When Nir Barkat was elected mayor of Jerusalem, he talked about long-term projects, such as his desire to hold elections for new chief rabbis in the city after almost 12 years without one. In fact, Barkat wanted to go for one chief rabbi, instead of the mandatory Ashkenazi and Sephardi rabbis.

That idea was dropped, but Barkat decided that if it had to be two rabbis, Jerusalem should have at least one Zionist chief rabbi. (For the past few decades, all chief rabbis of the capital have been haredim.)

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