It’s Official: Mrs. Edna Bar-Shalom, Daughter of Maran R’ Ovadia Announces Her Own Party

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Mrs. Adina Bar-Shalom, the eldest daughter of Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L has officially established her new party, “Achi Yisraeli” (אחי ישראלי), My Israeli Brother. Bar Shalom submitted a request to register the party. Among the founders is the head of the Yerucham Local Council, Michael Biton.

Among the goals of the party are: “A new political home based on a politics of common good – moderation, mutual respect and the pursuit of agreement.”

It also stated that the party was intended to “promote coexistence in Israel, as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state, to allow the different the different kehillos to preserve their identity in recognition of the other, mutual respect and adherence to non-coercion.”

The party, headed by Bar-Shalom, also claims to set an agenda for peace with the Palestinians: “We will act proactively to advance the peace agreement and arrangements for ending the conflict with our neighbors, while understanding the need for compromise on both sides.”

Bar-Shalom served as a member of the Shas Women’s Council after the death of her father ZT”L, but eventually resigned and launched an attack on the party.

She has signaled a desire to start her own party for years, but refrained from doing so while Maran was alive, persuaded by Shas leadership it would hurt the party, and as such, conceded to settle for heading the women’s council. She is well known in Israel in many camps and credited with starting the first chareidi college for women, in 2001, with a bracha from Maran.

The 73-year-old Bar-Shalom is married to Rabbi Ezra Bar-Shalom, a prominent talmid chacham and dayan, and they live in Ramat Aviv. The rav is a former Av Beis Din in Tel Aviv.

Her political view leans to the left, and in 2011 she signed a petition calling for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and has expressed support with returning to the pre-1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian State with the eastern capital serving as the capital of that state.

She received an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University in 2013, and selected by Nashim Magazine of Makor Rishon, in 2013, as one of the 20 most influential religious women in Israel.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)