Jun 22, 2008

Shalom Lerner for Mayor of Bet Shemesh!


A group of people spanning all of the neighborhoods of the Beit Shemesh municipality including Givat Savion, Sheinfeld, Nofei Aviv, Migdal HaMayim, and RBS Aleph have launched a movement to catapult Shalom Lerner to the position of Mayor in the upcoming election.

The group's feeling is as follows. While we don't really have the power to change the terrible situation in the national government, here at home in Beit Shemesh, we can indeed make a huge difference! We can retake this city back from politicians who aren't really interested in making this city great. We have had the same Mayor for the last 15 years and during this time growth and progress was stunted. Beit Shemesh has the potential to be such an amazing city, a place that will attract businesses and olim and Israelis from other cities, a city that can be a showcase for growth and leadership.

We have thought the issue through and have come to the conclusion that the solution for this city at this time is Shalom Lerner for Mayor and we are looking to generate a groundswell of support for Shalom.

We believe that Shalom is the best candidate for Mayor because:
a) he cares about and takes pride in our city
b) he exhibits honesty and integrity
c) he has experience within the iriyah
d) he has dreams and a vision for the future of Beit Shemesh
e) he has been the recent address for assistance for all our community matters and individual needs.

These attributes are positives on their own and neither of the other candidates bring ALL of these qualities to the job. The only other candidates in this race are the current Mayor, Dani Vaknin and the Shas candidate, Moshe Abutbol.

It is important to emphasize that our push is for Shalom to be elected as Mayor. Every voter is given two votes - one is for city council and one is for Mayor. So, for example, a person could vote for CHEN or TOV for the city council but still vote for Shalom Lerner for Mayor. While it would certainly be very helpful for the list which Shalom will head to gain many seats in the city council, our efforts are focused on making sure that Shalom is elected as Mayor.

To this end, we are asking people to support Shalom's candidacy and perhaps get more involved in any of the following ways: (a) volunteer to assist with the campaign, (b) hang a sign for Shalom from your home, (c) host or attend a chug bayit, (d) act as a "captain" for your block to shore up your neighbors' support, (e) donate or help solicit funds, or (f) go around the neighborhood with a form for filling out information helpful to the campaign.

The group is asking that anyone who plans to support Shalom should please e-mail Dov Lipman at
ddlipman@aol.com Please also indicate if you would like to help out in any of the ways enumerated above.


  1. bottom line:
    1)does he support the kuppa or lemaan achay.
    2) will he make Rabbi Soliveitchik the chief Rabbi of Beit Shemesh?
    3) will he ban Burkas
    4) will he remove all the rocks from RBS B to protect the citizens?
    5) will he make Rafi the city spokesman?

  2. anoy,
    I think Rabbi Chayim Soloveichik is an excellent choice for chief Rabbi. But I have to disagree with you about Burkas I think that is how all women should go addressed this way my clothing bills for my girls and wife will go down :-)

    Thank God I do not live in Bet shemesh or RBS but can relate to sowem of the problems you have there. Good Luck with the elections

  3. Can anyone clarify the difference between Chen and Tov?

  4. i think this is a great idea
    this will open the way for that chareidi guy to win, as it will split the secular vote from the mizrachnikim. great idea.

  5. Did anyone here see Moshe Abutbol in his acting debut in the film "A Wheel of Fortune"?

    I hope that his portrayal there is not a sign of things to come.

  6. split the vote with who? vaknin? nobody seems to want Vaknin. Personally i expect Vaknin to not run because he will see the wall of people lined up against him. His only chance of support is Yahadut HaTorah who has so far not said anything and seems to be suggesting possible support. but if they choose to not support him, than he has nobody. So who is learner splitting the vote with?

    What Aboutbol did is very questionable. Some of the people who were there with him have already backed out of their support (see at least Shalom Edry and possibly Richard Peres, even though he ran ads in the local papers on Friday) and more are expected as elections get closer.

