in advertising and Naama (29) is an accountant. They are parents to Matan (7), Racheli (5), Adi (2). “We are doing the maximum to prevent this decree and are praying for the best.”

House Number 2014

The Trayman Family: Alex is a journalist and Tsipi is an entrepreneur, 3 children.

The Ovadia Family: Tsach is a soldier in the Intelligence Division and Sarit is a nursery school teacher, 1 child.

The Biton Family: Nir is a Kashrut supervisor and Vardina is a teacher, 3 children.

The Sigron Family: Elia is a soldier in the Ammunitions Division, and Ruchama is an accountant, 1 child.

The Shwartzbaum Family: Yair is a yeshiva student and Rivka is a student of International Relations.

The Gaj Family: Nati (37) is a cook at a high school and Reuma is a nursery-school teacher. Parents to Ohad (13), Noam (11), Maayan (7), and Shachar (2). They were evacuated from Neve Dekalim during the Disengagement from Gush Katif. “We are trying not to think about the nightmare that could be happening to us again. Back then, the children were small. This time, the crisis would be harder for them.”

Watch this interview with a Givat HaUlpana resident for a quick overview of the legal background of the situation as well as the unlikely proposed plan of action….


  1. What happened to SAHMs?!

    • Michelle

      You can’t have a sahm and a full time yeshiva student… Who would pay the bills and put food on the table?

  2. Thank you for showing us the families. I never realized that so many families were involved.

  3. I wonder about the SAHM too….but it is expensive to raise large family in Israel, I think.

  4. My main impression was how YOUNG most of the families are: How inspiring to see that in their best and growing years they choose also to give themselves to protecting and settling the land of Israel.

    Thank you for drawing my focus away from my own daily domestic “battles” towards the real battles that are being fought here in Israel, for all of us, by these brave, idealistic and wonderful young families.

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