Why Shas will get my vote – by an Ashkenazi

In this insightful Jerusalem Post article, Ashkenazi academic Shira Leibowitz Schmidt explains why the Sephardi political party Shas will get her vote in the Israeli elections.

“The hopelessness of the Sephardi schoolmates of my children in Beersheba is seared into my memory. I tried to ameliorate their situation by introducing stamp clubs, tennis classes, trips with the Society for the Protection of Nature – all very Ashkenazi, middle-class activities that did not resonate with the background of these children and had no impact. I concluded that the problem was unsolvable.

“Then in the 1980s and 1990s Shas came on the scene and took children off the streets. Overcoming every possible obstacle local and national governments could throw at them, young rabbis and their wives established kindergartens in hundreds of neighborhoods and welcomed all – religious, traditional, secular. In the caravans they used for schools, they restored pride in Sephardi customs and instituted a long school day that kept the children busy with religious and secular studies.”

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