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The Israeli town, home to several waves of immigrants and religious communities, is a microcosm of the larger tensions between ultra-Orthodox Jews and their less observant neighbours

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Israeli Tzuiya Rosenberg, 48, stands outside her apartment building where election posters of Shas's spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef are seen. A group of Ultra-Orthodox men recently knocked on her door telling her to stop using the Internet and her cell phone. When she first moved to Beit Shemesh eggs were thrown at her balcony for hanging the Israeli national flag for Independence Day. She says that the ultra-Orthodox are increasingly trying to oppress her and impose their values on her. She is a modern Orthodox Jew.

Heidi Levine/The Globe and Mail

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Ultra -Orthodox Maimon Avital, 70, waits at a bus stop in Beit Shemesh. He immigrated to Israel 40 years ago from Morocco. He says that he believes that everyone in Israel should do their military duties and was a soldier himself for 16 years even though he studied in a yeshiva.

Heidi Levine/The Globe and Mail

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A Ethiopian immigrant selling traditional scarves from Ethiopia in an alleyway of the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh underneath graffiti from a song. Beit Shemesh was first established in 1950 and is home to poor immigrants from North Africa, immigrants from Russia, Ethiopia and Englis- speaking countries as well. A fast-growing population of ultra-Orthodox Jews has caused friction as the ultra-Orthodox try to enforce their values on the modern Orthodox and secular residents.

Heidi Levine/The Globe and Mail

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Rabbi Dov Lipman at his home in Beit Shemeshl. He rose to national attention for his work in combating extremism and speaking on behalf of moderate Haredim (ultra-Orthodox). He is 17th on the list of Yair Lapid's "Yesh Atid" party.

Heidi Levine/The Globe and Mail

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A young girl stands on the sidewalk close to but separated from a group of ultra-Orthodox men and boys along a main road in Beit Shemesh. The ultra-Orthodox have tried to enforce a separation of the sexes on sidewalks. Last year a group of ultra-Orthodox extremists spat on an 8-year-old school girl, Naama Margolese, and called her a whore for dressing immodestly.

Heidi Levine/The Globe and Mail

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Shattered windows of a Beit Shemesh shopping mall vandalized by ultra-Orthodox extremists opposed to its construction.

Heidi Levine/The Globe and Mail

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A group of young ultra-Orthodox boys boarding a bus after leaving school in Beit Shemesh.

Heidi Levine/The Globe and Mail

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A Palestinian worker from Hebron sits underneath shattered windows of a vandalized shopping mall.

Heidi Levine/The Globe and Mail

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