Yaakov Litzman

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Yaakov Litzman
Date of birth (1948-09-02) 2 September 1948 (age 67)
Place of birth Germany
Year of aliyah 1965
Knessets 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
Faction represented in Knesset
1999–2005 United Torah Judaism
2005–2006 Agudat Yisrael
2006–2008 United Torah Judaism
2008–2009 Agudat Yisrael
2009– United Torah Judaism
Ministerial roles
2015 Deputy Minister of Health
2015– Minister of Health

Yaakov Litzman (Hebrew: יעקב ליצמן‎, born 2 September 1948) is an Israeli politician and Government Minister. A follower of the Ger Hasidic dynasty, he heads the Agudat Yisrael part of the United Torah Judaism alliance in the Knesset and serves as Minister of Health.


Litzman was born in 1948 to Polish survivors of the Holocaust, in a displaced persons camp in Germany. When he was two years old, the family immigrated to the East New York section of Brooklyn, and then to the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, where he grew up. In 1966, at age 17, he immigrated to Israel and continued his Torah studies. His first job was as principal of the Hasidic Beis Yaakov girls' school in Jerusalem.

He later became active in politics under the guidance of the then Gerrer Rebbe, Rabbi Simcha Binem Alter. Over time he became known as the rebbe's right-hand man, a role he continues under the present Gerrer Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Arye Alter. In 1999 the present rebbe asked Litzman to join the Agudat Yisrael faction of the United Torah Judaism list for the Knesset elections that year. He was subsequently elected, and became Chairman of the Finance Committee. He headed the UTJ list for the 2003 elections,[1] and was re-elected, again becoming the Chair of the Finance Committee. He has since served as the leader of the UTJ and Agudat Yisrael faction in the Knesset, in which he consults the Gerrer Rebbe on a daily basis.

Litzman was re-elected again in 2006, retaining his chairmanship of the Finance Committee, and for a fourth time in 2009, after which UTJ joined the new government, in which Litzman was appointed Deputy Minister of Health. After Litzman was reelected in 2013, UTJ were excluded from the coalition government. However, following the 2015 elections, he was reappointed Deputy Minister of Health. He was appointed on August 27, 2015 Minister of Health after a court challenge filed by Yesh Atid.[2]

Litzman served on the Knesset's Internal Affairs Committee from 1999–2001,[3] and as the Deputy Chairman of Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee.[4] As part of the coalition agreement with the ruling government of Ariel Sharon in 2001, Litzman was appointed chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, a position he held until 2003, and again from 2005-2007.

Litzman has five children and lives in Jerusalem. He is quoted as saying that "in some respects, I envy the low profile the Haredi community in the United States has been able to retain by staying out of politics". He also said that, in Israel, the media attention makes for misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the Haredi community.[5]


  1. ^ UTJ list Israel Democracy Institute
  2. ^ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4695331,00.html
  3. ^ News 2001
  4. ^ News 2000
  5. ^ Popper, Nathaniel (2005-01-28). "Brooklyn-bred Hasid Takes Position of Power in Israel". Forward, the Jewish Daily. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 

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