Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Tishrei 5764 - October 23, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











United Torah Jewry Hopeful in Upcoming Municipal Elections
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

United Torah Jewry appears to have achieved unity and inner cohesiveness and has great hopes for the upcoming elections on Tuesday October 28--2 Cheshvan. The candidates chosen to represent the party in every location are well-liked by the general public. In some towns UTJ is marching alone while in others it is running on a joint ticket in partnership with other parties and local lists. The many municipalities in which UTJ is fielding candidates indicate the blessed growth of the Torah community in Israel.

The focus is on the elections in Bnei Brak, but there the only issue is representation on the municipal council. Everyone has united behind the mayoral candidacy of Rabbi Yissochor Frankental, current mayor of Emanuel. He is the only candidate who filed for the election as mayor in Bnei Brak, and was chosen by the Agudas Yisroel faction of UTJ, based on the agreement signed five years ago that put current mayor Rabbi Mordechai Karelitz into office.

Currently, UTJ holds 17 of the Bnei Brak City Council's 25 seats. Also running for the Council are Shas, United Sephardic Bnei Torah, Mafdal, Likud and Labor. The Labor Party currently has no representatives on the City Council though they always had a small representation until the past elections. The other parties have between one and four representatives.

UTJ is running independently in Ofakim, Azur, Yavneh, Chatzor, Natzerat Illit, Petach Tikva, Rosh HaAyin, Carmiel and Yeruchom. In Carmiel this is to be the first election in which UTJ is vying on its own; in Yeruchom the UTJ candidate is also vying for the mayor's office.

In Ashkelon, Zichron Yaakov, Netivot, Tzfat and Rechovot, UTJ has united with Shas on a joint list.

In Herzliya, Hadera and Ramat Gan, UTJ is running with the Mafdal and in Arad the party has formed a three-party list together with Shas and the Mafdal. In Be'er Sheva, UTJ is running on a united religious ticket.

In Dimona, Kiryat Gat and Raanana, UTJ joined local lists.

In Tel Aviv UTJ will run on a "neighborhoods" list with Eli Aminov and Shaarei Tzion Institutions.

In Rechasim an agreement was reached to set up a joint list known as Shin-Yud. Heading the list is Rabbi Yitzchok Reich, the candidate for council chairman. The list was applauded by rabbonim of local kehillos and received a political seal of approval with the signatures of MKs Rabbi Moshe Gafni and Eli Yishai.

In Beit Shemesh a united UTJ-Degel HaTorah-Agudas Yisroel list, which will be marked "Gimmel" on ballot slips, has been submitted. The list was assembled at the last moment following prolonged, exhausting negotiations between Degel HaTorah and Agudas Yisroel representatives, talks that concluded only when the lists were submitted last Thursday night. Big changes are expected in Beit Shemesh due to the large influx of chareidi families since the previous municipal elections.


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