Yuli Edelstein Speaker, Israeli Knesset

Yuli Edelstein is the Speaker of the Knesset (the legislative branch of the Israeli government).

Edelstein was born in 1958 in Chernovitz, Ukraine. He studied foreign languages at the Moscow Institute for Teacher Training. A former aliya activist and Hebrew teacher in Moscow and a Prisoner of Zion (1984-87), he immigrated to Israel in 1987 where he served as Vice President of the Zionist Forum in Israel (1988-1996). In 1990, he graduated from the Jerusalem Fellows Program, and from 1990-1993 was a Department Head at the Melitz Center for Zionist Education. In 1993-1994, he served as an advisor to then opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu. He was a founding member of Yisrael ba-Aliya in 1996, and has been a member of the Knesset since May of the same year.

Edelstein served as Minister of Immigrant Absorption, from June 1996 - July 1999, and as Deputy Minister of Immigrant Absorption from March 2001 until February 2003. In the 16th and 17th Knesset, he served as Deputy Speaker. In March 2009, Edelstein was appointed Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora, and has served as the Speaker of the Knesset since March of 2013.