Bar Shalom 311.
(photo credit: ADINA BAR SHALOM)
As the Jerusalem Tent City in Gan Hasus (Horse Park) celebrated its one-month
anniversary, tent city organizers met on Wednesday with Rabbanit Adina Bar
Shalom, daughter of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who is part of the alternative panel of
experts offering independent advice to the protest leaders and acting as a
bridge between government channels and the protesters.
“We can’t solve
all of these problems at once, it’s a process,” Bar Shalom told 10 of the
Jerusalem protest leaders. “But if we do nothing, we’ll be in an even worse
situation next year.”
Some leaders expressed skepticism that another
committee could help them affect meaningful change.
“We feel like
committees are just putting things off, it took us four years to get here and we
feel like we’re at a key place, we don’t want to lose this,” said one activist,
Bar Shalom encouraged the leaders to have a little faith, and
added that each tent city should take concrete action by presenting the
alternative panel of experts with a list of 15 specific demands.
alternative panel, including experts in housing, sociology, health, education,
employment, public leadership and legal rights, will be meeting with protest
leaders across the country for an additional month before presenting their
findings to the public and government representatives.
said they didn’t feel like they were connecting with religious and haredi
populations and had trouble convincing them to get them involved in the
“That’s why I’m here,” Bar Shalom answered, and added that if
protesters were really serious about involving the haredi community, they would
need to dress more modestly, including not wearing shorts or tank
One activist named Tomer said he had difficulty accepting haredi
protesters, because the haredi establishment does not give them the education or
the tools they need to succeed financially, condemning them to a life of poverty
that is subsidized by taxes from the middle class.
Bar Shalom countered
that institutions such as her Charedi College worked to put haredim into the
workforce in acceptable frameworks.
She stressed that the best way to
work together is to listen to each side.
“It was a good meeting, she
really came to cooperate and to listen,” Itai Gutler, the head of the student
union at Hebrew University told The Jerusalem Post. He added that her insight
would help the demonstrators reach out to more haredim.
“She’s a way for
us to connect with haredi community,” he said.
“Contrary to the
widelyheld opinion that there’s confusion and everyone wants something
different, they are checking what will work and what won’t, what’s possible to
attain and what’s not,” Bar Shalom told the Post after the meeting.
impossible to do everything at once, but we have to start with something,” she
said. “When we sit and everyone tells what they’ve learned, we will definitely
find the way to solve these problems.”