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Dalia Itzik

During her term as the first female Speaker of the Knesset, Dalia Itzik was called upon to take on another first when she became the first female Interim President of Israel in 2007. A Sephardic Jew of Iraqi descent, Itzik earned a teaching certificate from the Efrata Teacher’s Institute in Jerusalem and helped found the Katznelson school in Jerusalem, where she taught from 1973–1989. In 1989 she was elected to the City Council of Jerusalem, where she served as Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem in charge of education before being elected to the Knesset in 1992 as part of the Labor Party. After seven years serving on various committees, she began taking on leadership roles in the Knesset as Minister of the Environment in 1999, Minister of Industry and Trade in 2001, Leader of the Opposition in 2003, and Minister of Communications in 2005. From 2006–2009 she served as Speaker of the Knesset, but in 2007, after President Moshe Katzav resigned from office, Itzik stepped into the role from January until July, when Shimon Peres took office. Itzik continued as a member of the Knesset until 2013, and in 2016 she became chair of the board of Hadassah International in Israel.


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(From left) President George W. Bush, Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, and President Shimon Peres at the Knesset in 2008. Image courtesy of whitehouse.gov.

Date of Birth


How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Dalia Itzik." (Viewed on November 29, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/itzik-dalia>.


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