The challenger is Mindy Pollack, co-founder of the Friends of Hutchison group, and if elected, she would be the first female Chassidic politician in Quebec history.
Mindy comes with the support of the chief Rabbi of Montreal and the Chassidic community, according to La Presse, and her background of building bridges between Chassidim and Outremont residents, as well as her fluency in French, English, and Yiddish, make her an excellent candidate. She will be running under the Projet Montreal party.
“I want to get involved in municipal politics because things have to change in Outremont,” she told CBC Radio One, “we need to establish a dialogue between the communities.”
Together will Leila Marshy, Mindy has worked hard to organize open meetings between Chassidim and neighbours in Outremont. Following the success of two such meetings, Friends of Hutchison has started organizing monthly get-togethers where residents can discuss any thoughts and complaints openly. The first monthly meeting opens on Wednesday afternoon.
At the first open meeting a year ago, Pierre Lacerte, who runs the “Outremont Accommodations” blog which primarily covers alleged offences perpetrated by Chassidim and alleged accommodations given to Chassidim, crashed the party, and tried to use the meeting as a platform to spread his message of intolerance. You can see video footage of what took place by clicking here.
Lacerte is Mindy Pollack’s chief opponent in the Claude Ryan district of Outremont. He has opened a new blog to focus on his campaign.
The Claude Ryan district ranges from Van Horne to Laurier (extending to St Joseph only on Bloomfield and de L’epee), and from Bloomfield to Hutchison. Many Chassidim live in this district and while there are no official statistics to prove it, some would say that Chassidim might be the majority in the tiny district whose current city counsellor is also an independent, Louis Moffatt.
“Mindy well represents the new generation of Chassidim who feel more comfortable and included in society,” said Alex Werzberger, spokesman for the Chassidic community, “the situation is at its lowest for our community. This is a good time to introduce themselves. She could be in the right place at the right time.”
By Zvi Hershcovich
Photo by Zvi Hershcovich