Best and Brightest Religious-Zionist Names Running for Knesset

The Jewish Home party, newly formed on the foundations of the NRP and the National Union, says it will announce its MK list by Wednesday night.

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Hillel Fendel,

Rabbi Dr. Hershkowitz
Rabbi Dr. Hershkowitz
Israel News Photo: (Flash 90)

The Jewish Home party, newly formed on the foundations of the National Religious Party and the National Union, is expected to announce its list of candidates for the Knesset by Wednesday night.

The final list will be drawn up by the party’s Public Committee, a body of 39 rabbinic, academic and other leading figures in the religious-Zionist public. The public was invited to participate via the internet, and its voice will be given a weight of 20% in the final decision.

Among the 84 candidates vying for places on the list - following newly-chosen party leader Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz - are five incumbent MKs, four former MKs, ten women, nine rabbis, four Ph.D.’s, and many public activists. Current polls predict that the party will receive only five Knesset seats, but this is expected to rise if and when the party begins fielding a unified list. 

MK Benny Elon has said that if three of the top five candidates do not represent the former parties of the National Union, the party will have lost its legitimacy.  Former National Union members are threatening to revive their party if this condition is not met.

Prominent names among the candidates include the following:

Rabbi Hillel Horowitz of Hevron

Sar-Shalom Jerbi, former Secretary-General of the NRP, who is fulfilling the same post temporarily for the Jewish Home

Avichai Boaron, a resident of Amona who founded the Maayanei HaYeshua outreach movement

Rabbi Ophir Cohen, formerly of Kfar Darom in Gush Katif, father of three children who lost legs and other body parts in a terror attack at the start of the Oslo War

Rabbi Rachamim Nisimi, founder of the Sha'arei Torah outreach organizations

Yishai Rubin, director of Ometz and other Torah nuclear groups in northern Israel

Dov Kalmanovitch, public activist on behalf of many causes, especially victims of terrorism

Rabbi Yisrael Rosenne, Director of the Tzomet Institute

Dr. Avraham Negosa, an immigrant from Ethiopia, who has a B.A. in social work, M.A. in business management, Ph.D. in educational philosophy, and has headed an immigrants’ party in previous elections

Avi Rath, educator and journalist

Shuli Mualem Rafaeli, nurse, public speaker and activist on behalf of IDF widows/orphans and other causes

Rabbi Chaim Ratig, founder of yeshivot and Torah core groups in Nahariya and Ra'anana

Alexander Nipomaniachi, leading activist among the Russian immigrant public and head of the Maof research center

Orit Strook of the Yesha Civil Rights organization

Former IDF General Yiftach Ron-Tal

Miro Dayan, founder and principal of the Bnei Akiva yeshiva high school in Beit She’an

Uri Bin-Nun, former Director-General of both the Dead Sea Works and the Israel Electric Company

Yesha Council head Danny Dayan