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Podcast: Nir Barkat on a Decade of Governing the World’s Most Spiritual City

July 23, 2021 | By: Nir Barkat

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Home to the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the city of Jerusalem has unparalleled spiritual significance for millions of people around the world. But in addition to all of its religious and philosophical importance, Jerusalem is also an actual city, with gas stations and grocery stores and office buildings and more. It has to be governed and managed just like New York, Chicago, and Moscow do. So what’s it like to be responsible for garbage collection, and all the other everyday city needs, in the most spiritual city in the West?

That’s what Nir Barkat, the former mayor of Jerusalem and now a member of Knesset from the Likud party, joins our podcast this week to talk about. Barkat was Jerusalem’s mayor from 2008 to 2018, a decade that saw tremendous growth for Israel’s capital. In conversation with Mosaic Editor Jonathan Silver, he explains what it takes to govern Jerusalem, what he learned from his time as mayor, and how the challenges facing Jerusalem mirror the challenges faced by the Jewish state itself.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.


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