Yitzhak-Meir Levin


Date of birth = 30 January 1893
Place of birth = Góra Kalwaria, Russian Empire
Year of Aliyah = 1940
Date of death = 7 August 1971
Place of death =
Knesset(s) = 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th
Party = Agudat Israel
Former parties = United Religious Front
Religious Torah Front
Gov't roles = Minister of Welfare|

Rabbi Yitzhak-Meir Levin ( _he. יצחק-מאיר לוין, born 30 January 1893, died 7 August 1971) was an ultra-orthodox Jewish Polish and Israeli politician, an Israeli government minister and a former leader of Agudat Israel. He was one of 37 people to sign the Israeli declaration of independence.


Born in Góra Kalwaria (known as Ger in Yiddish) in the Russian Empire (today in Poland), Levin studied at yeshivas, before being certified as a rabbi.

A founder of Agudat Israel in Poland, he was elected to Warsaw Community Council as a representative of the organisation in 1924, and five years later was elected to the World Agudat Israel presidium. In 1937 he was elected as one of the two co-chairmen of the organisation's executive committee, and in 1940 became the sole chairman. He was also involved in founding the Beit Yaakov school system for religious girls.

Between 1937 and 1939 he was a member of the Sejm, the Polish parliament, representing Agudat Israel.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Levin helped refugees in Warsaw, before immigrating to Mandate Palestine in 1940, where he became head of the local branch of Agudat Israel.

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. He remained a member of the Knesset (twice for the Religious Torah Front, an alliance of Agudat Israel and its Workers branch) until his death in 1971, but never returned to the cabinet.

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