The Tov Party, a moderate ultra-Orthodox political movement, officially submitted its list of candidates for election to the Jerusalem Municipal Council on Monday, the first time it has contested city polls in the capital.
Hanoch Verdinger, the national chairman of the Tov Party, is at the top of the list, with several other party officials named as candidates for election to city hall.
Tov was established some seven years ago to provide a political alternative for members of the haredi public who are integrated to a greater extent in Israeli society and work force than the rest of the ultra- Orthodox sector.
The party already has one representative on the Beit Shemesh Municipal Council and another in Betar Illit, and is to be fielding candidates for the first time in Elad and Emanuel in the October elections.
Tov believes that it will increase its municipal representation to between 10 and 13 council members in the five cities it is contesting in the coming polls.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Verdinger said that the increasing strength of the Tov movement was a growing phenomenon driven by a sector of the haredi public that wanted different issues addressed than that of the traditional ultra-Orthodox community.
“The regular haredi issues are still our issues, but we also seek to address issues relating to the quality of the local environment, public spaces, transport and similar concerns which aren’t currently being addressed,” he said.
Verdinger has spoken frequently of the need for haredi representatives to help members of the community with entry to higher education courses, integration into the labor force and assistance with issues that may arise from performing IDF or civilian services, issues that he says are not adequately addressed by the haredi political parties.