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Avraham Burg is one of the senior members of the Israeli Labor Party. First elected in 1988, he has an impressive Knesset record. He served as the speaker of the 15th Knesset and as Chairman of the Knesset Committee on Education, Arts and Sports, of the 13th Knesset. During the 12th Knesset, he served as a member of the prestigious Knesset Committee of Defense and Foreign Affairs as well as on the Budget and Finance Committee and the Senate Comptrollers Committee.
Burg’s career in public service began with the founding of the protest movement against war in Lebanon and as an activist for Peace Now. He also has served on the board of the Israeli Society for the Protection of Nature and as a tour guide and lecturer at the Israeli government school of tourism. He has been a staunch proponent for the environment in Israel. 
Prime Minister Shimon Peres appointed him as advisor on Diaspora Affairs in 1985. In 1995, Burg left the Knesset to become the Executive Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel. During his term as JAFI chair, he oversaw the immigration to Israel of over half a million Jews and was instrumental in the restructuring of the agency. His leadership placed a great emphasis on the importance on Jewish education, identity and protecting vulnerable populations.
As Deputy Chairman of the World Jewish Congress and Co-Chair of the World Jewish Restitution Organization, Burg was a member of the international committee, which negotiated a successful settlement with the Swiss banks. Additionally, he was a member of the Claims Conference and led the successful struggle for the restitution of Jewish property in Europe. 
Burg has been an advocate for pluralism and tolerance in Israeli society. He founded the Open Midrasha Center for Jewish Studies, fought against changes to the law of return, and was a member of the Neeman Commission on conversion. He is a committed advocate of the separation of politics and religion in Israel. 
He was a popular television personality in the 1980’s, during which time he hosted shows on both Channel 1 and Educational TV. He continues as a frequent contributor to both Israeli and overseas media. He also directed the Van Leer Institute project on education and theater.
Burg served in the paratroop brigade as an officer. In 1978 he was seriously injured in a parachute accident during operational exercises.
He studied African Studies at Hebrew University, Industrial Design at the Betzalel Academy and was both a student and a lecturer at the Israeli Government School of Tourism.
In his book, God is Back (2006, Hebrew), Burg explores the critical need for separation of religion and the state. He warns that an increasingly large sector of Israeli society disdains political democracy. His most recent book, The Holocaust is Over; We Must Rise from Its Ashes, (2008, English) he argues that the Jewish nation has been traumatized by the Holocaust and has lost the ability to trust itself, its neighbors or the world around it.
Avraham Burg was born and grew up in Jerusalem. He lives with his wife Yael and six children in the village of Nataf.

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Very Near to You
Very Near to You
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Human Readings of the Torah
Turn the Torah over and over again, the ancie...