Wednesday , May 12 2021

The mayor of the first daughter of the city of Israel is a reluctant icon for Orthodox feminist



Aliza Bloch, right, in gold, celebrates with supporters after being elected the mayor of Beit Shemesh, Israel, as the election results have been announced, November 1, 2018. (Yaakov Lederman / Flash90)

BEIT SHEMESH, Israel (JTA) – When Aliza Bloch was elected Beit Shemesh's mayor last month, a decade of the Orthodox Management hated over the community ended up with a small bed of just over 100,000 residents.

The site of a number of conflicts between haredi zealots and their secular and religious-national counterparts in recent years has come to the city – located in the scenic Judean hills halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – be considered in Israel and abroad as something of a microcosm of Israel's religious kulturkampf.

Haredi Orthodox usually follows the most insular interpretation, separately on the basis of sex and often the Zionist of religious Judaism. Modern Orthodox or religious Zionists, who are more involved in modern society, often dredge severely haredim, especially in public places.

The Bloch victory was held in urban elections – making the modern Orthodox educator, the first female mayor of Beit Shemesh – as a winner of women from the tired voters of what they saw as the city's reluctance to stand for their rights.

However, Bloch, who spent years as the headmaster of a local secondary school, hides suggestions that she is the incorporation of an ecclesiastical religious feminist. He prefers to describe himself as a candidate first and a second woman.

Speaking to JTA at his limited campaign in a war house only from blocks of the city's new urban building, he said she "did not win because I was a woman, I won because I'm a # 39; n Alisa. "

Although her supporters have shared photoshop photos on social media that she rides on the shoulders of a warrior – another squad is usually targeted for breeding and violence by a small community of the zealots of the city's actions – Bloch insisted she was; The only resident that was running because she felt she was the most qualified for the job.

Aliza Bloch and Moshe Abutbwl speak after the election. (By courtesy of Bloch)

"I do not feel like a symbol. I believe in an idea and in making changes. I'm running because of my ideas about how to run the city, not as the feminist candidate. But I am also women," she explained, describing her identity as often. "The way to create a change is to show people who are not just defined by one thing."

His haredi opponents destroyed him, distributing flooding in anticipation of the closure of religious schools and the introduction of a bus service on Shabbat. Bloch campaigned on a unity platform, he said, stating that he had won in part because of the thousands of haredim who voted for her and the thousands more abstaining from voting despite commitments from their community leadership to support Moshe Abutbul, the owner haredi

As part of this effort to reach the haredim on their own terms, Bloch refused to use his image on ads in haredi neighborhoods – tactics that some campaigners had a little ironically, given their long burial against a borough and He had refused to use the time of women's images on official publications.

"Rule No. 1 for change means that people hear your message," said Shoshana Keats Jaskoll, founder of Chochmat Nashim's religious women advocacy group and Bloch supporter who has been voicing the issue of eliminating women. "I understand his choice not to show his face in specific neighborhoods because she did so that they would not have come out to listen to it. He did not fight for his face but a war to the city , so to win the war, he sacrificed on ideally less for the greatest idea. "

Jaskoll hoped that Bloch would take robust action against graffiti and street signs giving women the guidance to wear proportionately that has spread in specific Hasidic neighborhoods in recent years. Although the High Court of Justice has called for the removal of the signs, residents have been widely abused by residents as if it had only made an unusual effort to pursue their ruling and failed to install neighborhood security cameras despite receiving the funding.

"She's going to clean it up [put up] and the cameras and said the court should go up, "said Jaskoll." I know there are already meetings to get the cameras up and she is not even a mayor yet. "

Bloch agreed, saying that he would start dialogue with extremists, installing a series of red lines, and that "the record they are clear adjoins what is allowed to every life we ​​are different. "

"There will be no patience for any stage of violence," said the mayor election, adding that there is a possibility of opening a police station in the extremist neighborhood but refusing to go to any type of detail.

A verbal campaign campaign at Beit Shemesh reads, "Aliza Bloch – because we deserve better!" (Sam Sokol)

He is a new member of the City Council, Rena Hollander, attorney and other local women's campaigner who headed the local branch of the Jewish Jewish Home party during the recent election. Hollander said she intended to "empower women in the city" through a variety of measures, including by using positive operating policies in urban hiring and mainly ignored during Abiwul's holding as mayor.

"I will not have any problem in the borough campaigning for women's rights," he said.

Given the successes of Hollander and Bloch, Jaskol was ecstatic, saying that "we now have a woman's daughter and literally it is impossible to eliminate the women of Beit Shemesh."

However, although she agreed that she would definitely work to promote the cause of women in Beit Shemesh, Bloch was careful to try to show that she had not defined her sex. Bloch said the city could be a model of cooperation between people where "their background does not matter."

Beit Shemesh said he could be a "model for the State of Israel."


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