Yehiel Bar

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Yehiel Bar
Hilik Bar Portrait.jpg
Date of birth (1975-09-04) 4 September 1975 (age 38)
Place of birth Safed, Israel
Knessets 19
Party represented in Knesset
2013– Labor Party

Hilik (Yehiel) Bar (born September 4, 1975), is a Member of Knesset for the Israel Labor Party, Secretary General of the Labor Party, and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. Bar previously served as a member of the Jerusalem City Council on behalf of mayor Nir Barkat’s "Yerushalayim Tazliach" (Jerusalem Will Succeed) party, holding the Tourism and Foreign Relations portfolios for the city.

Biography[edit]

Hilik Bar was born in Safed. Bar was a camper and camp counsellor at "HaNoar HaOved VeHeLomed" (The Federation of Working and Studying Youth) in Safed, and was an active leader in Labor Youth.

Bar studied at Bezek College at Givat Mordechai in Jerusalem. He served in the Israeli Defense Force as an officer in Adjutant Corps and reached the rank of captain in the reserves, later studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From 1998 he served as chairman of the student organization ("Ofek") of the Labor Party at Hebrew University, chairman of the national student organization of the Labor Party, and Chairman of the World Youth of the World Labour Zionist Movement.

Bar served as an Advisor to Minister Dalia Itzik in the Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Industry and Trade; an adviser to Acting Mayor of the Jerusalem Municipality, Professor Shimon Sheetrit; Director of Development Economics and Higher Education in the Jerusalem Municipality; Project Manager for the Jerusalem Conference with the Zionist Council for Israel; and adviser to National Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer in Ariel Sharon’s second administration and Ehud Olmert’s government. It was during this time that he also served as advisor to Ben-Eliezer while the latter served as Minister of Industry.

During his public service he completed his BA in political science and international relations and MA in international relations at the Hebrew University. In 2008 he was accepted to the master's program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, but passed on the opportunity in order to continue his public service.

Since 2002, Bar has been a delegate at the World Zionist Congress and the World Zionist Council. He is actively involved in pro-Israel advocacy and has taken part in advocacy and coexistence missions around the world, in the course of which he met with US President George W. Bush and other senior officials in both the Arab world and the West. In 2003, he was involved in the establishment of the “Young Israeli Forum for Cooperation” (YIFC), an organization whose activity was awarded a special prize by the EU’s Minister of Education.

In August 2008, he was elected as Chairman (Secretary) of the Labour Party in Jerusalem.

On 11 November 2008 he was elected to the Jerusalem City Council on Nir Barkat’s Jerusalem Will Succeed list, and, up until his election to the Knesset, served as a Council member and executive board member, and held the portfolios of Tourism and Foreign Relations for the municipality.

In 2010, Bar was elected Secretary General of the Labour Party, the youngest person ever to serve in that capacity, and the first to be elected to the post before serving as a Member of Knesset. Following Ehud Barak’s retirement as Labor Party chairman in order to establish his Independence Party, the party unanimously re-elected Bar as Secretary General at a conference held on 27 March 2011. After Barak’s departure, Bar played a crucial role in leading the rehabilitation of the Labor Party during the transitional period together with temporary chairman Micha Harish, up until the election of Shelly Yachimovich to the party leadership.

In the party primaries prior to the 2013 Knesset elections, Bar won seventh place on the Labor Party’s list (in his capacity as Secretary General of the party). As a result of Defense Minister Amir Peretz’s resignation (to join Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party), Bar moved up to sixth place on the list. He was elected in January 2013 to serve in Israel’s Nineteenth Knesset.

Bar lives in Jerusalem. He is married to Edit and has a son named Harel.

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