A synagogue in Bat Yam whose members are mostly Holocaust survivors will not have to close down – after the head of the Meretz faction on the city council made dropping a city lawsuit against the shul a condition of the party’s joining the coalition, a local Bat Yam newspaper reported.
According to Katy Piatsky, the Meretz faction head, Mayor Tzvika Brut has agreed to drop the city action against the Netzach Yisrael synagogue that would have required the institution to shut down.
Under the administration of former Bat Yam Mayor Yossi Bachar, the city had issued a closure order for the synagogue, claiming it was in violation of zoning laws. The membership of the synagogue is elderly, and most are on fixed incomes and cannot afford the upkeep of the shul – so to defray expenses, the synagogue has rented out space on the first floor of the two story structure to a commercial business. The city said this was illegal, and demanded that the synagogue close the business down – and when it failed to do so, it issued a closure order for the shul. The order has now been canceled, as a result of the coalition agreement between Meretz and the mayor.
“It was very important to me to end this action against the synagogue,” Piatsky told Hashikma Bat Yam. “I hope that in the coming weeks we can put this unnecessary business behind us and we will have good news for the members of the shul. I want to thank Mayor Brut for his help in this, and I have no doubt that together we will be able to build a better and more just future for city residents,” Piatsky said.