Bet Shemesh Weekly News

By Rabbi Dov Lipman

The local magazine, Shopping Mekomi, commissioned a poll to get a sense for the city's satisfaction with the local government upon the completion of Mayor Abutbol's second year in office, with an eye towards the elections in 3 years as well. The questions were asked to samples in all of the city's communities. The following is a brief summary of the results: 

1)Are you satisfied with the education in the city:
Not satisfied at all - 15 % Satisfied - 6.7%
Not satisfied - 21.7% Very satisfied - 10%
Somewhat satisfied - 46.7%

2)Are you satisfied with city's cultural programs:
Not satisfied at all - 48.7% Satisfied - 10%
Not satisfied - 11.7% Very satisfied - 10%
Somewhat satisfied - 21.7%

3)Are you satisfied with the city's youth programs:
Not satisfied at all- 61.7% Satisfied - 6.7%
Not satisfied - 11.7% Very satisfied - 0%
Somewhat satisfied - 20%

4)Are you satisfied with commerce/shopping in the city:
Not satisfied at all - 16.7% Satisfied - 15%
Not satisfied - 11.7% Very satisfied - 10%
Somewhat satisfied - 36.7%

5)Are you satisfied with the Shefa department - in charge of city cleanliness:
Not satisfied at all - 23.3% Satisfied - 20%
Not satisfied - 31.7% Very satisfied - 6.7%
Somewhat satisfied - 18.3%

6)Do you feel that Mayor Abutbol and his administration represents you?
Not at all - 23.3% It does - 10%
It doesn't - 16.75 It does a lot - 13.3%It does a little - 23.3%

7)If elections were held today with the same candidates as in 2008, who would you vote for?
Dani Vaknin - 23.3% Moshe Abutbol - 31.7%
Shalom Lerner - 26.7% None of them - 18.3%

8)Would you vote for any other of these city officials for Mayor today:
Deputy Mayor Dovid Viner (Agudah) - 1.7%
Head of the Religious Council Yehuda Meduzadeh (Shas) - 3.3%
Deputy Mayor Shmulik Greenberg (Degel Hatorah) - 13.3 %
City Councilman Richard Peres (Labor) - 13.3%
City Councilman Motti Cohen (Dor Acher) - 23.3%
City Councilman Jacky Edri (B'yachad) - 10%
Deputy Mayor Meir Balayish (Dor Acher) - 3.3%
City Councilman Natan Sheetrit (Likud) - 1.7%
City Councilman Moshe Montag (Degel HaTorah) - 6.7%
None of the above - 23.3%

The weekend burglaries in Bet Shemesh institutions continued with the RBS Matnas and Beit Sefer Ahavat Yisrael last week and Tipat Chalav Eden in RBS and Bet Sefer Adayahu this past week.  The burglars broke locks and vending machines, went through many drawers and stole money at Ahavat Yisrael while also walking away with money and leaving behind damaged equipment and doors at the Matnas.  The Tipat Chalav and Adayahu are protected by security companies who responded immediately to the break in and the burglars ran off immediately before causing any damage. 
I have started a petition which we are sending to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Internal Security demanding that the government provide the Bet Shemesh station with more officers and cars since the chief has openly said that his current number of officers and cars are not enough to tackle the recent crime wave.  Please go to  to sign the petition.

The thief who posed as a person working for the water company was apprehended by police in Modiin.  The man, who robbed houses throughout Bet Shemesh in broad daylight after being let freely into homes, was transferred to the Bet Shemesh police and numerous victims identified him in line ups.  He is being held in jail throughout the judicial proceedings against him. 


The city government has decided to take legal action against illegal construction and additions, especially on Nahar Yarden.  One resident has been issued a 60,000 NIS fine and was given an order to take down his 160 meter addition, while another was jailed for two months and fined 24,000 NIS for failing to comply with an order to take down an addition.   


Klemo Buznach, who has served as the head of the education department in Bet Shemesh for the last 13 years is resigning from his position.  The resignation will go into effect at the end of March, at which point the search will begin for a new department head. 

The parents of Gan Anfa on Nachal Dolev in RBS have been furious since the start of the school year over the construction of a shul on top of the gan with ongoing construction during gan hours.  City officials, including the Mayor and city councilman Jacky Edri, met with the kablan and the parents and an agreement has been reached allowing for internal construction during gan hours but no external work during those hours. 


A petition has been started to confront the lack of parking at the Bet Shemesh train station.  It calls for Mayor Abutbol to find a solution to the problem and for the owners of BIG to allow train passengers to park in the BIG parking lot.  It also calls out the city for finding a way for the circus to take place in the lot where the new BIG will be built but not allowing parking there.  The petition will be available for signatures at the train station itself in the near future. 


The city's religious council has organized a gathering for all shul gabaim and leaders of religious organizations.  The event is taking place on Thursday, November 25 at 6:45p.m. in the Chesed L'Avraham hall at Sfat Emet 1.    If you did not receive an invitation and want to attend, you can fax the shul/organization name, your name, and your mailing address to 999-4935 and an invitation will be mailed to you.
Residents of the Rechov Hagefen neighborhood of Bet Shemesh, including hundreds of Ethiopians, will be protesting at this coming Sunday's city council meeting to demand that the Mayor spend money on improving their quality of life.  The national government has sent 18 million NIS to the city to spend on older neighborhoods in return for the construction of RBS Gimmel and these residents want to make sure that the money is used for its designation.  They welcome the support of residents of other neighborhoods outside City Hall this coming Sunday at 5:30p.m. 


  1. David,

    The formatting of this post does not allow one to see the right side of it - the "frames" of the post and of the side (where links are listed) overlap. Can you please correct? Thank you.

  2. Thank you for pointing this out.
    Better now?


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