Deputy Mayor Shmulik Greenberg (Degel Hatorah) sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu this past week, in which he outlined the inadequacies of the Bet Shemesh fire department, in light of the attention being given to the issue nationally. According to the Jewish National Fund, the forests in the region under the responsibility of the Bet Shemesh Fire Department (the city, Mateh Yehuda, Mevaseret Tzion, Abu Gosh, and Kiryat Yearim) holds 30% of the country's forest land. And yet, the station has less than 50% of the fire trucks mandated for that much land and an area with a population of around 200,000 residents and most of the trucks are 20-25 years old with no new acquisitions in the last 12 years. Greenberg asked the Prime Minister to please take the Bet Shemesh region into account in any restructuring, upgrades, and general changes made in the wake of the
BET SHEMESH DELEGATION TO THE NORTH
Bet Shemesh made a significant contribution to the effort in the North during the terrible
fires. Twenty eight firemen from the local station travelled to the Carmel Carmel where they fought the fires alongside firemen from , communicating mostly in sign language since only one of the Bulgarian firemen knew English. Aside from firemen and equipment, Rabbi Yehuda Medizadeh, head of the local religious council, led a small delegation which travelled to lift the spirits of those who were evacuated from their homes, leading them in song and dance for Chanukah and giving out sweets to the children. Bulgaria
NO TRAIN SERVICE THIS WEEK
Israel trains has announced that there will be no train service from the Bet Shemesh train station starting today and continuing through and including next Thursday, December 16th, due to construction to upgrade the service south of Tel Aviv. Shuttles will be provided to the Modiin station and the trains leaving from Modiin will include extra cars to accommodate the passengers from Bet Shemesh.
ETHIOPIANS GATHER TO GET ORGANIZED AND DEMAND RIGHTS
More than 300 Ethiopian olim gathered this week to unify the different sects and begin working together to demand their rights. The gathering was organized by a group of well educated and talented Ethiopian young adults who started a group called "Masala" which means "role model." Ethiopian attorney and local resident, Emmanuel Hadna, has emerged as a leader and unifier in the community and the firm that he works for, under the direction of Bentzi Hacohen, even offered its services and offices as a free service for the community's efforts. Within a day of the gathering, city workers contacted Emmanuel to find out how they can be of help - clearly indicating that the gathering was a tremendous success.
OPEN PHONE LINE WITH THE MAYOR
Mayor Abutbol will be available to take phone calls from city residents this coming Sunday morning between 10:00a.m. and 11:00a.m. People who want to speak to the Mayor should begin calling 990-9841 at 9:00a.m. He will also have the city manager and department heads with him on the phone lines.
CULTURE HALL TO BE BUILT IN MIGDAL HAMAYIM
The tensions over the proposed culture hall in Migdal Hamayim have been settled and the center will be built in the originally planned location between Nachala Umenucha and the Matnas. The committee established by the Mayor to discuss the center's location, led by city councilman Richard Peres (Labor), met with representatives of the Nachala Umenucha community who had problems with the plans and worked out a compromise in which the building will be moved 20 meters further north, to distance it a bit further from Nachala Umenucha. This change in plans will cost tens of thousands of shekalim but will not alter the timeline for the center's construction. The tender process to award the project to a contractor will begin shortly.
BET SHEMESH IS OFFICIALLY 60 YEARS OLD
The 27th of Kislev marked the 60th anniversary of the arrival of families from
Poland and Armenia to the Har Tuv area which began the formal settlement of this region, eventually developing into the city of . A worker from the Jewish Agency brought these families bread and milk and they lived under very difficult conditions. Over time immigrants from all over the world began moving to the region and "the rest is history." Bet Shemesh
ANOTHER ARREST IN RBS RELATING TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
In the third such case in as many months, another Anglo man has been arrested in Ramat Bet Shemesh Aleph under suspicion of child sex abuse. A 29 year old American tourist was recently arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15 year old girl, and two teenage boys. According to Walla news-service, the man's custody was extended to enable the police to further investigate.
Beyond the published information, the man is apparently from
, and he was lodging with an anglo family on Nahal SoreK. The alleged incidents apparently took place in the Brooklyn, NY and in the host family's apartment. Ayalon Park
This follows the arrest two months ago of another English speaking RBS resident, on Nachal Dolev, in connection with multiple allegations of sex crimes against local children. That resident was released to house-arest.
In an earlier case, around Sukkot, an English speaking resident of Ramat Bet Shemesh was arrested under allegations of sexually abusing several minors. The man was placed under house arrest during the police investigation.
All three cases are now under active police investigation.
If you have any information which can assist the police with these or any other suspicions of child abuse, please call the Bet Shemesh police (9902222); you can also contact Magen, the new Child Protection Organization in Bet Shemesh/RBS, for information and practical advice about Child Abuse: MagenProtects@gmail.com.