Supporting characters include Esti Kirmaier and Itamar Ben-Ami. Esti moved to downtrodden Kiryat Yovel with a group of peers who seek to revitalize the neighborhood with volunteer projects. They also protest Haredi takeover, out of concern that Haredi religious standards will force out Kiryat Yovel’s current secular and moderate religious residents, including Esti’s family.

Itamar, a 22-year-old Haredi, left religious school at the risk of banishment from his community, and now tries to convince them to reform. While still believing in the guiding principles of Haredism, Itamar fears that their isolationist policies are damaging to his community and to Israeli society at large.

Collectively, their stories are important because what happens within Jerusalem influences the future of the entire Middle East and, therefore, arguably the whole world.

©2012 Battle for Jerusalem. All rights reserved.