Yitzhak-Meir Levin (Hebrew: יצחק-מאיר לוין; 30 January 1893 – 7 August 1971) was a Haredi politician in Poland and Israel. One of 37 people to sign the Israeli declaration of independence, he served in several Israeli cabinets and was a longtime leader and Knesset minister for Agudat Yisrael and related parties.

Yitzhak-Meir Levin
Levin in 1951
Ministerial roles
1948–1952Minister of Welfare
Faction represented in the Knesset
1949–1951United Religious Front
1951–1955Agudat Yisrael
1955–1960Religious Torah Front
1960–1971Agudat Yisrael
Personal details
Born30 January 1893
Góra Kalwaria, Russian Empire
Died7 August 1971(1971-08-07) (aged 78)



Levin was born Izaak Meir Lewin in Góra Kalwaria (known as Ger in Yiddish) in the Congress Poland part of the Russian Empire.[1] He was a paternal descendant of Chanokh Heynekh Levin (1789–1870). In his early years he studied at yeshiva and received Semikhah. He married the daughter of Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter, head of the influential Ger hasidic dynasty[2] at the age of 16.[3]

During World War I he became involved in helping the victims of the war in Warsaw.[3]

With a support of his family, he became involved in politics; he was one of the leaders of Agudath Israel in Poland, was elected to Warsaw Community Council as a representative of the organisation in 1924, and five years later was elected to the World Agudath Israel presidium. In 1937 he was elected as one of the two co-chairmen of the organisation's executive committee.[1] In 1940 Levin became the sole chairman.[3] He was also involved in founding the Bais Yaakov school system for religious Jewish girls.[1]

Following the outbreak of World War II, Levin helped refugees in Warsaw, before emigrating to Mandatory Palestine in 1940, where he became head of the local branch of Agudath Israel.[1]

After signing the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948, Levin joined David Ben-Gurion's provisional government as Minister of Welfare. He was elected to the first Knesset in 1949 as a member of the United Religious Front, an alliance of the four major religious parties, and was reappointed to his ministerial role in the first and second governments.

After retaining his seat in the 1951 elections Levin rejoined Ben-Gurion's government as Minister of Welfare, but resigned in 1952 in protest at the National Service Law for Women.[1] He remained a member of the Knesset until his death in 1971, but not a member of the cabinet; in his remaining terms, he represented Religious Torah Front—an alliance of Agudat Yisrael and its worker's branch Poalei Agudat Yisrael.

He was buried on Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery.[2] The main street of the Sanhedria Murhevet neighbourhood in Jerusalem and a street in Bnei Brak are named after him.


  1. ^ a b c d e Yitzhak-Meir Levin Knesset
  2. ^ a b Thousands Pay Last Respects to Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Levin, 77, Agudath Israel Leader Jewish Telegraph Agency, 9 August 1971
  3. ^ a b c Żebrowski, Rafał. "Lewin Izaak (Icchak) Meir". jhi.pl. Archived from the original on 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2017-01-26. (in Polish)