Haifa Elects Woman as Mayor for the First Time

For the first time, Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, has elected a female mayor, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

Labor Party candidate, Dr. Einat Kalisch Rotem, who has a Ph.D. in architecture and urban planning and teaches at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s graduate school, defeated incumbent Yona Yahav, to become the first female mayor of one of Israel’s largest cities.

Kalisch Rotem’s candidacy had initially been disqualified by an Israeli district court because she was one of two candidates submitted by the Labor Party. However, Israel’s High Court of Justice overturned the lower court last week, allowing her campaign to compete Tuesday.

Several other women won races to lead cities or councils including Tal Ohana of Yeroham, Rotem Yadlin of the Gezer Regional Council, Galit Shaul of the Emek Hefer Regional Council, and Oshrat Ronen of the Drom Hasharon Regional Council. In addition, Aliza Bloch is in a tight race for mayor of Beit Shemesh, that won’t be decided until soldiers’ ballots are counted later this week.

In addition, the Knesset is poised to welcome its record 36th female member, when Osnat Mark will take the place of newly-elected Beit She’an Mayor Jackie Levy from the Likud Party.

In the last election in 2015, there were 29 women elected to the Knesset, which was then a record.

Esther Hayut currently serves as the President of Israel’s High Court of Justice. She was appointed to the position to succeed Miriam Naor last October.

Golda Meir served as Israel’s Prime Minister from 1969 to 1974, and was the third woman to serve as Prime Minister of a country.

[Photo: עינת קליש רותם / YouTube ]