Overcoming poverty

Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen presents his solutions for helping Israel’s poor.

Citizens who rummage in the garbage or sleep rough are no longer an uncommon sight.
Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem
Meir Cohen, 58, made aliya with his family from Morocco as a young child, and grew up in a ma’abara (immigrant transit camp) in Yeroham and then later in Dimona with his parents and five siblings. His sister, Ruti Sheetrit, who works in PR, is the wife of MK Meir Sheetrit of Hatnua. After serving in the IDF Paratroopers he completed a BA in history of the Jewish People and an MA in Jewish thought. Cohen worked in education for 26 years, and became the principal of Zinman High School in Dimona.

From 2003 to 2013, he mayor of Dimona. He is considered to have been extremely effective in this position, and received the National Education Award. He brought increased culture to the city, establishing a theater and cinema. He implemented environmental programs, built an emergency medical facility and improved public transportation.

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