An Israeli soldier escorts ultra-Orthodox Jew
An Israeli soldier escorts ultra-Orthodox JewFlash 90

Moshe Tzarfati of the fledgling Am Shalem political party, led by MK Rabbi Haim Amsalem, reiterated in an interview with Arutz Sheva the party’s intention is to reach out to the Anglo community.

“I think our views of integration are very familiar to Anglos,” Tzarfati said. “They have seen, in their communities, hareidi citizens that are also doctors, engineers, people who contribute to society in general” and are able to “combine very high level secular studies with very high level Torah learning.”

The party, which broke away from Shas in an effort to provide the hareidi-religious community with an alternative voice, advocates military service for yeshiva students, has criticized the lack of secular content in the hareidi-religious educational system, and seeks to transform the chief rabbinate to reflect a moderate, lenient and Zionistic Judaism.

“We are trying to build a list of people that really reflects all sections of society,” Tzarfati told Arutz Sheva, adding that the type of hareidi that  Rabbi Amsalem espouses comes from Sephardic tradition.

“Sephardi Jews were never anti-Zionist,” he said. “They were always part of the military service. Even the rabbis were for the integration of all Sephardic society in the armed service.”

“We reflect a view that had been forgotten for maybe 30 years under Shas, but is still very vibrant in the hearts and minds of hareidi citizens of Israel,” Tsarfati concluded.