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Dr. Ricky Shay could well etch her name in Vadodara's history if Israel elects her as the Indian-origin mayor in the upcoming elections at Ashkelon. In what could be termed as a remarkable feat, Shay will run for the post of mayor in one of the biggest cities in Israel.

Shay was inspired to pursue this dream as she had been working for the twin city pact between Vadodara and Ashkelon. The pact between the two cities was signed a few years ago to improve the commercial and political relationship between India and Israel, according to a Times of India report.

"After the Vadodara-Ashkelon pact was signed some years ago, I began working on several programmes that were organized to bring these cities closer. Before this pact, there was little contact with India. I came to Vadodara and met many people there. When I connected to my Indian roots and culture that is based on values of giving, patience, and tolerance, I decided to run for the mayor's post," Shay told TOI.

"I have worked a lot for women empowerment here and I am banking on them for my victory. Ashkelon also has Maharashtrian Jew community," Shay added.

Nikitin Contractor, the convener of Friends of Israel, has said that if Shay manages to become Ashkelon's mayor, then she would be highly instrumental in improving ties between India and Israel through Vadodara. Contractor further added that she has a really good chance of winning.

All you need to know about Ricky Shay

  • Shay was born and brought in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Her parents, who were Maharashtrian Jews, shifted to Israel in 1964
  • Shay has been a city council member for over five years
  • She played a major role in the cultural and musical festival organized by 'Friends of Israel' in Ashkelon last year
  • She has worked as a lecturer and an academic director in the past
  • Dr. Shay has also trained women educators and has handled education, women empowerment, and small business portfolios