Gniza Klalit’ was established in 1986, (the Hebrew letters of that year spell “sheimos”), for the purpose of processing every item which requires being disposed of with respect, according to the halacha (Jewish law).
Our organization includes 8 board members, 9 staff members, and approximately 10 volunteers. Our offices are located in Modi’in Elit.
Our activities extend throughout 130 cities and towns across Israel, and serve all the local Jewish residents. Currently, 130 Religious and Local Community Jurisdictions (Moatzot Datiot v’Azuriot), more than 600 public institutions and synagogues and around 40 publishing houses and bookbinders benefit from our services.

Founders

Rav Yisroel Bundheim, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Kol Torah, Jerusalem
Rav Yehoshua Yeshaya Neuwirth, zt”l, author of Shmirath Shabbath K’hilchatha.

Director

Rabbi Eliezer Bundheim, shlit”a.

The Board of Directors

Eliezer Bundheim, Shimon Broodman, Moshe Safra, Yehuda Nadav, Eliyahu Diskin, Eliyahu Foreman, Yosef Dorlecher, and Moshe Chaim Leon.

Our office, located in Modi’in Illit, has a staff of 9. Around 10 volunteers work on-site.

Background:

Gniza Klalit was established 28 years ago. Until then, the subject of sheimos was widely neglected. Before the development of the modern printing industry there was hardly any sheimos to dispose of. With the advent and development of modern means of printing and copying, the amount of sefarim and sacred writings being printed multiplied drastically. This caused an overabundance of printed materials requiring sheimos. Eventually the individual institutions were flooded with sheimos, and a serious shortage of burial ground resulted as well.
In the absence of a solution, sheimos came to be treated disgracefully in the courtyards of the shuls, public institutions, schools and cemeteries. Some of it was thrown into the trash or sent to paper recycling factories to make disposable paper goods for less than honorable uses.
On the other hand, no public or individual institution took up the cause, until the Gniza Klalit came and saved these sacred texts from disgrace.
In the year 5746 – 1986 – the first sheimos collection bin of its kind in the world, designed by Gniza Klalit, was placed in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood in Jerusalem. At first this was just a local effort, but very quickly the idea caught on and our activities spread to other Jerusalem neighborhoods and beyond, reaching across the entire country.

Funding

The organization operates on a voluntary basis, and at great expense. We receive no government funding even though we provide an essential religious service. Gniza Klalit is funded entirely by public donations except in certain locations where religious jurisdictions and public institutions partially share in the financial burden.