United Religious Party Wins a Solid Mandate in AMIA Elections in Buenos Aires
By R. Hoffner
The results of the AMIA Jewish center elections in Buenos Aires sanctified the Name of Heaven when the this week's vote went to the Orthodox kehillos, represented by the United Religious Party, which is led by HaRav Shmuel Aryeh Levine, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chofez Chaim and head of the Agudath Israel institutions in Argentina.
In a phone conversation HaRav Levine told Yated Ne'eman that in the last elections, held three years ago, the Orthodox community won for the first time, sweeping 38 percent of the vote, and as the largest party, built a coalition. This year, all of the secular parties — following their defeat in the previous elections — banded together against the Orthodox community, declaring that their aim was to regain control of the community institutions, such as the cemetery and the local beis din, and to represent the community in dealings with government authorities.
But through chasdei Shomayim they fell short of their goals: this time the Orthodox community garnered even greater support, taking 41 percent of the votes — almost 2,000 votes more than in the previous elections.
These results indicate a substantial number of secular Jews prefer to have a leadership that upholds the age-old Jewish tradition unchanged. Local newspapers ran bold headlines about "the Orthodox' renewed victory"; now non-Jews, as well, know that the Jews want leaders who adhere to Jewish tradition.
A total of 10,700 Jews took part in the elections, held on Sunday. Before election day Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah Be'eretz Hakodesh issued a letter of support, calling on Argentinean Jews to come out in force to back the United Religious Party.