Meyer Habib, formerly the Deputy Chairman of the French Jewish umbrella group CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France), was elected on Sunday to the French parliament, the first time for an observant Jew.
Habib, who resigned from his position as Deputy Chairman of CRIF so that he could run, is close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who endorsed his candidacy.
The 52-year-old, who is married with four children, divides his time between Paris and Jerusalem. He was a member of the Beitar youth movement in his teens and made aliyah to Israel in the late 1970s. In Israel, he studied at the Technion in Haifa, graduating as an industrial engineer.
Habib’s father, the late Emanuel Habib, was one of the pioneers of the Tunisian Jewish community in France. He owned a winery that produced kosher wine and was active in encouraging aliyah to Israel.
Over the past 30 years, Habib has actively supported the French Jewish community, its educational institutions and charities. He worked toward the establishment of a special relationship between the heads of the government in France and in Israel and was active in the war against anti-Semitism which has been on the rise in France.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva following his victory Sunday, Habib said, "I still am having trouble digesting what happened. With G-d’s help I was elected to the French parliament and this is a great pride for the Jewish people."
He added, "I hope to be responsible and get the work done.”