Mr. Yitzchak (Bougie) Herzog, the current chairman of the Jewish Agency and former chief of Israel’s Labor Party, was elected the 11th president of Israel.
By Anash.org reporter
Mr. Yitzchak (Bougie) Herzog, the current chairman of the Jewish Agency and former chief of Israel’s Labor Party, was elected Wednesday as the 11th President of Israel.
Herzog defeated Israel Prize-winning educator Miriam Peretz in a secret ballot. He received 87 votes he most attained by any candidate in Israeli presidential history. Peretz received 27 votes.
In his role as chairman of the Jewish Agency, Herzog developed a close working relationship with many Shluchim and Chabad institutions around the world. He was an honored guest at the International Kinus Hashluchim in 2018.
Herzog is the son of former Israeli president Chaim Herzog, who served as Israel’s sixth president from 5743-5753, and the grandson of Rabbi Yitzchak Issac HaLevi Herzog, the first Chief Rabbi of Ireland (5982-5695) and the first Chief Rabbi of Israel (5696-5719).
Chief Rabbi Herzog enjoyed a close relationship with the Frierdiker Rebbe and the Rebbe. While on a visit to the United States in 5709, he merited a private yechidus with the Frierdiker Rebbe. A few days later, when he fell ill, the Rebbe sent a group of Bochurim from 770 to the residence he was staying, to assist him with a minyan.
In an interview with JEM’s My Encounter project, Mr. Herzog recalled when, as a teenager, he accompanied his father and the Israeli diplomatic mission to the United Nations, to 770 Eastern Parkway for the Rebbe’s hakafos on Simchas Torah.
“When my father introduced me to the Rebbe he said ‘This is my son, Yitzchak Isaac'” Mr. Herzog recalls. “My father was not a man who used to show his feelings but I saw that he was moved by the fact that he was able to obtain for me a bracha from the Rebbe.”
During the hakafos, the young Herzog was given the Rebbe’s personal Sefer Torah to hold, a surreal experience that to this day is etched in his memory. “It is something that stays with me all my life,” Herzog said.