No fewer than 36 ministers, in addition to two co-prime ministers, will be sworn in on Sunday (everyone’s hoping). Besides being the biggest Israeli government in 2,000 years, it will also be a government with the highest representation ever for Religious Zionists, at a time when the Yamina party, purporting to represent Religious Zionism, has been kept out of government.
Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein is the highest ranking National Religious representative in the Likud and the Knesset. Upon arriving in Israel, he settled in Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion. He led the rebel camp in Likud against then chairman Ariel Sharon’s plot to uproot Gaza’s Jewish communities, and at the time of the vote on the issue broke protocol to declare that he objects to the plan “with disgust.”
Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and National Projects Rafi Peretz was formerly the leader of Habayit Hayehudi. He served as Chief Rabbi of the IDF and was Rosh Yeshiva of a Seder Yeshiva.
Minister of Culture and Sports Hili Tropper lives with his wife and four children in the mixed religious and secular community of Ness Harim.
Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, the first Israeli minister of Ethiopian origin, belongs to the National-Religious sector, together with her family. She is a graduate of the Bnei Akiva Tzfira Ulpena.
Minister of Strategic Affairs Orit Farkash-Cohen is a graduate of Amana Ulpena in Kfar Saba, and has volunteered for national service at Shaare Zedek Hospital. She is a resident of Jerusalem and mother of four.
Minister of Communications Yoaz Handel does not wear a yarmulke, but grew up in the National Religious sector and is still identified with it. Handel is member of the Beit Hillel Rabbis’ public council, a Religious Zionist organization of rabbis and scholarly women.
Minister of Higher Education Ze’ev Elkin, married and father of five children, lives in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem. Along with his wife, he attended the Har Etzion Yeshiva.
Minister of Settlement Affairs Tzipi Hotovely studied Judaism in Midreshet Lindenbaum at Bar-Ilan University. She represented the Bnei Akiva World Movement in France.
The next government will also include four Haredi ministers, on of them a woman:
Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri will continue as Minister of the Interior.
Rabbi Yaakov Avitan of Shas will be Minister of Religious Services.
United Torah Judaism Chairman Yaakov Litzman will serve as Minister of Housing.
And, on behalf of Blue&White, Omer Yankelevich, a Haredi woman, will be the next Diaspora Minister.