An American-born, moderate haredi lawmaker is a new kind of Israeli politician. Can he help bring about change?
Born and raised in the U.S., Rabbi Dov Lipman recently became a member of the Israeli Knesset from the Yesh Atid (There Is a Future) party. Both haredi (ultra-Orthodox) and worldly, Lipman, 41, studied at the Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University, where he received a master’s degree in education.
An educator and community activist who led the fight last year against haredi extremists who attacked schoolgirls in Beit Shemesh, Lipman believes that haredi society needs to integrate more into Israeli society, not only for the country’s benefit but the haredi community’s as well.
How an unlikely pair of religious-secular activists stopped the zealots in Beit Shemesh.
Beit Shemesh, Israel — Little Naama Margolese brought them together.
On the surface they were an unlikely pair: Dov Lipman, an American-born “modern haredi” rabbi-educator who lives in Beit Shemesh, and Mickey Gitzin, the secular Israeli-born head of Yisrael Hofshit (Free Israel), an organization that works toward pluralism and against religious coercion.