MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) announced this morning that she is running for mayor of Jerusalem. To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first time that a woman is running for the position.
Azaria is currently a Knesset member with the Kulanu party. Before joining national politics she led the lead the Yerushalmim political party and served on the Jerusalem City Council (2008) and later served as deputy mayor (2013).
Azaria was born in Jerusalem. Her father immigrated from Tunis, and her mother made Aliyah from the US. She is married and has four children. She speaks fluent English.
Azaria was the director of Mavoi Satum from 2004-2007, a nonprofit that helps women receive a Get (religious divorce).
Azaria is a vocal voice for women’s rights, as she see them. While serving in the Jerusalem City Council, she petitioned Israel’s High Court to enforce an earlier ruling requiring police to prevent gender segregation on the streets of Mea Shearim, a Haredi neighborhood. After the court ruled in her favor, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat took away her portfolios for turning to the Supreme Court.
Azaria’s Yerushalmim party worked to dislodge the Israeli Rabbanut as the sole purveyor of Kashrut certification.
Once Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced he wasn’t running for another term, potential candidates have begun announcing their intentions.