21 May 2013

Professor Gerhard Wedel of Berlin asks, Benyamim Tsedaka replies:

1. Do Samaritans have, and do they prefer independent entrepreneurship or enterprise?

We have engaged in entrepreneurial activity in order to survive. Naturally, we prefer independent enterprises, for example:

Enterprises In the 1950s

  • significantly for us, establishing the second Israelite Samaritan population centre in Holon
Samaritan Choir, Milan
Samaritan Choir, Milan

Enterprises In the 1960s

  • building the first Samaritan synagogue in the State of Israel
  • establishing the first Samaritan Newspaper, the bi-weekly magazine A.B The Samaritan News
  • establishing youth clubs in Holon, and also in Nablus
  • publishing the First Comparative Torah, showing the Jewish (Masoretic) and Samaritan Versions  in Hebrew

Enterprises in the 1970s

  • setting up official local councils in Holon and Nablus (later moved to Mount Gerizim) by democratic elections

Enterprises In the 1980s

  • establishing the Kiriat Luza neighbourhood on Mount Gerizim Visit Kiriat Luza
  • then building a large synagogue in Kiriat Luza for the entire community
  • establishing the A.B Institute of Samaritan Studies in Holon
  • building two Community Centres, one in Holon and another in Kiriat Luza
  • establishing basketball teams in Kiriat Luza and also in Holon – the teams play in the Palestinian and Israeli Basketball Associations
  • founding the First Ancient Israelite Samaritan Music Choir see MUSIC. Since its establishment the Choir has performed in the USA, Europe, Israel and South East Asia.

Enterprises In the 1990s

  • sending a delegation to Saint Petersburg in 1991 to catalogue the 1348 Samaritan Manuscripts of the Firkovitz Collection
  • sending a delegation of Samaritan leaders to the Ministry of State in Washington DC, and also to the White House and the Senate to ensure the political future of the Israelite Samaritans 
  • similarly, establishing contacts with the British Government and Parliament

Enterprises In the 2000s 

  • founding the Mount Gerizim International Peace Centre
  • establishing the Samaritan Medal Foundation
  • later, building a small private Museum on Mount Gerizim
  • then establishing a second synagogue in Holon

Enterprises In the 2010s

  • establishing a Visitor Centre in Kiriat Luza, Mount Gerizim and also helping to establish a National Park on the summit of Mount Gerizim
  • developing the Passover sacrifice yard on Mount Gerizim
  • publishing the First English Translation of the Israelite Samaritan Torah in parallel with the accepted English Translation of the Jewish (Masoretic) Version

2. What about sports? Because I only know of the Samaritan basketball players.

There are the two basketball teams, and internal summer tournaments of Miniball and Basketball on the sports grounds in both neighbourhoods, and a gym in Kiriat Luza.

Benyamim Tsedaka


Samaritan HISTORY


Choir and MUSIC


Samaritan RELIGION




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Photography: Ori Orhof




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