Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll

The Anglo women running for city council

There is nothing more important than representation for making change. I’ve seen it in my own work for Jewish women’s rights and it is obvious to me as a resident of Beit Shemesh for 16 years. When people aren’t seen, their voices aren’t heard, and their needs are not met. So I’m very happy to be able to put out this list of Anglo female candidates running for city council across the country. Often, Anglo women come with passionate dedication to not only their own communities, but to all residents, with a special focus on those who often fall between the cracks. They are driven by a real desire to make their communities better and more accessible.

That said, the following is by no means a list to tell you who to vote for. Rather, it is a sample of the Anglo women running for city council in various towns across Israel (who sent me their information by publication time). You should definitely read the party’s platforms and see who you align with. Of course, if you live in my town you can ask me who I suggest voting for and why!

It has been an honor to put this together, but note that the following list is not complete! There are a number of other Anglo women running for city council — I was not able to reach them on in time for publication — so please look into who is running in your town and vote February 27th for someone who will represent YOU.


Rena Hollander, head of Habayit Shelanu

Rena Hollander, HaBayit Shelanu

Deputy mayor Adv. Rena Hollander has been a community activist for 25 years and deputy mayor for the past five years. She works hard to ensure the rights of all residents and uses creative solutions to solve difficult conflicts. She heads the Welfare Department and the Department for the Status of Women. She represented the Dati Leumi (religious Zionist) community in a council that is otherwise all male and 65% Haredi.

Prior to her tenure, the Welfare Department had been censured by the government, which refused to transfer the budget due to mismanagement. “When we entered city hall, the Welfare Department was in shambles. We rebuilt it from scratch and changed it from a system of handouts to one that provides a hand up to those in need. People can be self-sufficient with training and courses to help them find jobs. The Department for Advancement of Women has also exploded in activities and opportunities — from culture to business to health. We appointed the first female head of the religious council and ensured the Dati Leumi community got their allocation of the government budget. She began desperately needed renovations of the local mikveh, revised the kashrut department, ensured appropriate supervision of restaurants and made sure that people could be buried according to their minhag. Basically, we enforced the laws,” said Hollander.

In addition, Hollander succeeded in getting permanent buildings and budgets for youth groups, after years of them being denied. Hollander’s Habayit Shelanu party is a who’s who of community activists who come from a wide range of backgrounds, and all are dedicated to representing the entire community’s needs: affordable housing, improved transportation, education and services, and to continue to reach populations that have fallen through the cracks and provide programs and support for them.

Amanda Moskowitz, #5 on Likud

Amanda Moskowitz, Likud

Being an immigrant is hard enough, but making aliyah to a brand-new neighborhood is quite a unique challenge. Moskowitz made aliyah from Teaneck, New Jersey seven years ago to a new neighborhood, where the streetlights were still off and the road was not yet paved, but our pioneer spirits were strong.” As the neighborhood grew and became more established, she established the organization, Neshot Mishkafayim (Women of the Mishkafayim neighborhood). Its guiding premise was that although shuls would crop up, the women could still function as one single strong and supportive kehillah, or congretation. She created committees for “chesed” projects, social events, and shiurim (Torah classes). This past fall, she was invited to join the Likud’s list for city council.

“I was especially drawn to the party’s efforts to see the city’s population in its entirety rather than being tied to a specific hashkafa. I felt it perfectly mirrored, on a much larger scale, the sense of unity I try to maintain within my neighborhood. I am hoping to continue my work in creating a sense of unity and community for the newcomers of our city, by developing programming that will support the struggles they face in those tough early days of settling in, as well as work to improve the city’s English communications.

Sarah Leah Pearlstein, Habayit Shelanu

Sarah Leah Pearlstein, Habayit Shelanu

Sarah Leah is a birth supporter, birth preparation instructor, and emotional therapist and has been a member of the Beit Shemesh Women’s Council for many years. She established a center for mothers and babies after birth and is active in promoting children’s safety. She plans to work with schools to increase awareness and to put safeguards in place to protect children.


Pnina Salomon, Beyachad party

Pnina Salomon, B’Yachad (Salomon is on the right)

Originally from New Jersey, Salomon has been a Zichron Yaakov councilwoman for the past eight years and is running for re-election. Her work has galvanized municipal services for both the Anglo and the religious Zionist community of Zichron, and she has garnered strong support among her constituents.

Primarily focused on education and olim (new immigrants), she hopes to expand her sphere of influence over the next five years to include battling urban sprawl, promoting tourism, and discouraging vandalism. Her party list, Beyachad, includes a talented, politically diverse group of both men and women of various ages and backgrounds both religious and secular that showcases the best Zichron Yaakov has to offer. 


