Lapid appeals to religious Zionists with new recruits

“Yesh Atid is the place where Israeli society can unite,” Lapid said at the event.

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid began an effort to seek religious Zionist voters on Wednesday night, when he officially announced that two young leaders from the community were joining the party and will be on its list for the next Knesset.
Lapid made the announcement at a Sukkot event in Kfar Etzion about Jewish unity. The event took place at the home of Moshe (Kinley) Tur-Paz, who is joining the party along with Tehila Friedman.
“Yesh Atid is the place where Israeli society can unite,” Lapid said at the event. “Israel is in the midst of a battle over its values. Tehila Friedman and Moshe (Kinley) Tur-Paz are important and influential voices, not only in religious Zionism but in Israeli society.”
Lapid said Friedman and Tur-Paz were “a great addition to Yesh Atid” and that the party is “a natural home for those who care about religion and state.”
Tur-Paz was until recently the director-general of the Jerusalem Education Authority. He was born to British parents who had made aliyah in the 1950s, while they were emissaries in Philadelphia. He spent part of his childhood in England when they were emissaries again. His father was a senior official at the Jewish Agency in Israel.
Tur-Paz, 46, wrote on Facebook that he joined Yesh Atid because it supports moderation on matters of religion and state, and because he wanted to work to improve the education system on a national level.
Until her announcement that she was entering politics, Friedman was co-chair of Ne’emanei Torah Ve’Avodah, a liberal religious-Zionist lobbying group. Her resume includes experience at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Shaharit think tank, Kolot Center for Jewish Leadership and the Mandel Leadership Institute. She directed the Israel office of the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey, was a grant officer at the Rothschild Foundation, and was an adviser to Natan Sharansky when he was a cabinet minister.
Friedman wrote on her Facebook page that she was entering politics to make Israeli society and Judaism more inclusive, tolerant, helpful and connected. She said that after spending a lot of time with Lapid, she believes in him.
“My drive is my deep faith that the continued existence of the miraculous Jewish-democratic state we live in depends on healing the internal rifts in our society without whitewashing our different identities,” she wrote. “Only my path will change.”
Former Central New Jersey Federation head Stanley Stone said Friedman was an excellent representative for the Jewish Federation of Central NJ and Greater MetroWest.
"She is smart and articulate," Stone said. "She represents 21st century Zionism in her idealism and passion for insuring a fair, just and  compassionate society for Israelis. In addition she  values the role of diaspora Jewry and works hard to build strong reciprocal relationships."