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Ofir Haivry writes about political philosophy, Jewish ideas, and strategic affairs.


Ofir Haivry is an Israeli political theorist and historian. He is currently Vice President of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Edmund Burke Foundation in Washington. He is a member of the Council for Higher Education (CHE), the 25-member Israel government body that oversees all universities and colleges in the country.

In 1994, Haivry co-founded (with Yoram Hazony) the Shalem Center in Jerusalem. He served as the first Editor-in-Chief of Shalem’s journal of ideas Azure from 1996-1999. He was also a Research Fellow at Shalem, establishing the team of scholars that made the Center into a leading research institution in the field of Political Hebraism. Between 2008-2011, Haivry served as Director of Studies at the Shalem Center, and was a principal member of the committee that designed the structure and curriculum for Shalem College, Israel’s first accredited Liberal Arts College. In 2013 he co-founded the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem.

Haivry has held a number of posts with the Israeli government. In 2009, he was appointed as a member of the Steering Committee for Israel’s National Heritage Infrastructure at the Prime Minister’s Office. Since 2010, he has been a member of Council for Higher Education, and was appointed to the Council for Higher Education for Judea and Samaria (CHE-JS) two years later. Haivry is a member of Israel’s Council for Archeology. He is also a member of the Bilateral Steering Team for promoting Academic Cooperation between Israel and Italy. In 2015, Haivry was appointed as Chairman of a national government commission on Peripheral Jewish Communities.

Between 1986-1990, Haivry was co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the influential Israeli student magazine Messer. From 1990-1993, he was a correspondent and later Foreign Affairs Editor for the Israeli newsweekly Haolam Hazeh.

On his father’s side, Haivry is descended from the ancient Jewish communities of Bukhara, Aleppo and Persia, including the Yoaboff family of book printers in Central Asia; and the Abramoff and Yakhin families, who were among the founders of the first Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem outside of the old city walls. Later generations of the family fought for the Jewish people in the Palmach, in the IDF armored division during the Suez war, and among the paratroopers who liberated Temple Mount in 1967. On his mother’s side he is a descendant of the ancient Jewish communities of Afghanistan and Persia, including R. Abraham b. Rahamim Garji, who in 1839 refused forced conversion to Islam in Meshed, and his grandson R. Shmuel b. Shlomo Garji, who wrote the Minhat Shmuel (1903). Later generations of the family include several members who fought for the Jewish people in the Irgun, the British Army during WWII, and an IDF fighter pilot, as well as a member of the Beitar Nordia Tel-Aviv soccer club that won the 1947 championship.

Haivry holds degrees from Tel-Aviv University (B.A., M.A.) and from the University of London (Ph.D). He lives in Givataim, Israel.

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