Passover prayer in Dizengoff Square
Passover prayer in Dizengoff SquareRosh Yehudi

During Passover, a public prayer event was held at Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv, led by Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, leading the city's deputy mayor to issue a strenuous protest.

"Dizengoff Square has become a place of prayer with gender segregation between men and women!" Reuven Ladianksy wrote on Facebook. "Here, in Tel Aviv, in the center of the city, they set up a divider between men and women. I checked it out and there was no authorization given for this by the municipality.

"This was an initiative of people from outside the city, along with various other individuals, that took place on April 11," he continued. "I demanded that the municipal inspector head there and remove the dividers and confiscate them. I also demanded that they fine the organizers and bring them to face justice, in the harshest possible way.

"It is unacceptable that not a single municipal inspector stopped this, or that cameras did not identify what was happening in time to stop the preparations," he added. "Now it's all on the internet! I have demanded that the municipality take responsibility for searching the internet for all such unauthorized events which are unacceptable in Tel Aviv by any external elements, such as Chabad for instance.

Ladiansky is running to hold his place on the city council in local elections this October, and promises to battle "any trend toward religiosity." On his Facebook page, he writes: "I intend to lead the secular-green front which will concern tiself with preserving the interests of Tel Aviv and your - the residents' - interests throughout the next five years. I have the energy, the determination, and the experience to keep Tel Aviv secular and liberal with no religious coercion, no gender segregation, and no trend toward religiosity."