(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
American-born former MK Rabbi Dov Lipman will continue to serve immigrants from English-speaking countries and Diaspora Jews in the parliament, even though he was not elected to the 20th Knesset, Yesh Atid announced Monday.
Lipman was placed 17th on the Yesh Atid list, which won 11 seats in the March 17 election. But party leader Yair Lapid decided that he wants Lipman and the party to continue to serve such sectors, so the party will pay Lipman to do it.
“Yair heard that my office was flooded with work helping people,” Lipman said.
“I told him I was concerned that if such service would not be continued, it would be a terrible shame. He said without hesitation that if I helped so many people as a community, it is something we have to continue.”
Lipman will continue to hold regular “Open Knesset hours” for English speakers.
They will be invited to email Lipman at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule meetings at the Knesset with him about their issues and concerns. The issues will then be addressed as they were during the 19th Knesset.
“Former MK Lipman served as the Knesset member for the entire English community during the last Knesset, after decades of no one serving the community in this role,” Lapid said. “It was important for us at Yesh Atid to make sure that this service continues in the current Knesset.”
Lipman’s title will be chairman of Anglo and Diaspora affairs for Yesh Atid. In that role, he will continue to oversee operations of American Friends of Yesh Atid, which funds social projects in Israel that are part of the party’s vision. He is building a similar organization for Europe.
In the 19th Knesset, Lipman won an award for highest attendance in parliament sessions out of all 120 MKs.
“I look forward to continuing to help the English-speaking population with all its personal and communal needs,” Lipman said. “I urge every English-speaking immigrant to view my office as the address for all their needs and to not hesitate to email us to set up a meeting and explore how we can be of assistance.”