(photo credit: REUTERS)
■ Congregants attending Shabbat afternoon services at the Oreita Synagogue in Bnei Brak were shocked to discover that work was being carried out at a nearby municipal kindergarten. According to a report on the Kikar Hashabbat website, this was not the first time that workers have violated the Sabbath in the largely haredi city. Bnei Brak Mayor Hanoch Zeibart has come in for severe criticism over this and other public violations of Shabbat and festivals and has attempted to divert the blame elsewhere.■ Almost 70 years since the establishment of the state, many ethnic differences remain unresolved. Certain Ashkenazi schools refuse to accept Sephardi pupils, and the media continue to make a big deal out of major achievements by members of Sephardi communities, focusing on their Sephardi rather than their Israeli identities, as if they had succeeded despite their backgrounds. This is a form of inverted racism that provokes separatism.