City of God

Halevi, Yossi Klein
September 2003
New Republic;9/29/2003, Vol. 229 Issue 13, p14
Ask Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski about the consequences for the ultra-Orthodox community of the bus bombing that killed 23 of its people and wounded dozens more several weeks ago, and he'll tell you how difficult it is to treat the wounded from all the terrorist attacks and how impressed he is by the determination of all the city's residents. What he doesn't tell you is how he, as Jerusalem's first ultra-Orthodox -- or haredi -- mayor, coped with the worst tragedy ever to hit Israel's haredi community. Lupolianski's point is that he's the mayor of everyone, not just the haredim. Recently, when he accompanied New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Hadassah University Hospital to visit children wounded in the bus attack, he stood to the side as photographers recorded Bloomberg's interaction with patients; only when journalists left did Lupolianski approach the children and hand out gifts. Nationally, the rise of the anti-haredi Shinui Party, the exclusion of haredi parties from Ariel Sharon's coalition government, and imminent cutbacks in child allowances for large families threaten haredi males' ability to study Torah full-time rather than work at normal jobs. And he has worked behind the scenes with leading rabbis to stop haredi rioting against Sabbath traffic on Bar-Ilan Street, long Jerusalem's most contentious secular-haredi flash point.


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