The Etzion bloc of religious settlements, known as Gush Etzion, stands on a hilly perch 12 miles south of Jerusalem in the heart of Judea. Jewish settlers were forced to abandon it in 1929, then again in 1937, and yet a third time after a valiant defense in 1948 during Israel's War of Independence. At the time, David Ben-Gurion said of the settlers, "If a Jewish Jerusalem exists today, the thanks of Jewish history and the whole people must first go to the fighters of Gush Etzion."
After the region was recaptured in 1967, many children of the original founders, along with other settlers, returned to establish the Etzion bloc as an integral part of the State of Israel. As part of this redemptive effort, Yeshivat Har Etzion was founded on September 27, 1967. It was conceived both as a memorial to the heroic sacrifices of the past and as a vehicle for creating and realizing a vision of the future.
Harav Yehuda Amital speaks about why he founded the yeshiva:
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein explains why he joined Yeshivat Har Etzion.
Now, over 40 years have passed and we are proud of our achievements. Come have a look. [Video prepared by YHE alumnus Dovi Shamroth (MTA '97) for the YHE dinner in Israel March 2010.]