Yifat Shasha-Biton

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Yifat Shasha-Biton
Yifat Shasha-Biton.png
Date of birth (1973-05-23) 23 May 1973 (age 46)
Place of birthKiryat Shmona, Israel
Knessets20, 21
Faction represented in Knesset
Ministerial roles
2019–Minister of Construction and Housing

Yifat Shasha-Biton (Hebrew: יִפְעָת שָׁאשָׁא־בִּיטוֹן, born 23 May 1973) is an Israeli educator and politician. She currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Kulanu and Minister of Construction and Housing.

Early life and education[edit]

Shasha-Biton was born in Kiryat Shmona in 1973, the daughter of a nurse and the owner of a transportation company. In 2002 she received her doctorate in education from the University of Haifa, having already obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in education at the same university. She focused her doctoral dissertation on the influence of education on how Israeli and Palestinian students "understand the concept of peace."[1]


Shasha-Biton became Vice President of Ohalo College, a teacher training college in Katzrin, and was also a member of the board at Tel-Hai Technological College.

In 2008 she ran for mayor of Kiryat Shmona, and was appointed Deputy Mayor and head of the Education and Youth department at the City Council. In the 2013 local elections she was elected to the City Council. Prior to the 2015 elections she joined the new Kulanu party, and was placed seventh on its list.[2] She was elected to the Knesset as the party won ten seats.[3]

After being elected to the Knesset, Shasha-Biton became chair of the Special Committee for the Rights of the Child. In early 2016 she held discussion with child advocates, including "Lo Tishtok" (Thou Shall Not Be Silent), a group offering support to ultra-Orthodox victims of sexual abuse; Yitzhak Kadman, then executive director of the Israel National Council for the Child, and Manny Waks, the chief executive officer of Kol v'Oz. In his comments to her, Waks cautioned: "Sex offenders tend to move from country to country to avoid jail, but what makes Israel unique is the Law of Return, which essentially grants unhindered access to anyone who is Jewish to come here without any real screening." [4] In response to studies about child abuse, Shasha-Bison has stated: "To end the epidemic of sexual abuse of minors, we must act systemically to raise awareness among parents and children; to provide tools to educators to identify children who were harmed; and improve the care and support to the victims and their families. In addition, changes must be made in legislation and law enforcement to bring those who harm to justice."[5]

In January 2019 Shasha-Biton was appointed Minister of Construction and Housing after the incumbent, Kulanu colleague Yoav Galant, left the party and changed portfolios.[6] She was placed third on the Kulanu list for the April 2019 elections, and was re-elected as the party won four seats.

Personal life[edit]

Shasha-Biton lives in Kiryat Shmona, and is married with three children.


  1. ^ Meet the New MK: Kulanu's Shasha-Biton wants to narrow social gaps through education The Jerusalem Post, 19 April 2015
  2. ^ Kulanu list Central Elections Committee
  3. ^ Final Unofficial* results of the Elections for the Twentieth Knesset Central Elections Committee
  4. ^ Israel Becoming a 'Refuge for Pedophiles,' Warns Advocate for Child Sex Abuse Victims Haaretz, 22 March 2016
  6. ^ "Yifat Shasha Biton appointed Minister of Construction and Housing". The Jerusalem Post. 9 January 2019.

External links[edit]