A new ‘Ihr Hatorah’ is being planned in Mexico to cater specifically to Orthodox Jews. The town will work similarly to Lakewood, NJ in the United States and Modi’in Illit in Israel, and will seek to attract both Mexican and non-Mexican Jews, according to people involved in the initiative.
In the first stage of the plan, the town will house roughly 400 yeshiva bochurim from Mexico, as well as hundreds of avreichim from Central and South American countries.
The initiative reportedly took off after the Toras Eliyahu yeshiva in Mexico purchased a ranch outside of Mexico City where bochurim could learn in “capsules” during the coronavirus pandemic. The Toras Eliyahu model worked, and more yeshivos began moving out of Mexico City, which led Jewish developers to purchase more than 100 acres of land near Ixtapan de la Sal, a town about an hour’s drive from Mexico City.
Dozens of homes, shuls, schools, mikvahs, a shopping center, and public buildings are expected to go up over the next year.
The Toras Eliyahu yeshiva, headed by Harav Yehoshua Gertzulin, has purchased land to build a yeshiva in the area, setting an anchor for the town, similar to what BMG was for Lakewood.
The project is supported by numerous gedolei yisroel, including Harav Gershon Edelstein and Harav Shmuel Kamenetzky.