A hareidi-religious political faction calling itself “Mothers for Elad” may make history if its female representatives are elected to the city council.
The primary hareidi political factions – Shas and Gimmel – have historically been all-male. A hareidi woman decided to run for the Jerusalem city council with the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) list, but dropped out of the race after coming under heavy pressure from her community.
“Mothers for Elad” candidate Michal Chernovitzky is determined to stay in the race – and says that while she has experienced some resistance, she has also seen much covert support for the party’s cause.
“We don’t have money, so we give out fliers in the street. Men come up to show their support. They wait until the street is empty, then come express their support,” she told Arutz Sheva.
The Mothers for Elad faction was not invited to a recent debate between local candidates hosted by a hareidi media outlet, she noted.
The group’s goals are not controversial. “We are interested in issues involving mothers and children, and in cleaning up the local parks and improving the public transportation system,” Chernovitzky explained.
She said that while hareidi women have traditionally not played a part in politics, there is no reason why they should not begin to do so. “I am ‘lithuanian’ hareidi, and there are other hareidi and hareidi-Zionist women on our list… There are hareidi women everywhere, including at the heads of major foundations. Women are managing offices and speaking to hundreds of senior officials each day,” she said.
“We went to the rabbis, and checked the matter in halakhah (Jewish law), and we even got a blessing,” she added.