Ze'ev Bielski

Ze'ev Bielski (Hebrewזאב בילסקי‎, born 13 March 1949) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Kadima between 2009 and 2013. He previously chaired the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization[2][3] and worked as a Jewish Agency emissary in South Africa. He is the mayor of Ra'anana (served 1989–2005, 2013–current as of July 2015). Bielski is a founder of The Israel Forum, whose purpose is to maintain a direct relationship between young Jews from the Diaspora and Israel in the areas of education and economy. He also played in the Israeli national basketball league.

Ze'ev Bielski
Zeev Bielski.jpg
Date of birth (1949-03-13) 13 March 1949 (age 71)[1]
Place of birthJerusalem, Israel
Faction represented in Knesset


Early lifeEdit

Chairman of the Jewish Agency Ze'ev Bielski meeting Senator Barack Obama in Jerusalem, 2006

Bielski was born and raised in Jerusalem. Between 1967 and 1970 he served in the IDF, and he reached the level of Major. He got his BA in Economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Public lifeEdit

Between 1977 and 1980 he was the leading Jewish Agency emissary in South Africa. In 1989, after coming back to Israel, he became the Mayor of Ra'anana. During his mayorship, he also served as the Deputy Chairman of the Union of Local Authorities in Israel between 1996 and 1999, and as the National Chairman of the anti-drug organization, "Al-Sam" from 1994 to 1996.[4]

On 23 June 2005 he was elected a member of the World Zionist Organization Council as a member of Herut - The National Movement.[5] On 28 June he succeeded Salai Meridor as the chairman of the Jewish Agency. His candidacy for this position was supported by Ariel Sharon.[6]

Prior to the 2009 elections he was placed 15th on the Kadima list,[7] and entered the Knesset as the party won 28 seats. He chose not to run in the 2013 elections.

Private lifeEdit

Ze'ev Bielski is married to Caron Sacks (sister of art collector Leslie Sacks;[8][9] and sister of American businessman Rodney Sacks),[8] whom he met in South Africa. They have 3 children, 2 girls (Adi and Tali) and a boy (Eran).

School FundingEdit

Bielski has resisted calls from constituents to fund schools that fall outside of mainstream schemes. In 2011, local residents sought approval to establish a Ra'anana branch of the Pelech School as an alternative for girls to the city's beleaguered Amit "Renanim". He has been criticized by Rabbi Michael Melchior, a founder of Meitarim, a network of pluralistic Jewish schools in Israel that educate religious and secular students together, for his refusal to provide city funding to the local branch of the pluralistic school.[10]

American JewsEdit

Bielski told The Jerusalem Post that Jews in America have no future in America. Due to the size of America he believes assimilation is inevitable, and all Jews in America should move to Israel.[11]


  1. ^ "Zeev Bielski". www.knesset.gov.il. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  2. ^ Kraft, Dina (28 June 2005). "Bielski Named Jewish Agency Head, Vows To Be Worldwide Emissary". United Jewish Communities. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  3. ^ "Victor Yushchenko meets with Ze'ev Bielski" (Press release). Press office of President Victor Yushchenko. 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  4. ^ JAFI Profiles: Zeev Bielski Jewish Agency for Israel
  5. ^ Far-right faction elevates Bielski to spot on WZO Executive Jewish Agency
  6. ^ 'Our job is to live here' The Jerusalem Report, 25 July 2005
  7. ^ Kadima list Knesset website (in Hebrew)
  8. ^ a b One Long House: Wolfe Sacks retrieved 29 April 2015
  9. ^ Jerusalem Post: "Grapevine: US politicians flock to visit - Sculpture garden dedicated at Ariel University Center, and youth essay contest launched" By GREER FAY CASHMAN 25 August 2009 | "The garden was donated by Bielski's brother-in-law Leslie Sacks of Los Angeles in memory of his father Wolfe (Harry) Zev Sacks. Leslie Sacks, his mother, sister Caron and other family members..."
  10. ^ Judy Lash Balint (12 April 2012). "An education revolution comes to Israel". The Canadian Jewish News. Jerusalem. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  11. ^ 'US Jews have future, present and past' The Jerusalem Post

External linksEdit