Members of the Joint Religious Front in the Haifa
Municipality have discovered that Housing Ministry funds
earmarked for the building of a mikveh in the western
part of Haifa were directed to other projects by Mayor Amram
Mitzna. Last week at an urgent meeting on the issue, the
mayor promised to channel the budget back to the mikveh
at the beginning of the current fiscal year. UTJ Knesset
members were involved in the issue, and called Mitzna to
order to protest this unlawful diversion of the budget.
Last week, members of the Joint Religious Front in the
Municipality, Rabbi Chaim Williger of UTJ and Rabbi Avraham
Weitzman of Shas, received a copy of the agenda of the
upcoming City Council meeting. They discovered that members
of the Council would be asked at the meeting to approve the
aforementioned budget change. This change involves NIS one
million, two hundred thousand NIS of which had been approved
by the Housing Ministry when it was headed by Rabbi Meir
Porush for building a mikveh in the western part of
Haifa which were being diverted to Beit Nagler in Kiryat
Rabbi Weitzman asked Mitzna to prevent the budgetary change.
At the same time, he turned to Rabbi Porush and to the
Religious Affairs Minister, Rabbi Yitzhak Cohen. Rabbi
Williger also contacted Rabbi Moshe Gafni, who asked the
members of the Joint Religious Front to call an urgent
meeting with Mayor Amram Mitzna. Throughout the day, the UTJ
Knesset members spoke with Mitzna and apprised him of the
seriousness of his actions.
At Sunday night's meeting -- which was also attended by the
Deputy Mayor of the Municipality, Rabbi Moshe Shtetman,
Mitzna promised to find alternate financial sources for the
building of the mikveh during the current fiscal year.
He said that if he hadn't made quick use of the budget, he
would have lost it. The Religious Front was upset that they
had been denied access to this information, and claimed that
had they known about the budget, they would have presented
plans to build the mikveh a long time ago.
Now it is hoped that the mikveh in Haifa will be
completed this year, as promised by the mayor.