Meir Cohen (politician)


Meir Cohen
ראש עיריית דימונה מאיר כהן.jpg
Ministerial roles
2013–2014Minister of Social Affairs and Social Services
2021–Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services
Faction represented in the Knesset
2013–2019Yesh Atid
2019–2020Blue and White
2020–Yesh Atid
Personal details
Born (1955-11-15) 15 November 1955 (age 66)
Essaouira, Morocco

Meir Cohen (Hebrew: מֵאִיר כֹּהֵן, born 15 November 1955) is an Israeli politician. A former mayor of Dimona,[1] Cohen is currently a member of the Knesset for Yesh Atid. He served as Minister of Welfare and Social Services from 2013 until 2014.


Born in Essaouira in Morocco, Cohen immigrated to Israel with his family at the age of seven. After initially settling in Yeruham, they moved to Dimona and were one of its founding families.[2] He studied at the Lehman school in Dimona. In 1973, Cohen was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces, joined the Paratroopers Brigade, and fought in the Yom Kippur War. He attended Ben-Gurion University of the Negev where he gained a bachelor's degree in history. Cohen earned a master's degree in Jewish Studies after graduating from the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem. He later worked as a headteacher in Dimona.[3][4]

He joined Yisrael Beiteinu and ran for mayor of Dimona in 2003, and was elected with 42% of the vote. He was elected for a second term in 2008, and was expected to win a third term in 2013.[5] During his tenure numerous factories opened, the city's first mall was built, unemployment dropped, he built cultural and youth centers, and led the efforts to lower the price of water.[6] In October 2012 he joined Yesh Atid after being courted by the party for several months.[5]

In addition to serving as mayor of Dimona, Cohen was also a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Agency.[7]

In the lead-up to the 2013 Knesset elections Cohen was placed fourth on the list of the new Yesh Atid party, entering the Knesset as the party won 19 seats.[8] He was appointed Minister of Welfare and Social Services, a post he held until resigning on 2 December 2014.[9] He was placed fourth on the party's list for the 2015 elections,[10] and was re-elected as the party won 11 seats.


  1. ^ All the kingmaker’s men, and women Times of Israel, 23 January 2013
  2. ^ In the Reactor’s Shadow Tablet, 7 March 2012
  3. ^ Lapid's party recruits Herzliya, Dimona mayors Ynetnews 22 October 2013
  4. ^ Family braves rockets to open World ORT's new centre of excellence in Dimona Archived 2013-06-28 at the Wayback Machine World ORT, 28 November 2013
  5. ^ a b Mayors who ran for Knesset didn’t win over residents Haaretz, 27 January 2013
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 2, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Youth Futures in Dimona Jewish Agency for Israel
  8. ^ Yesh Atid Central Elections Committee
  9. ^ Netanyahu: Israel must elect a new, bigger and more stable government The Jerusalem Post, 2 December 2014
  10. ^ Yesh Atid list Central Elections Committee

External links

  • Meir Cohen on the Knesset website