Rabbi and Professor Daniel Hershkowitz was been chosen as chairman of the new party, Habayit Hayehudi (The Jewish Home), on Monday evening. The decision was made by the public council tasked with building the party's Knesset roster for the upcoming general elections. The council will begin the process of choosing the rest of the list on Tuesday.
Hershkowitz, a mathematics professor at the Technion, triumphed over the younger Avi Wartzman, director-general of the 'Mibereshit' movement.
The 55-year-old Hershkowitz served as a major in the Intelligence Corps. From 1996 to 1999 he served as dean of the Technion's Division of Continuing Education and External Studies and between 2000-2004 he served as dean of the university's Faculty of Mathematics. In 2005 he was appointed head of the Technion Faculty Association. He also currently serves as rabbi of the Ahuza neighborhood in Haifa. He has published over 80 scientific articles pertaining to mathematics.
He is married to Shimona, principle of the 'Ibn Gvirol' school for special education. They have five children and eight grandchildren.
Earlier in the evening the chairmen of the factions comprising Habayit Hayehudi – MK Benny Elon (Moledet), MK Zevulun Orlev (National Religious Party) and MK Zvi Hendel (Tekuma) – demanded a meeting with Maj. Gen. (res) Yaacov Amidror and urged him to accept the role of chairman of the new party's public council.
Amidror refuses to serve as the agreed-upon chairman, despite the significant pressure from the party's top officials.