Jerusalem deputy mayor leads historic female-led party for municipal elections

"Ometz Lev seeks to promote female leadership, transparency, sustainability and religious tolerance in Jerusalem," says Tsur.

Naomi Tsur 370 (photo credit: DANIEL K. EISENBUD)
Naomi Tsur 370
(photo credit: DANIEL K. EISENBUD)
Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur’s new Ometz Lev Party, which is in the running for the Jerusalem City Council, is looking to be the capital’s first viable political party led primarily by women in an arena traditionally dominated by men.
According to recent estimates, Ometz Lev is likely to win four of the council’s 31 seats in next Tuesday’s elections.
Tsur said Tuesday that her party was heralding a “revolutionary movement for the championing of female leadership” in a city where the exclusion of women in the religious and political sectors has become a prominent issue.
“Our uniqueness is not that we are a party with a women’s agenda, but rather, we are a group of women leaders who will serve all the people of this great city,” said Tsur. “Our diverse members have incredible records of pushing the bounds, and we are thrilled to bring our collective experience together for the sake of Jerusalem.”
Indeed, eight of the 10 candidates on the party’s list are women who represent a crosssection of the country’s religious and cultural sectors.
Alongside Tsur – an environmental leader who has served as deputy mayor since 2008 – party members include Massada Porat, the first ultra-Orthodox woman to run for city council; Yaffa Sahalo, an Ethiopian immigrant; Susan Silverman, a reform rabbi and progressive local leader; and Yossi Abramowitz, one of the world’s leading solar innovators.
Tsur said Ometz Lev’s platform included four primary goals for the capital: female leadership, government transparency and public participation, environmental responsibility and sustainability, and increased cooperation between the secular and religious communities.
“Women constitute half of the population and should be so represented in leadership positions,” she said. “We call on Jerusalem voters to take pride in this revolution and to join it.”
She added that she was sanguine about Ometz Lev’s odds in the upcoming election.
“We are geared to win four seats, but with growing local enthusiasm and nationwide backing, we are ready to surprise,” she said.