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  • 26-Year Old Orthodox Jew Makes Run For Zurich Council Seat

    If elected, 26-year old Yehuda Spielman would become the only Orthodox Jew on a city council in Switzerland • Full Story

    Israel National News

    A 26-year old Orthodox Jewish man from Zurich is running to become the only Orthodox Jew on a city council in Switzerland.

    Accountant Yehuda Spielman is a candidate for the centrist FDP Party in upcoming elections for the Zurich City Council.

    The city of Zurich has approximately 6,000 Jews.

    Spielman, a father of a two-year old son, grew up in a family of twelve children in Zurich’s Wiedikon district.

    He is running in the election with the campaign slogan “Live and Let Live.”

    Spielman told Swiss French language newspaper 20 minutes that he was running in order to encourage people from all walks of life to learn about each other, saying he wanted to “break down prejudices.”

    “A large part of the Jewish community is very well integrated, they have jobs, they live like any other Swiss person,” he said.

    But he added that most Orthodox Jews do not feel like they are part of the country’s political process.

    “Politicians often do not dare to approach Orthodox Jews,” he said. “It is important to clear up misunderstandings and discomfort. If my candidacy can induce more Jewish people to vote, then I will have done something positive for integration.”

    He noted that if he is elected, he will “currently be the only Orthodox Jewish politician in a council in Switzerland.”

    Spielman has so far received support for his campaign from the Jewish community, including a call from a Holocaust survivor who told him she was happy to see a young man such as himself from the Jewish community attempting to win a political office.

    The director of the Zurich Foundation against Racism and Anti-Semitism (GRA), Dina Wyler, described Spielman’s council run as part of the overall goal of increasing tolerance and acceptance of minorities.

    “The concerns of the minorities in Switzerland should not only be discussed in the election campaign, but also, above all, taken into account in the hectic day-to-day business,” Wyler told 20 minutes.

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