Maryland County May Dump Beit Shemesh as ‘Sister City’

Montgomery County, Maryland, is apparently seeking to get out of a “sister city” deal with Beit Shemesh – in protest over the protests by Hareidi Jews against the Orot School in the city and Hareidi attacks on several women, along with attempts to exclude women from public spaces,  and the apparent failure of the city to deal with the problem properly.

While the sister city program is largely symbolic, such agreements in general do generate closer ties in a number of areas, including education, economic cooperation, and municipal improvement programs. Montgomery County is north of Washington and southwest of Baltimore, and has a large and affluent Jewish population; numerous projects in the city were funded with the help of the Montgomery community.

Montgomery has had a sister pact with Beit Shemesh for several years, but a large and influential group of residents in the county are seeking to put an end to that, the Washington Post reported. The program began in 2007, when Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett visited Beit Shemesh and set up a non-profit group called Montgomery Sister Cities.


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