||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
|Date of birth||9 September 1951|
|Place of birth||Jerusalem, Israel|
|Knessets||15, 16, 17, 18|
|Party represented in Knesset|
Nissim Ze'ev was born and resides in Jerusalem. He is married and has a large family. He is a graduate of Yeshivat Porat Yoseph and was ordained to the Rabbinate. He has served as a Rabbi, Shochet, Mohel and Chazzan in Israel and abroad.
He began his Torah activities in his youth when, in 1968, he established Torah youth clubs named "Irgun Yeladim Lomdei Torah" ( Association of Children Who Study Torah). They were established in memory of the IDF soldiers who perished when the INS Eilat was lost in 1967. Hundreds of students participated in this club in the afternoon studying "Taamei Hamikra" (Torah incantations), Psalms, Jewish Law and Legend.
In 1971 he served as a Rabbi and Shochet in the "Ein Haeemkek" Moshav. Three years later, he was sent abroad as a Shochet and inspector on behalf of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He would ultimately spend five years away from Israel, going to Mexico City in 1977, to help establish the Aram Tzova Kollel, then to the "Sephardic Jewish Center" in Brooklyn, New York, where he served as Rabbi and Chazzan.
In 1979 he returned to Israel to establish the "Nevat Israel" Institutes for Sephardic Jewish girls – ranging from kindergarten, to elementary schools to high schools and to a teaching seminary to train teachers and kindergarten teachers. A combined cultural and health center is currently[when?] being established alongside the Nevat Israel Institutes. The center will include a pedagogic Torah library, a computer room, swimming pools, Mikvas and an exercise center for the Ultra-Orthodox.
Entry into politics
In the summer of 1983, he established a non profit organization called the "Sephardic Association of Torah Observers" and served as its Chairman. In addition to educational, cultural and charitable activities, the association was involved in the selection of representatives to appear as a political list for the elections for local municipalities and the Knesset. The first meeting of the association convened shortly thereafter in the Yesodei Torah Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Participants included the President of the Torah Elders Council, Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, as well as Rabbi Shalom Cohen,[specify], Rabbi Yehuda Tzadka (Head of the Porat Yoseph Yeshiva), and Rabbi Shabtai Aton. With their blessings, the Shas party ran for the first time for the local municipality elections in Jerusalem, with Rabbi Ze'ev at its head. The party succeeded in winning three of the elections.
Between the years 1983–1998, Ze'ev served as Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem in charge of the Welfare Department, as well as "Chairman of the Allotments of Land for Public Institutes" and "Chairman of the Exemption Committee for Arnona". He resigned as Deputy Mayor upon being elected as a Member of the Knesset for the Shas Party.
Career in the Knesset
During the course his activities in the Knesset, he has served as a member of the "Knesset Committee", the "Foreign Affairs and Security Committee", the "Constitution, Law and Justice Committee" and the "Committee on Interior Affairs".
He is known for his strong opposition to the evacuation of Jews from parts of Israel. To advance this cause he established the "Knesset Caucus for Israel, Judaism and Global Ethics" and presented legislative proposals to prevent the evacuation of Jewish inhabitants against their will. Among the other laws initiated by him are: the "Law to Increase Child Allotments", "Law to Punish Terrorists", "Abortion Law", "Incitement Law", and the "Law to Recognize the Rights of Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands".
In the 17th Knesset, he served as Chairman of the "Knesset Committee on the War Against Drugs and Alcohol", coordinating with all the relevant agencies and holding many meetings which led to a body of legislation to fight drug and alcohol abuse. He is currently serving his fifth term in the 19th Knesset.
His position on homosexuality
In June 2007 he compared homosexuals to drug addicts and suggested that rehabiliation centers be set up for them throughout Israel, saying:
- "The government should initiate this; these people are unfortunate and we must keep an eye on them to assist them... I am not speaking of a closed institution, but of a center that will accept anyone who walks through its doors... We must set up special teams of psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers who will help them return to a normal life, just like in a drug rehabilitation center."
He also claimed that gay people must be made aware of "how their lifestyle is destroying our existence" and that MKs "propose numerous bills to help barren women become more fertile, but on the other hand we allow this immorality."
- Shas MK proposes 'rehab centers' for gays Ynetnews, 21 June 2007
- Nissim Ze'ev on the Knesset website