Cherie Albucher,  #2 Ilan L’Modiin party

Cherie Albucher, Ilan L’Modiin

For the past 16 years, Albucher has chaired the “Modi’in Ladies” volunteer organization, where she leads social and community activities, gives support to struggling families in the city, and heads up community projects and social events to strengthen the connection of English speakers to Israel in general, and to Modi’in in particular.

She previously worked in the absorption department and now manages a large business community, accompanying new and old immigrants in the process of opening businesses in Israel. She established a business community for women that encourages and supports their success.

At the outbreak of the war, Albucher recruited over 150 volunteers to help families in the city and collected financial donations to support businesses and families of soldiers serving in the IDF.

“When I’m elected my main goals will be to ensure Modi’in is a united diverse community working together.  We aim to ensure affordable housing, kindergarten and afternoon care, ensure that we have local higher education institutions and more importantly increase local employment and business opportunities. I hope to create a program for women’s leadership in community, business and the political arena.” 


Nava Katz, #2  HaEfratim party 

Nava Katz, HaEfratim

A resident of Efrat since the age of 10, Katz was asked to join the party “Efrat Watch” in 2018. Katz says it was a challenge to understand the new responsibilities. “Nobody prepares you or explains to you your new “volunteering position.” It took almost nine months to understand the ropes and to start getting government funds for projects I wanted to push forward.”

Now, five years later she is once again running for local council. “There are so many amazing things about our town. But there are still so many changes I’d like to make, programs I’d like to implement, and projects I’d like to tweak.” Some of the changes she has made are: green parking for dropping off children in front of their schools, government funding for community gardens, the search-and-rescue dog unit, transparency in council meetings, which are filmed and accessible to the public, and more.

Her goals for this term are: security, to train the wild dogs to be watchdogs and help secure the perimeter, mental health, local business boosts (forex: no arnonah payments for new businesses for the first year), young adults rent-free business park, “ma’of” program for entrepreneurs, and more.

Orit Samuels, #2 on Efrat Mitchadeshet

Orit Samuels, Efrat Mitchadeshet

Samuels made aliyah in 1994 from Los Angeles, when she was 8 years old.

Since the war, she has been working as project manager for Mizrachi Canada, bringing missions to Israel and opening a distribution center in Efrat for tactical and non-tactical items for both displaced families and soldiers. She has been a member of the council for over a decade on the “Efrat Mitchadeshet’ list with the current mayor, Oded Revivi. 

“The number of hours and responsibilities are endless but it makes me proud to be part of such crucial decisions around the round table, being able to help my community and friends as a direct voice to any issue that arises and part of many incredible projects for the future of Efrat.”

“Things I would like to achieve for the next 5 years, together with the current mayor are:
mental health awareness, leading continued successful outlets and projects for our teens, affordable housing and as a part of being on the board of the Matnas (community center), creating a successful accessible new “Sababa Center,” which is the newly opened sports center and pool in Efrat.”


Yochi Rappeport,  #9 HaIchud HaYirushalmi/The Jerusalem Union

Yochi Rappeport, קרדיט: אביגיל באר-פיפרנו

Originally from Tsfat, Rappeport chose to live in Jerusalem because of the religious variety the city has: schools, synagogues and simply, the people. “As the executive director of Women of the Wall, I work a lot with politicians. More and more, I understand the importance of local politics in our day-to-day life. Jerusalem needs a coalition that will keep the younger population in the city, help businesses to grow and thrive.” Rappeport plans to fight discrimination against women and convince others not to be afraid to allow the secular and liberal population to have public transportation and cultural activities on Shabbat.

Dr. Laura Wharton, #3 on HaIchud HaYirushalmi/The Jerusalem Union

Dr. Laura Wharton- HaIchud HaYerushalmi/ The Jerusalem Union

Dr. Wharton is an adjunct lecturer in the department of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a member of Jerusalem’s city council.

Born in the US, Wharton immigrated to Israel and became a member of Kibbutz Kfar Blum. After receiving a BA from the department of government at Harvard University, she served in the IDF as a lone soldier. Later, she moved to Jerusalem, where she completed an MA and a PhD at Hebrew University. 

As a member of the city council, Wharton has held portfolios for the advancement of people with disabilities, the elderly, and public health. Currently, she holds the portfolio for the advancement of women. A list of some of her and her colleagues’ many accomplishments on the city council can be found at

Malka Greenblatt, rotation for #1 Derech Party

Malka Greenblatt, Derech

Originally from Michigan, Greenblatt and her husband live in Jerusalem with their family.  “My husband and I have poured our hearts into this city. He is the owner of two restaurants and a brewery that is well known across Israel, and I’ve been busy too. I run a large wig business and opened a number of Chareidi Montessori preschools as well as a girls elementary school that are all publicly funded under Mamlachti Chareidi.

