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Ilai Harsgor Hendin

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Ilai Harsgor Hendin
עילאי הרסגור-הנדין
Deputy mayor of Kfar Saba
Assumed office
15 January 2019
In office
21 November 2013 – 17 May 2016
Head of Meretz faction on Kfar Saba city council
Assumed office
12 November 2013
Personal details
Born (1980-09-30) 30 September 1980 (age 43)
Political partyMeretz
ResidenceKfar Saba, Israel
ProfessionSoftware engineer

Ilai Harsgor Hendin (Hebrew: עילאי הרסגור-הנדין‎; born: 30 September 1980) is the deputy mayor of Kfar Saba, current council member as head of the Meretz faction[1] and was a candidate for mayor in the 2018 municipal elections.[2]


Ilai Harsgor Hendin was born on September 30, 1980 and grew up in Kfar Saba. Hendin is the grandson of the late Professor Michael Harsgor.[3][4]

From 1995-1998 he studied at Katzanelson highschool in the city.[citation needed]

Hendin studied law and computer science at the University of Haifa and holds L.Lb and B.Sc degrees respectively.[2]

From April 2006 to October 2010 he worked as a software engineer for Microsoft, Vicon and IBM and was instrumental in the establishment of various startup companies.[2]

Political activism[edit]

From 2009 to November 2013, Hendin served as head of the Meretz party in Kfar Saba.

In 2009, Hendin, along with journalist and former member of Knesset, Nitzan Horowitz, was among the founders of the "Free Israel" (Hebrew: ישראל חופשית‎) organization.[5]

From November 21, 2013 until 17 May 2016, Hendin served as deputy mayor of Kfar Saba. As deputy mayor, he led a revolution calling for transparency in the department for Environmental Protection and turned Kfar Saba into the first city which banned the use of cancerous fumigation. Hendin was also an advocate against the religious influence in the city and forged cooperation with pluralistic entities calling for a more open form of Judaism including the appointment of two women to the religious council. Hendin thwarted an attempt by the former mayor to ban the use of video recorders at city council hearings and himself would broadcast his hearings and those of his faction member, Plia Katner, live on the internet.[2] He left his position after uncovering suspicious dealings which led to the arrest of former mayor Yehuda Ben-Hamo.[6][7]

In September 2016, Hendin, along with other council members from across the country, fought in order to limit the term of office held by elected local city officials.[2][8][9]

From November 12, 2013 serves as head of the Meretz faction on Kfar Saba's city council.[10]

Ilai Harsgor Hendin at a May Day rally, May 1, 2009

In 2016, Harsgor wrote a harsh letter to Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba after it was reported that Arab and Jewish new mothers are being separated in the wards after they deliver. He said that such “segregation reminds us of periods in history that we don’t want to return to, and there is no professional justification for separation on the basis of ethnic or religious background.” He added that Meir Medical Center is “a bridge among peoples who live in Israel where one meets patients, families and staff of all backgrounds. The babies born in the obstetrics department don’t know if they are Arab or Jew; they are human beings who will grow up in a world that we have created for them. We will decide if it is one of racism, hatred or discrimination, or a world that is going to a better place.”[11]

In May 2018, Harsgor expressed outrage when a group of girls was asked to sit in the back due to the presence of religious boys at an event held for Jerusalem Day at the local culture center.[12] That same month he slammed police officials, including Israeli police chief Roni Alsheikh, over what he viewed as extreme security measures taken at a local gay pride parade and threatened to go to the supreme court if they weren't revoked.[13]

On October 30, 2018, Harsgor ran for city mayor, as head of the Meretz faction, against Rafi Saar, Yossi Sedbon, Hadar Lavi, Yuval Levi, Zvika Zarfati and Mirit Shaked Barak. While Harsgor came in at 5th place with only 11% of the vote, his party, Meretz came in at number one with 4 seats on the city council.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Ilai Harsgor Hendin resides in Kfar Saba with his wife, Liran, and their daughter.[2]


  1. Kashti, Or (13 May 2018). "Secular Students Segregated by Gender at High School Assembly in Central Israel". Haaretz. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 ""A Municipality Should Work So That Its Residents Are Satisfied, Happy and with a Sense of Pride in Their City"" (in עברית). HaSharon Post. 17 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  3. Tomer Velmer, Aviel Magnezi (10 February 2011). "Bidding Farewell to Harsgor: "He Lived History at Every Moment"" (in עברית). Ynet. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  4. Gaton, Yael (13 February 2011). "Hundreds Attend Funeral of Historian Prof. Michael Harsgor". Haaretz. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  5. Shraga, Zeev (16 August 2018). "Politics in Kfar Saba" (in עברית). Local Portal. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  6. Senyor, Eli (13 February 2017). "Police raid Kfar Saba Municipality; 14 arrested". Ynet. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  7. Senyor, Eli (13 February 2017). "Kfar Saba Mayor arrested on suspiction of bribery". Ynet. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  8. Ilai Harsgor Hendin talks with Israel Channel 10 About Limiting the Number of Terms Held by Elected City Officials on YouTube
  9. HARKOV, LAHAV (13 September 2016). "LOCAL COUNCILORS CAMPAIGN FOR MAYORAL TERM LIMITS". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  10. Schneiderman, Alon (14 August 2016). "A Suburban Mall Becomes Latest Battleground in Israel's 'Shabbat Wars'". Haaretz. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  12. Kashti, Or (13 May 2018). "Female Students Were Asked to Sit in the Back Due to Presence of Religious Boys" (in עברית). Haaretz. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  13. Hadar, Reut (25 May 2018). "Police: 'Pride parade' subject to standard security measures - Kfar Saba mayoral candidate slams security measures for city's 'pride parade.'". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  14. Abrahamson, Arie (31 October 2018). "Going to a Second Round: The Big Winners of the Evening are Rafi Saar and Meretz" (in עברית). Ztomet HaSharon. Retrieved 31 October 2018.

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