Meet Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
Stand for Israel | June 15, 2021
This week, for the first time in twelve years, Israel has a new Prime Minister. So, let’s get to know PM Naftali Bennett, just the second Israeli premier (after Benjamin Netanyahu) to be born since the establishment of the modern state of Israel.
Born in 1972 in Haifa, Naftali Bennett descended from a rabbinical family and the Medieval biblical scholar Rashi on his father’s side, while some of his mother’s family perished in the Holocaust. After spending time in both the U.S. and Canada during his earliest years, Bennett grew up in Israel, raised in the Orthodox Jewish faith, making him Israel’s first Orthodox PM.
Serving in the IDF for six years of active duty, Bennett acted as company commander in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit. Still in the reserves, he served in the 1982-2000 South Lebanon conflict, and fought in the 2006 Lebanon War, performing search and destroy missions behind enemy lines against Hezbollah terrorist launching sites.
After his military service, Bennett built a career in the software business, then turned his eye to politics. First elected to the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) in 2013, Naftali Bennett has since served as Israel’s Minister of Economy and Minister of Education. Now this husband (his wife Gilat works as a pastry chef) and father of four will serve the Jewish state as Prime Minister for the next two years.