Shelly Yachimovich was born in Kfar Saba in 1960 to Moshe and Hannah, both Holocaust survivors from Poland.
Yachimovich served as an officer in the IDF and was released at the rank of lieutenant, after which she enrolled in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
She completed her BA in Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology) in 1985 and began working in Beersheba as a coordinator for the local branch of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
In the Knesset (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
While still in Beersheba, Yachimovich became the local reporter for Al Hamishmar ("On Guard"), a daily newspaper which was published in Israel between 1943 and 1995; effectively launching what would turn into a 15-year career in journalism.
Yachimovich's next media stop was the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), when she became an Israel Radio correspondent in 1986. She covered labor, economics and politics for the station's southern sector.
She also hosted the station's financial magazine broadcast "The Color of Money."
In 1993, after veteran broadcaster Razi Barkai left the station, she was chosen to host Israel Radio's flagship mid-morning news program "Ha'Kol Diburim" ("It's All Talk"), which she did for seven years.
Victory in Labor primaries (Photo: Ido Erez)
In 2000, Yachimovich left IBA in favor of Channel 2, where she co-hosted the daily five-o'clock news show "5 with…" and the weekly magazine "Meet the Press."
She also had a personal spot on the channel's main Friday evening news broadcast.
In November 2005, Yachimovich announced she was leaving journalism and entering politics, running for a place on the Labor Party's Knesset list.
Yachimovich was elected in the ninth slot in the Labor-Meimad Party primaries, and in March 2006 was sworn in as a member of the 17th Knesset, in which she served as a member of the Knesset's House, Finance, and State Control committees.
She also served on several subcommittees dealing with pension payments, public corruption, and religious services; and was a member of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Integration of Arab Employees in the Public Sector and chairwoman of the Committee for Rights of the Child.
In 2008, Yachimovich was elected No. 4 on Labor's list for the 18th Knesset. She served as a member of the Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee, the Finance Committee, the Joint Committee for the Budget of the Company for Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets, and the Joint Committee for the Defense Budget and chair of the Knesset Ethics Committee.
In 2011, and following Ehud Barak departure from Labor in order to form the Independence Party, Yachimovich, launched – and won – a bid for Labor chairmanship.
In November 2013, Isaac Herzog was elected Labor chairman.