Yitzhak Levy

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Yitzhak Levy
File:Yitzhak Levy.jpg
Date of birth (1947-06-06)6 June 1947
Place of birth Casablanca, Morocco
Year of aliyah 1957
Knessets 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Faction represented in Knesset
1988–2005 National Religious Party
2005–2009 Ahi
Ministerial roles
1996 Minister of Energy & Infrastructure
1996–1998 Minister of Transportation
1998 Minister of Religious Affairs
1998–1999 Minister of Education
1999–2000 Minister of Housing & Construction
2002 Minister without Portfolio
2002–2003 Minister of Tourism

Rabbi Yitzhak Levy (Hebrew: יצחק לוי‎, born 6 July 1947) is an Israeli rabbi and politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the National Religious Party (NRP) and the Ahi faction of the National Union between 1988 and 2009. Between 1998 and 2002 he was NRP leader, and also held several ministerial portfolios.


Levy was born in Casablanca in Morocco in 1947, the son of Daniel-Yitzhak Levy, who later served as a member of the Knesset for the National Religious Party. The family immigrated to Israel in 1957. He studied at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh and Yeshivat Hakotel, where he received rabbinical ordination. He served as an officer in the IDF, achieving the rank of major. He was a member of the Bnei Akiva Executive and World Secretariat, and Secretary-General of the National Religious Movement from 1986 to 1995. He was the Rabbi of the Bnei Akiva Talmudic College in Kfar Maimon and was among the initiators of the establishment of the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem, and one of the founders of the Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh in the West Bank.[1]

He was elected to the Knesset in 1988 on the National Religious Party list. He was a member of the House Committee from 1988 to 1996 and the Labor and Social Welfare Committee from 1988 to 1992. He was also chairman the Ethics Committee and the children welfare lobby, as well as the Israel-Argentina Parliamentary Friendship League. Since 1988 he has been a member of the Committee on Constitution, Law and Justice.[1]

In June 1996 he was appointed Minister of Transportation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In February 1998, after the death of Zevulun Hammer, he became the leader of the NRP and served as Minister of Education until July 1999. He also served as Minister of Religious Affairs, a position he held in rotation.[1]

In July 1999 he was appointed Minister of Housing and Construction.[1] Following his appointment, he resigned from the Knesset in order to allow the next person on the NRP list, Nahum Langental, to enter the Knesset. In July 2000, following the Camp David Summit, he resigned from the government.[2]

On November 2, 2000 his 28-year-old daughter, Ayelet Hashahar Levy, was killed by Palestinian car bomb in Jerusalem.[3]

In April 2002, during Operation Defensive Shield, he resigned as leader of the NRP to make way for Effi Eitam, and was made Minister without Portfolio. From September 2002 until February 2003 he served as Minister of Tourism. In March 2003 he was appointed Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. However, in June 2004 he and Eitam resigned in protest against the disengagement plan.[2] He and Eitam subsequently left the NRP and founded a new religious-Zionist party, Ahi, which joined the National Union alliance.

Levy lobbied against the 2006 Jerusalem gay pride parade, saying "Know that this place doesn’t want you.”[4]

In December 2008 Levy announced that he was retiring from politics, stating that the decision was made due to the new Jewish Home party not holding traditional primary elections, but instead relying on an internet-based vote.[5]

Levy is married with five children and lives in Kfar Maimon.[2]


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  3. [1]
  4. Ynet, 07.04.06
  5. NRP's Yitzhak Levy retiring from politics Ynetnews, 12 March 2008

External links