MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) can check one campaign promise off of his list on
Sunday, after announcing weekly open office hours modeled after US congressmen’s
While the Knesset tends to be empty on Sundays,
because plenum meetings are held Monday through Wednesday, Lipman plans to be in
his office for at least two hours every Sunday morning.
The Yesh Atid
lawmaker will hold brief meetings with citizens who make an appointment in
advance to discuss issues with him.
Lipman hopes to accommodate as many
people as possible during the hours available in his Knesset schedule, which
will become busier after committees are formed.
Throughout the election
campaign, Lipman, who is the first American-born MK in almost 30 years, told
potential English-speaking voters that he would be their “congressman,” with the
same level of transparency and access as elected officials in the US.
truly wish I had an Englishspeaking MK to turn to for assistance in quite a few
issues following my family’s aliya eight-and-a-half years ago,” Lipman, who
hails from Maryland, said. “I’m happy that I’m now in a position to help
As for those who don’t speak English, Lipman is brushing up on
Every MK is allotted a budget to learn another language.
While most use it to improve their English – with some like MK Mickey Levy (Yesh
Atid) asking Lipman if he can practice his English on him – Lipman will hire a
Lipman recounted a meeting last week with representatives
of the Jewish Federations of North America in the Knesset, which he initiated to
strengthen ties between Jewish communities in the world and Israel.
thought it would be in English, but the [representatives] were all Israelis, so
my first major meeting was in Hebrew,” he explained, adding that he has a good
grasp of the language, but is not as eloquent as he is in English.
Yesh Atid MK has also given speeches and televised interviews in Hebrew, but
hopes to bring it up to par with his English.