Doing it her way

After being elected to the Knesset in 2015, MK Merav Ben-Ari quickly attracted attention for her seemingly endless energy and, more importantly, effectiveness in championing and diverting funds to the needs of students, young adults, and homeless and at-risk youth.

Indeed, Ben-Ari has always been an overachiever, in her own way. In her IDF service in the Education Corps, she became an officer (Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was one of her soldiers) and received a citation for excellence.

At the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, where she received degrees in law and business administration, she was elected the first-ever female student union leader. In 2005, she came in first place in the reality TV show Wanted: A Leader, winning NIS 5 million, which she invested in establishing a center for at-risk youth in Netanya, and three years later she opened another center in Herzliya.
In recent weeks, however, the MK has been getting attention for an entirely different reason – her personal life.

Ben-Ari, 40, is in an unprecedented situation for an Israeli lawmaker: She’s single and pregnant for the first time, with a child she plans to raise with a close friend, Ophir, 41, who is gay. The two began the in-vitro fertilization process in 2014, before she entered politics, and they’re expecting a daughter in March. Continue reading

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