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Sep 21, 2008

Yehiyeh Tov

TOV has begun their public campaign. If you have been around RBS (maybe in places in BS as well?), you must have seen their signs. They put them everywhere. In general I have seen an increase in the election signage this past week. I have started to see signs from Vaknin, Abutbol, Lerner (who started with the signs a couple weeks ago) and more. Now TOV has officially joined the fray.

They got some pretty good publicity with the Lerner campaign, as Mendy Newman was one of the speakers and the name TOV was mentioned a few times. One issue some people have is why TOV is endorsing Shalom lerner. Some people might support TOV because they feel Degel has ignored them and their needs, but they still might prefer Abutbol or whoever the rabbonim come out in favor of, and if TOV supports a different candidate, they might be reluctant to vote for TOV.

I heard from Eli Friedman the response to this question, and he was also quoted in this weeks Mishpacha newspaper. Eli told me that TOV is not taking any official stance on who to support for the position of mayor of Bet Shemesh. Mendy obviously supports Shalom Lerner, but that is not the official TOV position. TOV takes no position on that issue at all. They know that some will want Lerner, some Abutbol and some possibly even Vaknin. TOV is concentrating on winning a couple to a few seats in the city council, and is not concerned with who will win the position of mayor.

In addition to the signs around the neighborhood, they also put out some information in various shuls. In case you did not see it, this is what the letters said


אלול תשס"ח

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As you are probably aware, on November 11 (13 Cheshvan), citizens of Bet Shemesh will vote for Mayor and City Council (Moatzah). The remarkable growth of Bet Shemesh and particularly Ramat Bet ShemEsh over the last ten years has now presented the city with tremendous opportunities and quite a few challenges as well. The term for local elections is five years, so choices we make in this election will decide the character and direction of our city for years to come.

With this in mind, I want to inform you about some

exciting news in regards to our local representation.

Many people have expressed frustration over the last few years that the Anglo and Israeli "Bali Batim" community do not have enough (or any) representation in local government. There are many representatives of many walks of life in the city council, but there is not any person or group who seems to represent the concerns and needs of the "working Torah community" of Ramat Bet Shemesh and Bet Shemesh.

Can you answer these questions?

· Who represents you in the Bet Shemesh Moatzah?

· Who should you call if you have a community issue that requires governmental help?

· Who should your shul or school call when they need city assistance?

  • Is there an address or phone number of someone who speaks your language and is dedicated to helping all residents of our city?

Fortunately, this time around there will be an answer!

The Answer: TOV.

TOV is a new local party that is running in the city council elections. TOV aims to put representatives of OUR community on the city council to properly represent the citizens of our neighborhoods.

TOV is for you!

If you live in the Ramah or in Bet Shemesh and you feel that the existing parties just don't connect with you and that you don't have an address or person to talk to when you have issues, then TOV is for you. TOV will always have a Hebrew and English speaking representative available to field your questions and issues so that you can be assured that you are being heard!

Who started TOV?

Tov was started by Eli Friedman, a native of Yerushalyim, who now lives with his family in Ramat Bet Shemesh. Eli is the Gabai at Beit Knesset Mvakshei Hashem (Nachal Katlav), a mechanech and a singer and musician.

Mendy Newman, a native New Yorker, who has lived in the Ramah for the past four years has joined with Eli as the "Anglo" side of TOV. Mendy is the Gabai at Aish Kodesh and works in hi-tech here in Bet Shemesh.

Our Pledge - Communication and Input!

Our goal is to make government transparent. Everyone should have input into decisions that affect our communities. Everyone should know what buildings and parks are planned and what else is being built in our neighborhoods.

TOV plans to use our voice on the city council to raise concerns about education, schools, park and garden maintenance, commercial and retail space, shuls, safety, neighborhood beautification, and many other issues that you, the community, will be concerned with!

How Can You Help?

We only have two months until the elections so every person can make a difference.

  • We need local representatives for EVERY shul in the Ramah.
  • These representatives will be the point people to distribute information, gather names and collect issues and concerns.
  • Please help us give ourselves a voice in our future.
  • Email us : tovbetshemesh@gmail.com or call Mendy Newman at 052-579-1778

With warmest wishes for a Shana Tov,

Tov Bet Shemesh


  1. I still have no clue as to what they really stand for?


    what are the issues they are addressing?

  2. I have no problem with you asking all your questions about TOV here. I will try to get someone from TOV who will check in and try to answer the questions.

    They have only just begun the campaign. I imagine over the next two months until the elections they will make clear what they are trying to accomplish and what their positions and issues are

  3. What is the connection between Rav Yitzchak Alon who ran with Zvi Wolicki from chen last time and Tov?

  4. chaimthemeshugana-
    We stand for being a voice for the Anglo/Israeli - "Yeshiva working community" (label it as you wish) on the city council.
    This includes areas such as education, community development, cleanliness of the city, etc. The important thing is to have a voice and a forum.

