This week in Jerusalem: Orange is coming

A weekly round-up of city affairs.

 RECYCLING: WHEREFORE the orange bins? (Illustrative) (photo credit: Pawel Czerwinski/Unsplash)
RECYCLING: WHEREFORE the orange bins? (Illustrative)
(photo credit: Pawel Czerwinski/Unsplash)

Orange is coming 

It took a few years, but finally the municipality is installing orange recycling bins. It will take a few months, but about 2,000 bins will be on the street, equipped with volume sensors made in cooperation with the Tamir recycling corporation. 

The first 100 containers will be gradually placed in Nahalot, Sha’arei Chesed, Makor Baruch, the city center, Givat Mordechai, Nayot, Mahaneh Yisrael, the German Colony, Kiryat Shmuel, Talbiyeh, Rasco, Pisgat Ze’ev, Bayit Vagan, Yaffe Nof, Mishkenot Ha’uma, Har Nof, Kiryat Moshe, Malcha, Givat Massua, Ramat Denia, Kiryat Hayovel, Ir Ganim, Old Katamon, the Katamonim, Gilo, Har Homa, Armon Hanatziv, Arnona, Givat Shaul and Talpiot. 

In parallel, the municipality, in cooperation with Tamir, will hold enriching and experiential activities for the city’s residents and students, focusing on the importance of recycling. 

Mayor Moshe Lion pledged that within five years about 90% of city households will have access to an orange recycling container. He called on the city’s residents to transform Jerusalem into a “green city” through recycling. At this stage, no orange bins are being placed on the eastern part of the city. 

 JERUSALEM MAYOR Moshe Lion: Every day brings joy and excitement. (credit: ARNON BOSSANI) JERUSALEM MAYOR Moshe Lion: Every day brings joy and excitement. (credit: ARNON BOSSANI)

Against and against

Sephardi haredi parents have petitioned the district court, claiming that a municipality order is blocking the registration of their daughters in Ashkenazi seminaries in the city. According to the petition, the reason they are being blocked involves a promise made to Shas president Arye Deri to recruit female students for Haketer, a new Sephardi educational institution that has opened in the city. 

Deri’s office stated that he is not involved in placing girls in seminaries. However, the parents are adamant that this happened due to his influence on the Shas city council members. The petition to the district court, submitted last week, is against the municipality, the Education Ministry, and several seminaries throughout the city. 

The parents’ main claim is that the municipality is blocking the path of the petitioners’ daughters (all of whom are entering ninth grade) from enrolling in a suitable Jerusalem seminary according to their choice. As a result, the girls remain at home. 

According to the parents, the situation is the result of Deri’s promotion of the new Haketer Sephardi seminary, which according to the petitioners, was opened with his involvement. The petitioners added that the municipality distributed a list of dozens of girls entering the ninth grade to the city’s seminary directors, instructing them to refuse to accept these students and instead direct them to Haketer.

Regarding the budgets, the petition claimed that “the municipality committed to one of the established seminaries to transfer budgets to it for the opening of another class that will include about 30 female students, but this move did not come to fruition.” According to the petition, a senior official in the municipality explained that the Shas officials did not approve that additional budgets be directed to Ashkenazi seminaries and demanded that these budgets be directed to the new Sephardic seminary. 

The Sephardi parents complained that the heads of Ashkenazi seminaries, which are considered high level, refused to accept girls beyond the 30% allocated for them. Now those seminaries are ready to accept the girls, but according to the parents’ claim, they are prevented from doing so due to the directive from the municipality to refuse to enroll them. 

In and out in the streets 

Residents on Ha’arba Street in Pisgat Ze’ev believed that the noise, dust and discomfort that accompanied the street’s repairs were behind them. But last week they discovered that the nightmare was not over; instead, it was starting all over. 

Municipal workers were once again tearing up the sidewalk that had just recently been paved. According to the residents’ complaints to the municipality, for nearly a year they suffered from noise, dirt and a chopped-up road due to infrastructure works; they had to park far from home in an area where parking is hard to find. 

They agreed to suffer, expecting that by the end of the work they would enjoy a new, comfortable road and safe sidewalk. “Our expectations were not realized. Instead of a quiet and peaceful time, we woke up again to noise and discomfort, as well as to the danger of road works,” they complained.

According to the residents, the contractors forgot to put an irrigation pipe intended for vegetation in the street, which necessitated that the sidewalks be dismantled once again. Some residents claimed that the area where the works were carried out was not adequately fenced and marked, which could have caused injury to passersby, including many disabled people who cannot walk in the street. They also pointed out the vast amount of money wasted as a result. According to the municipality, the contractor absorbed the cost of the work at his own expense, as requested.

Falling down, down, down

Jerusalem fell back to the socioeconomic ranking of two – the lowest according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, which last Wednesday published its economic and social index for 2019. According to that important index, Jerusalem recorded a drop from its previous number three ranking to number two. 

The municipality maintains that the calculation method is unfair because it does not take into account the complex makeup of the city’s various sectors, with its unique demographic population. The 2019 socio-economic index reflects the capital’s one million residents who are generally poorer and weaker. With its number two ranking, Jerusalem remains among the poorest municipalities in the country. 

The CBS Socio-Economic Index is published once every two years; since it represents the socio-economic situation of 2019, it does not necessarily reflect the situation today. The socio-economic level of the population is measured by combining the basic characteristics of the population in the following areas: demographic composition, education and lifestyle level, employment and pensions. These are all based on sources from the CBS, National Insurance; the finance, defense, transportation and education ministries; and the Population Registry. 

Other large cities – such as Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa, Petah Tikva and Ashdod – are ranked much higher than Jerusalem. Tel Aviv ranks as number eight and Haifa as seven.

Lone, but giving thanks

Lone male and female soldiers who hail from the US participated in a Thanksgiving dinner at Nefesh B’Nefesh’s office in Jerusalem; four additional holiday meals were held across the country for hundreds of US immigrants. 

Last Thursday’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner at NBN attracted 300 single men and women serving in the IDF. It was held at NBN’s initiative, in conjunction with the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces organization, the Uri program for single women soldiers, and the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin organization. 

The holiday meal featured traditional Thanksgiving delicacies, which were served by dozens of volunteers. ❖