Running for City Council is my next step in contributing more meaningfully to the city I call home. My background in business and non-profit leadership has equipped me with valuable skills that I believe are crucial for effective governance. I aim to bring a mix of professional efficiency and innovative thinking to the council, focusing on making our city not just functional, but thriving and addressing issues that often go unnoticed. I am excited to collaborate, listen, and work towards a shared vision of a better, brighter Jerusalem for all. Let’s make a difference together.”


Shayna Rehberg-Paquin, #2 on CHAI party

Shayna Rehberg-Paquin, CHAI party

Shayna Rehberg-Paquin has called Tzfat home for the past 10 years. When she was a single mother of four, she struggled immensely through government offices, courts, and piles of paperwork.

Her nonprofit, Sparks to Life, advocates and cares for the needs of the elderly, disabled, single-parent families, and especially olim. Since the start of the war, they have provided emergency kits to these populations, distributed over 100 vibrating smartwatches for the deaf and hard of hearing to “feel” when there are sirens, and are purchasing bomb shelters for preschools without safe spaces.

Rehberg-Paquin volunteers with women in crisis, and is on the local residents’ emergency response team, runs a WhatsApp broadcast with translations from municipal announcements, Homefront Command, and local events, and hosts an English-speaking support group for “special moms” (she has three children with special needs).

She is running with Yohai Ezra, a council member, “and the only one in city leadership to ever concern himself with the welfare of our community.” He is the only man running for council to choose a woman for the second slot on his list. Though there is one woman who has her own list — the first woman to ever sit on city council in Tzfat since the founding of the modern State of Israel.

“My goal is to give my community a voice, and to speak up for those who can’t. I believe that English-speakers have a lot to contribute if it is more accessible to engage in public life. I also believe we have an obligation to care for the disadvantaged populations in our city.


Oshy Ellman, #6 on Raananim

Oshy Ellman – Ra’ananim

Oshy Ellman made aliyah with her family from the UK in 2017 (she was born in Haifa but moved to the UK at the age of 3). She has been a resident of Ra’anana for six years. Ellman holds a degree in English literature and has 20 years of experience in international communications, public relations, marketing and consulting services. Today, she is active in the Anglo community in Ra’anana, and volunteers and initiates educational programs in kindergartens and elementary schools, as well as being an active member in numerous parents committees.

“I will work hard to promote issues important to the community of olim in the city and will prioritize all issues regarding the education of our children.”


Ofra Kaplan #2 Keshet – Democracy and Social Justice Party

Ofra Kaplan, Keshet – Democracy and Social Justice Party

Kaplan is a Hareidi, English speaker, a qualified lawyer and graduate of Cambridge University. She has lived in Karmiel for six years. “When we first moved here I was shocked to see the signs for the last local elections supporting the Hareidi parties – “For a Jewish Karmiel”. As the daughter of ex-South Africans who campaigned against the apartheid regime, I am particularly sensitive to excluding language and so began a campaign, within my own community, to increase inclusion and reduce incitement. When campaigning for these current elections began, I was again, upset to see a Jewish (not religiously observant) mayoral candidate using the ethnic card to win hearts and minds : “To preserve the Jewish colour of Karmiel”. The accompanying pictures would be considered incitement in another country. I was asked by some Arab Israelis in Natzrat to introduce the Karmiel resident Arab Israelis to the movers and shakers behind the local Democracy Protests who were forming a local political party. The leaders – local and national – of Hozeh Hadash – refused point blank to permit an Arab Israeli to be in a position on their lists. This fired my activism (“What – democracy is only for Jews???”) and today I am number two on the local Keshet – Democracy and Social Justice Party and my friend Zenat Kadry is number 1.”

Since October 7, they have been emphasizing the female ticket – “The Future is Female” as local and national debate has touched on the sad fact that there are so few women in positions of decision making in Israel. She is a lawyer with a background in social activism and Zenat, holds a criminology and education degree runs her own business in childcare, special needs and mediating multi-disciplinary groups. Their platform? Cleaning up the corruption and old boys’ club which runs this city and showing that race and religion does not matter when it comes to giving back a city its pride. Also, more employment opportunities in the North whilst still keeping an eye on green spaces.

About the Author
Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll is a writer and an activist. Cofounder of She loves her people enough to call out the nonsense. See her work at
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