  7. a) vaknin will run unless he's found guilty in his current court case
    b) chen will be fielding their own candidate for mayor- further splintering the anglo/mizrachi vote
    c) shalom lerner may be a nice guy but if he has no seats/too few seats on the city council, nothing will get done for the next 5 years or he'll be forced to make the same kind of backroom deals that have made this city what it is. vote him for both or don't bother (when you respond to this, let me know who his potential coalition partners are outside of chen- shas? yahadut hatorah? is that what you really want?)
    d) the charedim will realize at some point they can field their own candidate, get 40% of the vote and have a charedi mayor. it's either now or in 5 years

    bottom line: who will vote for shalom? not russians, not charedim, not old beit shemesh- that's 75% of beit shemesh right there. what chance does he have of winning? if he was the candidate for all religious partie, then yes, he could win (of course, who knows what kind of pre-election promises he'd have to make but that's another story)

  8. I agree with everything you say, anonymous. And regardless of what happens in this elections, chances are extremely high that by the latest the next election is when we will have the Haredi mayor.
    Shalom has a plan to get support in old Bet Shemesh.
    Right now your only choice is Aboutbol. I do not consider Vaknin a choice. While Aboutbol might be a good guy, I prefer not to have him as mayor.
    So the only choice, for now, I think, is Shalom Lerner. What happens next election is something to be concerned about, but right now we have to worry about the current election. And as you said, the charedi mayor is coming sooner or later.

  9. aboutboul might not be what you want but I'm not sure he'll be the candidate come election day- if the charedim get together, they'll put up someone else and vote en masse for that candidate

    so for lerner to have a chance, everyone else has to vote en masse against the charedi candidate. not sure that will happen...

  10. charedi candidates - aboutbol and whomever degel puts up (if they field their own candidate and do not support aboutbol or vaknin), then they might split the charedi vote. Then another candidate has a good chance.

  11. Hi, I am working with Shalom's campaign. Let me clarify a few things:

    1)Vaknin will not run if he has no support and sees that he will lose.

    2)CHEN is not going to put up a candidate for mayor. They are going to support Shalom.

    3)3 seats in the council is all the current Mayor had and if he wanted to accomplish things he could have. Certainly, Shalom would like to have more than 3 seats in the council for his party but even with 3, he can put together a coalition and accomplish a lot. In municipalities in Israel, the Mayor holds almost all of the power and can accomplish tremendous things if he wants to.

    4)There are many things that can happen before the elections in terms of who could end up supporting Shalom. To begin with, there are moderate chareidim who have indicated that they will support him, there are anglo Chareidim who will support him, and there are many native Israelis in Old Bet Shemesh who have had enough of Dani Vaknin and would never vote for a chareidi candidate who will vote for Shalom.
    As Rafi pointed out, the constituency of Labor and Dor Acher are not happy with their leaders signing with Shas.

    5)Once we get to the party level many things can happen. Labor and Dor Acher will jump ship and come to Shalom the moment they sense that Abutbol won't win or if their voters speak loudly enough about their anger with their agreement with Shas. The moment that happens, Abutbol would come and support Shalom as well. The Russians will likely wait and see who has the best chance to win and will join with that candidate.
    Shas and Agudah will likely never run together so that coalition should not be feared.

    My overall point is, for anyone to suggest that no one will support Shalom is a big mistake. Representatives of all of the parties have met with Shalom and continue to speak with him both informally when they happen to meet each other and in formal meetings regarding the elections. This is a process and we have our work cut out for us and are thankful to the many people - both Anglos and native Israelis - who have joined "Citizens for Shalom Lerner for Mayor" and hope that readers of this blog will join us as well.

  12. anon from lerners campaign - are you dreaming? basically you have the BS voting for lerner except for agudah!! shas, russians, etheopians, old bs, anglos, moderate chareidim, vaknins followers... wow. forget coalition, why doesnt everyone just roll over and play dead and let lerner run the whole city by himself?

    Seriously though. if the chareidim back vaknin he has a shot. if they back abutbol, he will win. he has a good following of secular as well as sefardim.

    good luck though

    what is lerners platform with regards to the chareidim in rbs a? is he going to keep the school aged children in those dumpy little caravans? is he going to box chareidim out of rbs 3?

  13. Shalom supports building up all sectors of the city. Education is certainly a number one priority and the regular chareidi community will get what they need both in terms of schooling and space to grow. He will work to temper the influence and expansion of the extreme chareidi element in Bet Shemesh who have disrupted people's lives and cause problems.

    The chareidi municipal leaders speak very highly of their relationship with Shalom and there is no question they can work together to enable all communities in Bet Shemesh to flourish.

  14. Anon supporter of Lerner: I don't live in BS, but you'd have a lot more credibility (as would Lerner), if you didn't remain anonymous.


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