  5. I think I heard that Rav Alon has joined up with TOV and has the second spot secured for him. Mendy Newman has the third spot according to my info.

    We can wait for confirmation or clarification of that from a TOV rep, if one comes in..

  6. Currently the "reshima" consists of Eli Friedman and Mendy Newman.
    We are working to bring in other people and will update everyone when we have more news on that front.

  7. Does the "Yeshiva working community" send there children to other schools than "Yeshiva learning community"?

    When you talk about "cleanliness of the city" it makes you sound a bit like Chen. I know last time quite a few of the "Yeshiva working community" voted for them. Would you consider running together?

  8. mordin - if I remember correctly, Eli Friedman himself very publicly supported CHEN n the last elections

  9. so have they fallen out or is it a tactic to get more votes?

  10. every time i drive past the Tov signs i hum to myself the very famous israeli song by the secular left wing singer. David Broza....yiheye tov.... i wonder if he is part of the tov team!!!!

  11. Chaim-
    To answer your questions.
    In general (not all) there is a feeling that there are somewhat different priorities and approaches to community issues and school issues the "working" community faces than the "learning" community.

    As to your second point, as I stated above we are working to bring in other people and will update everyone when we have more news on that front.

  12. on a similar topic: what happend to moshe montag? was he kicked off his party?

  13. this weeks chadash claims it to be undecided as of yet. SGreenberg was given the top spot. and no spot was given to Montag, but they are deciding how to place him. His status right now, according to chadash, has been left open. Even though he is my neighbor (not that that ever did anything for me), I have no more info at this point in time.

  14. do you need to register to vote? since we are in RBS only one year, we are a bit lost regarding the voting procedures...

    please advise!
    (we would like to vote for Lerner. that should be an incentive for you to advise us here LOL)

  15. anon - you do not need to register, but you need to make sure your teudat zehut is registered in Bet Shemesh. If your listed address is an apartment previously lived in in another city, such as Jerusalem, you cannot vote in bet Shemesh until the address in the tz is changed.

  16. Does Life In Israel officially endorse Tov?

    A note for the TOV representative: while your play on words gets great attention among the natives, for us transplants we may just scratch our heads and wonder "what is that?" Don't be afraid to add some English subtitles when posting signs in Ramat Alef.

  17. thanks Rafi - our tz lists Bet Shemesh so we are good to go (came last summer from Brooklyn)

  18. Akiva - LII is not endorsing any party, at this point at least. It is way too early in the election season for that.

    That being said, a number of people involved in TOV are friends of mine and I am happy to help them, especially because I like what I so far hear and see from them.

  19. Rafi: you are missing a golden opportunity: you write clearly and concisely; you layout the issues without prejudice and malice; you have a grasp on the halachot and the meaning of Torah; it is time you stand up to at the plate and make your observations and analyses available to a wider audience as writer. Publish!!!!

  20. Akiva - I should add to my comment, which I thought was clear but then I thought maybe it is not necessarily understood, that TOV only just started their public campaign. While so far I like what I hear, it is not yet enough for an endorsement.

    Over the next few days and weeks I am sure TOV will let us all know what their plans are, what they will try to accomplish (and how), and why we should vote for them rather then the party we would otherwise have voted for until now.

    They very well might get my endorsement (if it is worth anything is a different issue), but first we have to hear the issues, and I think the most important indicator is peoples questions and their answers.

  21. The truth is when i saw those Tov signs around town I thought Birkat Rachel/Zol Po/Alef/Yesh had changed it's name again to "Tov.

    If I'm not mistaken "Yihiye Tov" was the campaign slogan for the Ichud Haleumi in one of the previous general elections.

  22. Why was there only a mention of getting representatives in the Ramah? Don't they intend on representing ALL of Bet Shemesh? I live in Givat Saviyon and I don't think I'd vote for a party that thinks Bet Shemesh consists only of Ramat Bet Shemesh Aleph.

  23. "Stone"-
    I think the letter clearly states Bet Shemesh and Ramat Bet Shemesh. We of course want to represent anyone who feels they fit our target audience, regardless of geographic location . :)

  24. Rafi I find the discourse regarding the differences between Tov and Chen enlightening however inaccurate.
    Tov came to life when I introduced Chanoch Verdiger of Pagi to Elie Friedman in an attempt to strengthen the "working" charedi and charedi leumi camps.
    For reasons not relevant to BeiT Shemeshh and more directly relating to an inner war within Degel hatorah camps they decided to go without chen as we were percieved as Mizruchnick and not pure Charedi.
    In Chen we did away with the destructive barriers that divide our community and represented all equally.
    It is equally dishonest of Tov to claim that the Anglos were not represented before as I personally spent many hours and evenings working with Mendy Newman to resolve issues that he and fellow residents in Sun Gardens were experiencing.
    The parallels in the Chen platform and Tov are a result of the Tov ancestry ie Chen.


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