Sisterhood Blog

Record Number of Women Elected to Knesset

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
New Israel Fund

Amid all of the speculation about post-election coalition building, let’s not overlook the exciting fact that a record number of women will serve in the 19th Knesset. With yesterday’s vote, the number of seats occupied by female MKs has risen from 22 to 26.

This means that women comprise over 23% of the Knesset. While this statistic does not come close to representing the proportion of women in Israeli society, it is better than the situation in the U.S. Here, a record 98 women were recently elected to Congress, but that represents only 18% of all those serving on Capitol Hill.

As would be expected, the 19th Knesset will include some familiar faces, including Tzipi Livni, Shelly Yachimovich, Miri Regev, Tzipi Hotovely and Zehava Gal-On, but with the election of 53 new MK’s there are plenty of fresh faces as well. Among them are former Herzliya mayor Yael German; scholar Aliza Lavie; social activist Adi Kol; attorney Karin Elharar; Jewish educator Ruth Calderon; attorney Penina Tamnu-Shata (the first female MK of Ethiopian origin); vocational training expert Rena Frenkel; Hod Hasharon city council member Yifat Kariv of Yesh Atid; journalist Merav Michaeli; social protest leader Stav Shaffir; doctoral student Michal Biran of Labor; rightist activist Ayelet Shaked; Yesha Human Rights Organization chair Orit Strook of Habayit Hayehudi; former CEO of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel Michal Rozin, and Tel Aviv-Yafo councilwoman Tamar Zandberg of Meretz.

Clearly — and thankfully — very few Israelis heeded Religious Zionist leader Rabbi Shlomo Aviner’s (out-of-touch) warning that women, for the sake of modesty, should not vote or run for the Knesset. Sorry, Rabbi, but it’s obvious that more and more Israelis think a woman’s place is in the house. That is, the Jewish State’s house of representatives.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: sisterhood, israeli election, jewish women

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.