Tzvia Greenfield, Honorary Anglo

Jerusalem born, ultra-Orthodox Greenfield is not the typical Knesset candidate for Meretz.

Ira Moskowitz
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Ira Moskowitz

Tzvia Greenfield, who is in sixth place on the Meretz list of Knesset candidates, was born and raised in an ultra-Orthodox environment in Jerusalem - not exactly a breeding ground for candidates of a left-wing party that advocates the separation of religion and state.

But after high school she spent a year teaching Hebrew in New York and traveling coast-to-coast in the United States. It was an eye-opening experience that significantly shaped her liberal worldview, she says. She later spent an 11-year period in the U.S., where four of her five children were born.

"My worldview was very influenced by the 1960s' revolution in the U.S. - the message of peace, brotherhood, love, antiwar," Greenfield says. This started with the folk songs she listened to on the radio as a teenager in Jerusalem.

These songs "had a huge impact on me," she says. "Then, as a 19-year-old, I came to the U.S. [in 1966] and witnessed anti-government demonstrations for the first time in my life. And I learned that you could be a very great patriot and still oppose the government's policy. Here in Israel it was almost impossible."

Greenfield returned to Israel just before the 1967 War, but went back to the U.S. in 1971 after marrying a Harvard Medical School student from Los Angeles who had taken a year off to study at a Jerusalem yeshiva. During the next 11 years, they lived in Boston, New York and Los Angeles.

"For me, there were a lot of amazing discoveries in the U.S.," she says. "I'm a Zionist and wanted to live in Israel, but I loved the U.S. very much and am very grateful for what I learned from it.

Despite all of its very difficult problems, it still seems like the greatest, most interesting and successful human experiment."

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