Jerusalem Backs Giving Rabbi Posts to non-Haredim

City: Majority of the Jewish population is non-ultra-Orthodox, a fact that should be considered when picking rabbis.

The struggle for the seats of the Jerusalem's municipal rabbis has long been fought within religious circles - most often between religious Zionists and the ultra-Orthodox.

But yesterday, the Jerusalem municipality announced in a letter to the Supreme Court that traditional and secular Jews should also have a say in the matter.

According to the municipality, two-thirds of the city's Jewish population are "Zionists," or non-ultra-Orthodox Jews, and this fact has to be considered when choosing municipal rabbis.

"The synagogue delegates in the electing assembly must represent all of the public interested in maintaining Jewish religious services in Jerusalem, including tradition-observing seculars, religious Zionists and ultra-Orthodox," the municipality said.

The letter was sent as part of an ongoing appeal by the Ne'emanei Torah Va'avodah Movement to the Supreme Court, which claims the Ministry of Religious Services gave unfair preference to ultra-Orthodox delegates when it appointed the 24-member assembly.

Although the appeal targets both Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi (Shas) and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, the mayor supports the appeal and is in opposition to Margi.

For this reason, even though Margi decided to cancel the procedure altogether, the Jerusalem municipality asked the Supreme Court to go on deliberating the appeal.