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ḤAZANI, MIKHA'EL YA'AKOV (1913–1975), Israeli politician; one of the leaders of the *National Religious Party. Ḥazani was born in Bedzin, Poland, and studied at a rabbinical seminary. Immigrating to Ereẓ Israel in 1931, he became a prominent member of the Lamifneh faction of *Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi. He was one of the pioneers settling Kefar Jawitz and a supporter of Jewish settlement in the Lower Galilee. Considered one of the founding fathers of religious settlement, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the development of Gush Katif. The name of Moshav Katif was changed in 1975 to Neẓer Ḥazani in commemoration of him; it was evacuated in 2005 along with the other settlements in Gush Katif.

Ḥazani was elected to the Knesset in 1951. Specializing in economic affairs he was appointed vice chairman of the boards of the Bank of Israel and the Mizrachi Bank. He was appointed deputy minister of education in 1969 and succeeded Yosef Burg as minister of social welfare in 1970. He was reappointed in the short-lived government of Golda Meir, formed on March 10, 1974, but submitted his resignation on April 2 as a result of his disagreement with his party's attitude on the question of "Who is a Jew?"

On October 30, 1974 Ḥazani was again given the portfolio of social services when the National Religious Party rejoined the coalition and he served in this capacity until his death in 1975.

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Ḥazani, Mikha'el Ya'akov

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