Israel’s Trump Heights receives 1st inhabitants


(JTA) — A boarding school for underprivileged youths in Israel was inaugurated in Trump Heights in the Golan.

The opening Thursday of the boarding school, which is designed to prepare several hundred teenagers from troubled homes for a meaningful service in the Israel Defense Forces, marks the first arrival of people to the settlement that was declared as established there in June and named after President Donald Trump.

The United States recognized the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 war, as part of Israel through a presidential proclamation signed by Trump on March 25. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to name a town for him in the Golan as a sign of appreciation and gratitude for this move, Netanyahu has said. Its naming for Trump has caused controversy in Israel.

About 20 families are scheduled to move to Trump Heights in the summer of 2020, the news site Srugim reported, including both observant Jewish families and secular new residents.

The boarding school headed by Uriel Eldad will belong to the network of Mechinat Shachar, an institution that specializes in preparing high school graduates for excelling in the army.

At the Trump Heights boarding house, or mechinah, secular and observant Jewish youths will live for six months prior to their enlistment, Uriel told Srugim.

Trump Heights, which was announced when it was still uninhabited and largely unbuilt, is the second Israeli town named after an American president, with the first one being Kfar Truman, a moshav in central Israel.

Recommended from JTA