The Kiryat Menachem area of Yerushalayim is indeed an up-and-coming chareidi neighborhood but the secular majority is not entirely pleased with the rapidly changing demographic realities.
While many neighborhood residents are uninterested in the change, preferring to permit their new neighbors to carry on with their lifestyle, some insist the ‘chareidi-azation’ of the area is leading to a change that is intolerable and they plan to step up protests as a result. This coming Shabbos, protests against the Shomer Shabbos residents are planned. The neighborhood council is also seeking to hire the services of an attorney, disappointed with the mediocre response from Jerusalem City Hall, explaining they feel abandoned as their neighborhood is being stolen out from under them.
Opponents the chareidi residents explain the same thing occurred in neighboring Kirya Yovel, and they do not plan to sit back while their lives are overrun by the new community residents.
Neighbors accuse City Hall of turning a blind eye, insisting a year ago, a daycare center for the chareidi community opened, serving 15 children. Secularists insist they never obtained the necessary permits to run the center, while today, enrolment has reached 60 children.
Secularist Councilman Papo Allalo is working tenaciously to enlist the support of the Jerusalem legal staff to halt what he calls the illegal actions of the chareidim in Kiryat Menachem, who are setting up illegal daycare centers and minyanim in residential buildings, lacking permits and authorization for such facilities.
In a formal response, Jerusalem City Hall released a statement that the complaints are being examined by the legal officials and appropriate action will be taken as needed.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)