Feb 10, 2011
Liking Bet Shemesh To Success
The following message (I lightly edited it for a reason I will mention later in the post) was sent to the local email list, by Rabbi Dov Lipman - the organizer of yesterday's demonstration...
Thank you to everyone who took the time to come to tonight's demonstration which was a smashing success by all definitions. We raised the awareness level regarding the issue of Lemaan Achai and the city budget to level it has simply never reached.
The fact that a not so well liked Deputy Mayor felt the need to come out to face the crowd and address the issue or was sent out by his boss showed that it was a tremendous success. The Mayor absolutely took notice and the resulting heated discussion/debate in the city council meeting showed how the Lemaan Achai left out of the budget issue is one they cannot ignore.
Thank you to those who wrote on the city's facebook page about this. The city spokesman came over to me after the city council meeting and told me that they were in shock and that the Mayor was being updated with how many people wrote on there.
Therefore, please please write a message on the following link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/yryyt-byt-sms/171310776219215?ref=ts.
You have to click on "like" in order to post a message. (if you prefer, you can "unlike" yourself afterwards and your message will remain). Please try to write in Hebrew if you can. I will continue to update the list as developments unfold in the coming days. Thank you again to everyone who came, tried to come, or signed the page.
First of all, thank you all for caring. This protest was not about how much others should get or should not get. It was not about whether the city should be giving money out at all for such organizations. The protest was that with the city already giving money to subsidize organizations that provide certain welfare services it is inconceivable that they should give to various organizations and leave Lemaan Achai out in the cold without giving them even a single agura, while taking advantage of Lemaan Achai's services and referring those in need to have Lemaan Achai provide the care that the city welfare offices is meant to be providing.
Thank you for going to the demonstration, if you did.
Thank you for commenting on the city Facebook page, if you did. The page registered over 130 comments last time I counted (and they are still coming), and as you can see from Rabbi Lipman's email above, the mayor was regularly updated about the incoming comments and was shocked and surprised to see this medium used in this way and the level of support, between the FB comments and those who came out in the cold evening for the physical demonstration. That was the original intention behind the Facebook campaign - they are used to demonstrations, even if they don't like to be demonstrated against, but they could not have seen the Facebook campaign coming and had to take notice of it.
A few people wrote to me suggesting I inform people that now that they commented they can "unlike" the Iryah Facebook page, and the comments will remain on the page. I considered it and decided that I will not make such a recommendation. You already know the option is available, though I will not recommend it. I am a very patriotic person. I "LIKE" Bet Shemesh, and I continue to like it even if it is not perfect or ideal. If I did not like it, I would have left. No place is perfect, and just because we have a doofus of a mayor is not a reason to be negative about the city. The Bet Shemesh residents are overall an amazingly diverse community, an amazingly caring community and an amazingly giving community. There is no reason, in my mind, to "unlike" Bet Shemesh.
On that note, I am also proud to say that the Facebook campaign also was noted to have made the mayor and the spokesman very pleased, as the city received close to 120 new "Likes" (as of last unofficial count by me). I say people should be proud to "Like" Bet Shemesh.
Now we wait and see how successful the whole campaign was. The mayor is reconsidering, and we await a decision.