Featured Post

Free The Hostages! Bring Them Home!

(this is a featured post and will stay at the top for the foreseeable future.. scroll down for new posts) -------------------------------...

Jul 29, 2013

Why Aliza?

As in all previous election campaigns, despite my supporting a specific candidate, Eli Cohen in this case, for mayor of Bet Shemesh, I invite the public to write articles in support of the candidate they support and I will be happy to post them.

A Guest Post by Matan Bloch, supporting Aliza Bloch for mayor

The upcoming elections in Beit Shemesh are critically important for the future of the city. After years of mismanagement and a failure of the city to “grow up” and come of age in terms of the levels of services provided to the citizens and standards of governance, we have a unique opportunity of unity of the religious Zionist and secular communities. There is a will and determination to get it right and put one candidate forward who will be charged with turning the city around. There is a true feeling that this is our last chance to get it right and everything is resting on who gets the vote in next week’s phone survey and becomes the one candidate against Moshe Abutbul.

What is it that we need for Beit Shemesh? I think that what we need can be split into two categories.
In terms of administration, Beit Shemesh is in a mess. Years of incorrect priorities and inaction have left us with a city where citizens are not receiving the services they need and infrastructure, public building and standards of maintenance are lagging way behind where they should be. Beit Shemesh has one of the lowest levels of financial lay-out per student in the country. Arts, sports, culture, transportation, sources of employment, health, I could go on. Beit Shemesh is uniquely located in the geographic center of the country surrounded by one of the most beautiful areas in the country. We have excellent people here, we have all we need to succeed. Except the leadership that can make the difference.

On top of this we have the complication of the large Haredi population that appears to be at odds with the desire of most of veterans and non Haredi newcomers to push Beit Shemesh forward and make it the thriving city that we want it to be. I say “appears” because this does not need to be a zero sum battle. Many of the Haredi population stand to benefit and also want to see these changes.

We need a strong and competent administration and more than that, as in “Sur MeRa’ ‘Aseh Tov”, we need an administration with vision to propel the city forward and give hope and optimism to stem the steady flow of people who are getting up and leaving what seems to them to be a sinking ship.

And here is the second side. Whoever takes the reins of the city will need vision, people skills and determination to get people to start believing again that there is hope for this city.

With all due respect to both candidates, neither of them has ever managed, led and turned around the fortunes of a city. A city is not a commercial or even a public service company however large, and neither is it a school. Eli Cohen has held senior management positions in both the Jewish Agency (director of Aliya and Klita) and in Mekorot (VP of administration). Aliza has under her belt the initiation and setting up of a program and network of snifim of Bnei Akiva for Ethiopian immigrants and of course setting up and running the Branco Weiss school in Beit Shemesh.

This school she started almost from zero in a climate of low expectations. Many of her students were write-offs before they had even started school. However Aliza would not take “no” as an answer and she refused to bow to the naysayers who could not believe that she had a chance of success. Through her vision, determination and leadership she managed to turn around the fortunes of the school and built it up from a small middle-school to become the largest educational institution in Beit Shemesh and handling the merger into Branco Weiss of Beit Shemesh’s other secular high school (Scheiber). The school under leadership became a prize winning institution with high matriculation exam results and many students going on to academic, professional and personal success. This she did with limited help from the local authority, circumventing bureaucracy and incompetence and going directly both to the relevant government offices as well as to industry leaders to sponsor projects and help her fulfill her vision.

Throughout her career, Aliza has shown an outstanding ability to set goals, lead change and realize vision. She knows how to take hard decisions and how to withstand pressures. She has unique experience of creating a turnaround success story here within the Beit Shemesh municipal environment. She is widely respected in all quarters of the city, she knows the city intimately with all its varied populations - from the families of her students with their very varied backgrounds, through the traditional and religious and Haredi communities where she has personal close ties with a number of Haredi leaders.

It was because of this unique combination of abilities, familiarity and respect that she has across the city, that when Ilan Geal Dor set up the “Round Table” initiative after the fights over the Orot Girls School, he turned to her to sit in the group as a representative not of the religious but of the secular public.

However, most importantly, she has shown that she knows how to get people to identify with her and with her vision and to go with her the whole way with her in order to achieve it. I am of the opinion that if we want to achieve a vision for our city, Aliza Bloch is the leader we need.

Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel


  1. Do Cohen and Bloch differ on any of the "issues" (whatever they are - what are they?) or is it just a question of who we think would better be able to run the city?

  2. good question. I have not heard Aliza Bloch speak about "the issues" other than her ability to work with the haredim and the need to build new neighborhoods for everyone, so i do not know. on the issues of what needs to be done (rather than how or prioritizing), they seem to be pretty similar - infrastructure needs to be upgraded, city needs to be cleaned better education, , etc. Aliza's big banner seems to be raising expectations - not settling for low quality just because thats the way it always was.

    any aliza supporters out there know where she stands on any issues and what she plans to do?

  3. is the question "who we think would better be able to run the city" or "who we think would better be able to win the elections against abutbul"?

    1. both questions are valid.

      However, there is no point in just replacing Abutbol. Th epurpose in replacing him is to have someone who can run the city properly, better than Abutbol has.

      If you think neither will be better than Abutbol, support Abutbol. If you think one will be better than Abutbol, and the other will not, support that one or support Abutbol. Your specific question is valid, but only if you believe that both of the 2 candidates, Eli Cohen and Aliza Bloch, will be better than Abutbol. I happen to believe that, but not everybody does (I did not believe it about all the candidates, but the others dropped out anyway. I do believe it about both Eli and Aliza, though I think Eli is the better of the 2 candidates for both perspectives of your question)


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...