Seeking Counsel: Rachel Azaria

Seeking Counsel-Rachel-Azaria
The issues of Jerusalem, Israel’s largest city, are obvious to Rachel Azaria, the 35-year-old, religiously identified Jerusalemite who was elected to the Jerusalem City Council three years ago. Young families feel disenfranchised; gender equality is a problem in a city with a sizeable religious population; secular Israelis feel increasingly uncomfortable in an increasingly religious city; there is a lack of affordable and sufficient housing, community services and good schools. In short, the things that people of many ages want and need in order to survive urban life.
One woman can’t answer all the problems and Azaria, a young mother herself, has taken on the needs of young families, with an extensive look at the other pressing issues. She took the Expeditions team (see more about that on the Da’at Facebook page) on a walk through her Jerusalem neighborhood of Gonenim, a community that has been undergoing a major population shift over the last five years, as young families moved in, attracted by the reasonable real estate prices which have since risen.

But, as mentioned, Azaria stands clearly on the side of pluralism and acceptance to all members of Jerusalem society. To her, it’s a matter of social justice that secular Israelis should have cafes that are open on Shabbat, along with community activities to enjoy on weekends. She believes in a city where all should benefit from Jerusalem’s uniqueness, a place where democracy means equality, for all of its residents.

As June turns to July, and the expected summer season of protest once again plays itself out on Jerusalem streets, as well as countrywide, Azaria expects to be in the thick of the conversation. She is concerned that last summer’s discussions continue to be developed further as part of growing a truly caring and community-minded city that answers the needs of all who choose Jerusalem as their home.

Expeditions by Da'at June 27th, 2012 2 Comments Media / People / Political