Zevulun Hammer

Zevulun Hammer (Hebrew: זבולון המר, 31 May 1936 – 20 January 1998) was an Israeli politician, minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

Zevulun Hammer
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Ministerial roles
1975–1976Minister of Welfare
1977–1984Minister of Education and Culture
1986–1988Minister of Religious Affairs
1988–1990Minister of Religious Affairs
1990–1992Minister of Education and Culture
1996–1998Deputy Prime Minister
1996–1998Minister of Education, Culture & Sport
1997–1998Minister of Religious Affairs
Faction represented in the Knesset
1969–1984National Religious Party
1984Gesher – Zionist Religious Centre
1984–1998National Religious Party
Personal details
Born31 May 1936
Haifa, Mandatory Palestine
Died20 January 1998(1998-01-20) (aged 61)
Jerusalem, Israel


Hammer was born in Haifa during the Mandate era. He was an active member of the Bnei Akiva youth movement (which he led), and served in the Israeli Armored Corps in a Nahal programme. He graduated from Bar-Ilan University with a BA in Judaism and Bible, as well as a teaching certificate and worked as a teacher. At the university, he headed the Student Union and was a member of the Presidium of the Israeli Students Association and the World Union of Jewish Students.

Political careerEdit

Hammer was first elected to the Knesset in 1969 as a member of the National Religious Party. He became Deputy Minister of Education and Culture in January 1973. In November 1975 he was appointed Minister of Welfare, but in December 1976 his party resigned from the cabinet

After the 1977 elections he was appointed Minister of Education, a role he retained until September 1984. For a brief period during the 10th Knesset, Hammer and Yehuda Ben-Meir broke away from the NRP and formed a new faction, Gesher – Zionist Religious Centre; however, they returned to the NRP after two weeks.

In October 1986 he became Minister of Religious Affairs, and in 1990 was re-appointed Education Minister. He lost his place in the cabinet after the NRP were left out of Yitzhak Rabin's government, but regained it following the 1996 elections, when he was appointed Education Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. In August 1997 he was also appointed Minister of Religious Affairs.[1]


At age 61, Hammer was diagnosed with cancer and died in office on 20 January 1998, leaving a wife and four children. He was buried in the Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery.


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