Jerusalem’s front line

The ongoing battle over the changing religious character of the capital is being fought on the ground – in Kiryat Hayovel.

February 25, 2016 15:38
Greater Kiryat Hayovel

Greater Kiryat Hayovel. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

At Kiryat Hayovel’s small commercial center last Thursday morning, a few people stepped out of the supermarket holding bags, while at the nearby Fresh coffee shop specializing in French (and delicious) pastry, some of the regular customers were already enjoying the unusually warm, sunny winter day by sitting outside and sipping coffee.

Beyond the shade of the small public garden facing Fresh, a young man in haredi garb, holding a small child by the hand, seemed in a hurry as he passed near two teenage girls seated on a bench, without apparently taking any notice of their revealing outfits. Asked if any minimarkets are open in the area on Shabbat, Fresh’s owner said, “You think it’s not complicated enough already here?” A few minimarkets in the city center and a decade-long struggle over the character of Kiryat Hayovel, a large neighborhood far from that city center, are at the focus of a new period of tension between secular and pluralistic residents, on the one hand, and the haredi sector and its representatives on the city council, on the other.


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