Aliza Bloch

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Aliza Bloch
עליזה בלוך 1.jpg
Mayor of Beit Shemesh
Assumed office
November 2018
Preceded byMoshe Abutbul
Personal details
Born1967
NationalityIsrael
Spouse(s)Aharon Bloch
ResidenceBeit Shemesh
Alma materBar Ilan

Aliza Bloch (born 1967) is an Israeli educator and politician. In 2018, she became the first female mayor of Beit Shemesh.

Early Life[edit]

The daughter of Jewish immigrants from Morocco,[1] Bloch was born in Israel and grew up in Kiryat Gat. She has an undergraduate degree in mathematics as well as a doctorate in education from Bar Ilan University.[2] She was the vice-principal of the Givat Gonen school in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem. She moved to Beit Shemesh with her husband Aharon in 1992 and served as principal of the Branco-Weiss High School there.[3][4]

In 2011, she was awarded the Rothschild Prize in Education.[5]

Politics[edit]

Bloch ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Beit Shemesh in 2013. Five years later, in 2018, she defeated 10-year incumbent mayor Moshe Abutbul by 533 votes.[3] Bloch was widely seen as a dark horse candidate and campaigned on a platform of providing better services and infrastructure in Beit Shemesh. Bloch, a Religious Zionist candidate,[6] pledged to unite and accommodate the city's Haredi, secular, and American oleh populations.[7] Bloch was endorsed by a wide spectrum of Israeli political parties, including Jewish Home, Likud, Labor, Kulanu, and Yesh Atid.[8]

During the summer of 2019, Bloch sustained harsh criticism from the Haredi sector over a spate of illegally-built synagogue demolitions, with workers removing the spray-painted (in Hebrew) slogan "Aliza Bloch = Hitler" from a wall. Other graffiti labeled her a terrorist.[6] On 1 August, a Beit Shemesh synagogue built on Israel Lands Authority property was demolished by the government, with residents blaming the municipality for not interceding enough on their behalf.[9] A few days later, Haredim protested the mistreatment of many families who were ignored in their basic education and religious needs.[10]

Personal Life[edit]

Bloch is married to Aharon Bloch and has four children.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Beit Shemesh's first female mayor wants her city to be a ray of light for Israel". Times of Israel. November 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Tsur, Shlomit (9 Dec 2018). "Beit Shemesh's new mayor prepares for change". Globes. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Women cheered for election victories, but men are still over 95% of mayors". Times of Israel. November 1, 2018.
  4. ^ "First female mayor of Beit Shemesh: There is strength in acceptance, love". Jerusalem Post. November 17, 2018.
  5. ^ "Rothschild Prize in Education". Yad Hanadiv.
  6. ^ a b Staff, . (6 July 2019). "Police, Haredim Scuffle in Beit Shemesh over Graffiti Against Female Mayor". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  7. ^ Halbfinger, David M. (2 November 2018). "Among Israel's Ultra-Orthodox, It's (Sort of) the Year of the Woman". New York Times. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  8. ^ Hoffman, Gil (4 October 2018). "CAN HAREDIM ELECT AN ORTHODOX WOMAN MAYOR IN BEIT SHEMESH?". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  9. ^ Staff, . (6 August 2019). "Tractor Rams Aron Kodesh and Heichal HaBesht Shul in Beit Shemesh and Destroys Them Completely". Hamodia. Retrieved 6 August 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  10. ^ Staff, . (9 August 2019). "VIDEO: Beit Shemesh: 94 Children Without Daycare With About 3 Weeks To School Opening". Yeshiva World News. Retrieved 9 August 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)