AMERICAN FRIENDS
OF ATERET COHANIM

Making the old city young again

 
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Pinah Chamah
A warm-safe haven for security personnel and visitors to Old City
 
A true Zionist response to Arab hatred and terror.
Ateret Cohanim making a statement with Pinah Chamah-shop front open on Rechov HaGai.
 
Following the shocking murder of Rav Nechemaih Lavi hy"d under Beit Wittenberg (Rechov HaGai – the main thoroughfare between Damascus gate and Kotel) at the end of sukkot 2 years ago, Ateret Cohanim decided to make a statement by opening a Pinah Chamah on the street.
 
Pushed by the Old City youth who also felt the need and urge to act in the face of Arab terror and hatred, Ateret Cohanim decided to take a small space away from the playcentre located in the Wittenberg building complex, in order to convert the space into a small but needed Pinah Chamah.
 
A Pinah Chamah is effectively a safe-warm rest spot for security personnel and Police to stop, rest and have a coffee/cake/drink. Many such spots are located throughout the country for IDF soldiers. There were some legal issues about Police and security personnel "accepting" such things from Ateret Cohanim (Non profit organization) for free, and so the opening of the Pinah Chamah was initially stalled. The second issue was the managing or servicing the place.
 
The youth of the Old City, managed to raise some funds and Ateret Cohanim successfully found a group of Australian Jews who helped fund the needed renovation works to get the project off the ground, and establish the Pinah Chamah. However given the issues mentioned above, the Pinah Chamah was infrequently opened, and only used sparodically when the Old City youth had time to run the place, and they distributed food and drinks to security personnel. It was effectively not functioning.
 
Everything changed a month ago, when Adiel Kolman hy"d was also murdered by an Arab terrorist on Rechov HaGai, not far from the murder of Rav Lavi hy"d.
The intolerable situation of Jews being killed in the heart of Jerusalem and on the main road of the Old City, was too much and unacceptable. The concept had to change. A new approach had to be taken, as Ateret Cohanim was no longer prepared to accept a situation whereby people felt scared to even walk along the main route in the Old City. Rechov HaGai had to be "returned" to Am Yisrael.
 
Ateret Cohanim decided to open up the Pinah Chamah on a daily basis, 7 days a week, including Shabbat.
People would feel a sense of safety, Jewish presence and not feel like aliens in their own city.
 
The Pinah Chamah would give a "warm Jewish feeling", when people walked to or from the Kotel to the Damascus Gate. Rechov HaGai would know that Am Yisrael has returned.
Rechov HaGai would see Israeli flags, would see Jews buying at the Pinah Chamah and would hear Jewish music. 
People would feel at "home" !!!
 
And so Ateret Cohanim has opened the Pinah Chamah to both Police-security personnel (who pay a shekel or two for anything they want), and to all visitors to Old City. There is now a warm, safe, Jewish "stop" on Rechov HaGai, under Beit Wittenberg.
 
Thousands stopped at the Pinah Chamah over Pesach, free drinks….. and on the first shabbat after opening, over 300 people who visited the Kotel, stopped at the Pinah Chamah and received a piece of Kugel and a cup of wine. It was beautiful to see and the feedback from all who passed by was uplifting and tremendous. Everyone appreciated the move by Ateret Cohanim.
 
And together with the expected joy from the Jewish world, the local Arabs stopped, stared and were taken aback by this new bold move by the "Jews". We are no longer "just" in the closed secure compounds. Now we are out and about. Now we are the baal habayit on the street –alive and well.
 
G-d willing, we will be able to sustain the Pinah Chamah (7am till 9pm) and it will continue to be a warm safe haven and a beacon of Jewish life and light in the area. We-Ateret Cohanim also hope to acquire other stores or shops in the area to add even more security and Jewish presence. We will take back Rechov HaGai, G-d willing, the murders of Lavi and Kolman will be the last….. and this Pinah Chamah will be the spark.
 
Cost of staff for Pinah Chamah per month: (7am – 9pm only)   TO DONATE CLICK HERE
20,000 shekels (Say $6000)                                                          
Shabbat Sponsorship - $1800