Rechovot Elects its First Chareidi Mayor


malulRachamim Malul beat Uzi Salant by about 843 votes yesterday to capture the mayoralty of the city of Rechovot, becoming the first-ever chareidi mayor of the town. Malul received the endorsement of the Kretchnifer Rebbe, whose Chassidim cast about 1,500 votes for Malul. Following the victory, Malul visited the home of the Kretchnifer Rebbe, where he was greeted and congratulated.

Considering the fact that the race was extremely close, with a difference of less than 1,000 votes between the two, the support of Kretchnif is being looked at as the clincher.

The past weeks had seen much ink spilled on the local Rechovot elections, with heated debates and rumors regarding the various candidates.

Rechovot is a mostly secular city with a population of over 100,000 people.

According to numbers from 2007, the city ranked 7th out of 10 economically. According to data, more than 20% of local residents are immigrants, mostly from the Former Soviet Union, Ethiopia and Yemen.

At the house of the Kretchnifer Rebbe, Malul said, “Already a year ago, the Rebbe said, ‘Run [for office]…I am with you.’ I’m very grateful for the support.

“Some threw their support behind another candidate – but the Rebbe told me to strive for unity.”

{Yair Israel}