Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Shevat 5766 - February 8, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











City of Bnei Brak to Issue Debentures

by A. Cohen

The City of Bnei Brak will become one of the first municipalities in Israel to issue debentures said Deputy Interior Minister Ruchama Avraham at a working meeting in Bnei Brak.

MK Avraham said she sees great importance in debenture projects at local authorities since, on numerous occasions, recovery programs at various local authorities have not led to significant changes in their respective treasuries and certainly not to an ability to work on developing the city and expanding services for residents. As such, the ministry views the debenture program as a way to advance the local authorities by placing their funds in the business sector. Today banks are willing and eager to work with local authorities when they enter the debenture program and the cost of credit for the loans from banks has already decreased from 7 percent to 4 percent-5 percent. It is anticipated that raising money through debentures will be substantially cheaper than taking out bank loans as has been done up until now by all local authorities.

Gila Oron, the Finance Ministry's commissioner for the Tel Aviv district, called on the ministry to make funding available and to provide a fundamental solution to meet the city's needs by fostering cooperation on every level, such as the Prime Minister's Office, the Finance Ministry, etc. She also provided an overview of Interior Ministry activity to advance the wide-ranging development programs in North Bnei Brak, which promise to boost the city's economy and end its constant dependence on aid funding.

Deputy Mayor Rabbi Yaakov Asher called on the Interior Ministry to help the city advance the City 572 project for the construction of a large employment complex in the north of the city and to help advance a solution to the alternatives the City is offering for a railroad logistical services site, which is of great importance to efforts to strengthen the city economically. He called for the advancement of solutions with the railroad board in accordance with the proposed alternatives presented to it in coordination with the Israel Lands Administration and the Planning Administration.

Avi Levy Glili, Histadrut chairman in the Ramat Gan-Bnei Brak district, said that due to the city's uniqueness the way to facilitate its recovery is not through layoffs of municipal employees but by boosting major employment projects through "quiet dialogue" between the Histadrut and the Mayor and the Board of Directors.

City Treasurer Accountant Aharon Adler presented the City's plans to launch the economic program, stressing the importance of the debenture program, a realistic recovery plan and various activities to reduce the debts pressing down on the City.

Summarizing the discussion, MK Avraham noted that as a result of the municipality's extensive activities under Mayor Rabbi Yissochor Frankentahl she would continue to provide various forms of assistance such as increasing the budget-balancing grant, assisting with the development of infrastructures if and when it is included in the government budget, and government grants when the city agrees to transfer to the Water Corporation. She also said she would seek a way to assist in renovating the city's commercial center in the framework of the budget allocated for 5-10 local authorities for such purposes, in order to allow small business owners to compete with large shopping malls.

During the second half of the visit, the Deputy Minister toured the municipal child and family center on Rechov Ezra, allowing her a close look at the city's breakthrough in developing innovative social services in the area of child and infant care. She was also briefed on activities run by the Center for Medical Information, the Hot Line, the training center for women managers and other organizations.

She also visited the enormous new Ezer Mitzion facility, touring various departments such as the activity center for handicapped children, the hydrotherapy pool, the medical equipment loan department and the huge kitchen used to prepare food for the needy. Rabbi Chananya Cholek and ranking staff members described the organization's aims and range of activities, including a long list of activities for special- ed children.

At the end of the tour, Deputy Minister Avraham said she was deeply moved and impressed by what she saw at the center and promised to provide assistance, saying the center can serve as an example for chessed organizations around the country.

The Mayor referred to the Ezer Mitzion facility as a central lighthouse for the needy, speaking of the dedication shown by Rabbi Cholek and his assistants, who engage in their holy work day in and day out, coping with every situation. He suggested that the government, which recently set up a committee to address the issue of poverty, send representatives to study from the center and others like it and to include on the committee representatives from the chareidi sector, with its wealth of experience in providing help to anyone in need.


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