The Labor Party has not had a kippa-wearer in the Knesset since former parliament speaker Avraham Burg. But that could change if Chili Tropper gets his way.

Tropper, 34, from the Jerusalem suburb of Ness Harim, announced this week that he intends to run in the November 27 Labor primary.

He joined Labor to help chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich’s election campaign and promote her socioeconomic agenda.

The principal of a school in Ramle for drop-outs, he helped found the Shachen Tov (good neighbor) association and Bema’aglei Tzedek, an organization that merges social activism with education in an effort to fix social ills.

“We in Labor are trying to break traditional dividing lines of Right and Left and religious and secular that are no longer relevant,” Tropper said. “Socioeconomic issues and education are what matters.

When I tell other religious Zionists what party I am in, they are surprised, but they understand that it’s not the same Labor. Some people are cynical, but I don’t care.”

While Tropper has never been a member of a political party before, his father, Rabbi Danny Tropper, heads the election committee of Habayit Hayehudi and has been active for years in the National Religious Party and Meimad.

Danny Tropper made aliya from New York in 1968 with his wife, Faygie, who is from Los Angeles. Chili still has grandparents and many family members in the United States.

If elected to the Knesset, Chili Tropper would have to give up his American citizenship.

He said that if he won a slot on the Labor list, he would campaign among immigrants from Englishspeaking countries.

He added that while his father did not identify with Labor, he was proud that his son had decided to try and make an impact on Israeli society.

When asked about his son’s run, the elder Tropper said, “Chili was once known as Danny Tropper’s son, but now I am glad to be known as Chili Tropper’s father.”

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