June 17, 2004

by Reb Yudel
Yossi Klein still doesn't like Jerusalem Mayor Lupolianski

From The Jewish Week article about Jerusalem's first haredi mayor, a year after his election:
"He'll let the pubs be open. He'll let the gays march once a year. So what?" said Yossi Klein Halevi, an author and associate fellow at the Shalem Center. "Lupolianski is not going to restrict secular life in Jerusalem. The problem is augmenting Orthodox power in Jerusalem."

A haredi mayor faces built-in limits about granting money to secular causes or dealing with non-Orthodox representatives, Halevi said.

"Whenever it comes to [public] meetings with Reform or Conservative representatives, the mayor of Jerusalem is suddenly plagued by 'scheduling problems,' " he said.

"A haredi mayor who has to pay attention to haredi norms cannot by definition be the mayor of the capital of the Jewish people," said Halevi, who is part of a group of parents who last year sought city funding for an alternative school with a "combined secular-religious" curriculum. The city denied the money, he said.