Haim Drukman

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Haim Drukman
Haim Drukman.jpg
Date of birth (1932-11-15) 15 November 1932 (age 86)
Place of birthKuty, Poland
Year of aliyah1944
Knessets9, 10, 11, 15
Faction represented in Knesset
1977–1983National Religious Party
1986–1988National Religious Party
1999–2003National Religious Party

Haim Meir Drukman (Hebrew: חיים דרוקמן), born 15 November 1932) is an Israeli Orthodox Rabbi and former politician. He serves as Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Etzion Yeshiva, and head of the Center for Bnei Akiva Yeshivot.


Early life[edit]

Born in Kuty in Poland (today in Ukraine), Drukman made aliyah to Mandate Palestine in 1944, after being saved from the Holocaust. He studied in the Aliyah Institute in Petah Tikva, continuing in the Bnei Akiva Yeshiva in Kfar Haroeh. He then transferred to the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem, where he became a student of Zvi Yehuda Kook. He also served in the Israel Defense Forces, in the Bnei Akiva gar'in in the Nahal. In 1952, he became a member of Bnei Akiva's National Directorate, and from 1955 until 1956, he served as an emissary of the organisation to the United States.

In 1964, he founded the Ohr Etzion B'nei Akiva Yeshiva High school, where he remains Rosh Yeshiva. In 1977, he established the Ohr Etzion Yeshiva, for many years the largest Hesder Yeshiva in the country. In 1995, he founded the Ohr MeOfir academy for high school graduates of the Ethiopian community. Since 1996, he has also been the head of the Center for Bnei Akiva Yeshivot and ulpanot in Israel.

Drukman played a leading role in the establishment of Gush Emunim.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

Drukman was first elected to the Knesset in the 1977 elections on the National Religious Party's (NRP) list. He was re-elected in 1981, and was appointed Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs on 11 August. However, as an opponent of the Camp David Accords,[3] he lost the post on 2 March 1982. On 10 October 1983, he broke away from the NRP and attempted to form a Knesset faction by the name of Zionist Religious Camp, but was refused permission to do so by the House Committee.[4] Instead, he sat as a single MK for the remainder of the Knesset term.

In the run-up to the 1984 elections, he and Avraham Verdiger formed a new party, Morasha. It won two seats, taken by the two founders. Although the party joined the government, neither Drukman nor Verdiger were given cabinet posts. On 29 July 1986, Drukman left Morasha and returned to the NRP.

Civil service[edit]

In 1990, Drukman was appointed director of the newly created State Conversion Authority, that provides services to candidates for conversion to Judaism. Despite some controversy in 2008, he remains in his post, which he has served for over 25 years.

Israel Prize[edit]

In 2012, he was selected to be awarded the Israel Prize.[5]


  1. ^ Gershom Gorenberg, The Accidental Empire, Time Books, Henry Holt & Co., 2006 p. 356.
  2. ^ Ian Lustick, For the land and the Lord: Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, Council on Foreign Relations, 1988 p. 63.
  3. ^ Lustick, For the land and the Lord, p. 63.
  4. ^ Mergers and Splits Among Parliamentary Groups Knesset website
  5. ^ Ben Gedalyahu, Tzvi (March 7, 2012). "Rabbi Druckman to Receive Israel Prize". Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2012. Leading nationalist religious Rabbi Chaim Druckman will receive the Israel Prize for his contributions to society and education, Education Minister Gideon Saar announced Wednesday.

External links[edit]

Media related to Haim Drukman at Wikimedia Commons