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Shelly Yachimovich

(1960 - )

Shelly Yachimovich is an Israeli politican and a former head of Israel's Labor Party.

Yachimovich (born March 28, 1960) was born in the Israeli coastal city of Kfar Saba to parents who survived the Holocaust and eventually immigrated to Israel from Poland. In 1985, Yachimovich graduated from Ben Gurion University of the Negev with a bachelors degree in Behavioral Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology.

A journalist for the majority of her professional career before turning to politics, Yachimovich worked in the print, broadcast, and radio media for a number of different news outlets. Her reporting career started with the Al-Hamishmar paper in southern Israel and following that she moved to reporting for the Kol Israel radio station.  At Kol Israel, Yachimovich ended up reporting for more than seven years on the popular "Hakol Diburim" show in which she was very influential in adding feminist and social agendas. Yachimovich became one of Israel's most outspoken supporters of withdrawal from Lebanon during her time on the radio.

In 2000, she moved to become a reporter for Israel's Channel 2, hosting a socio-economic show called "Meet the Press," and she also started a weekly broadcast for Galei Tzahal, the Israel Defense Force's official radio station.

In November 2005, soon after Amir Peretz became head of Israel's Labor political party, Yachimovich left the journalism world to pursue a political career in the Knesset. She ran in the Labor primaries that year and was placed ninth on Labor's list for the 2006 elections. When Labor won 19 seats in the election, Yakamovich was named a Member of Knesset for the Seventeenth Government.

In December 2008, she was elected 4th in the primary elections' list of the Labor Party to the 18th Knesset, and had quickly established herself as one of the leading figures in the party. During her time in the Knesset, Yachimovich has been influential in passing a number of legislations, including: The law of protection for employees who uncover corruption; The salary protection act; The National Health Insurance Law for Returning Citizens; The Lobbyists Law; and The Elongation of Maternity Leave Law.

In March 2011, Yachimovich declared her candidacy for chairman of the Labor Party amd on September 21st, 2011, she was elected chairwoman of the Labor Party and its leader for the 19th Knesset general elections, beating the incumbent Peretz by more than 10% of the votes and becoming the first woman to lead the party since former Prime Minister Golda Meir.

In November 2012, Yachimovich lost the party leadership in a vote to Isaac Herzog by a margin of 58%-41%. She continues to represent Labor in the Knesset.

Yachimovich has written two best seller novles: "Eshet Ish" (Keshet, 2001) and "Mishakey Zuggot" (Keshet, 2003). She published her political manifest in her book "We - on Economy, Society, Morality and Nationality in Israel" (Am Oved, 2011).

Yachimovich lives in Tel Aviv and has two children, Gal and Rama.

Sources: Yachimovich Official Site; YnetNews (September 22, 2011); Huffington Post; The Knesset Official Website; Wikpedia