Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid appointed former MK and Talmud scholar Dr. Ruth Calderon to be World Zionist Organization president on Thursday.
Calderon, whose appointment must be approved by the WZO, will be the first president of the organization in decades, and the first woman to hold any president or chair post in any Zionist institution. The post comes with an automatic grave in Mount Herzl’s section of leaders.Calderon is an educator and Talmud scholar working to promote Hebrew, Israeli, and Jewish culture, to cultivate the study of Torah in the secular world, and to create a liberal, humanistic public space that is rich in culture.
She served in the 19th Knesset as an MK for the Yesh Atid party and as deputy speaker of the Knesset.
Calderon founded Beit Midrash Elul in Jerusalem and Alma – Home for Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv. She also served as the head of the culture and education department of the National Library of Israel.
In recognition of her work, Ruth was awarded the AVI CHAI Prize for Jewish Education, the Samuel Rothberg Prize for Jewish Education, and honorary doctorates from Brandeis University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and Hebrew College in Boston.
Calderon holds a master’s degree and doctorate in Talmud from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is a graduate of Cohort 1 of the Mandel School for Educational Leadership.