MK Uri Orbach, 1960-2015: Politician, Author and Journalist

Veteran, prize-winning religious Zionist journalist entered politics in 2008, as Habayit Hayehudi Knesset member; served as pension affairs minister.

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File photo: Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett (L) with MK Uri Orbach (R). June 17, 2013.
File photo: Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett (L) with MK Uri Orbach (R). June 17, 2013.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

MK Uri Orbach died on Monday at the age 54. He had served as a Knesset member on behalf of Habayit Hayehudi since 2008.

Orbach, who was married with four children, was also a well-known journalist and author. Over the years, he served as a columnist for three different papers: Hadashot, Maariv and Yedioth Ahronoth.

In 1988, he began presenting a program on Army Radio, “Hamila Ha’ahrona” (The Last Word), together with Irit Linur. He had a regular segment on the Educational Television program “Piyus Ba’am” and was later a regular guest on Channel 1 television’s “Sheva V’Hetzi” program.

Orbach was also a dominant figure in the religious Zionist media. He founded and wrote “Psik,” the satire section of the journal Nekuda, as well as the religious children’s newspaper Otiot. He published several children’s books, and also a dictionary of religious Zionist slang called “Saba Sheli Haya Rav” (My Father was a Rabbi).

In addition, Orbach was one of the founders of the religious Kol Chai radio station and was part of the crew that created Techelet, a television channel that focuses on Jewish content. He also served as an adviser on multiculturalism for Channel 2 television franchisee Reshet in the run-up to the 2005 tender for operating the channel.

Orbach, who succumbed to illness and had given up his government responsibilities a few weeks ago, which included serving as pensioners affairs minister since 2013, won several prizes for his journalistic work, including the Commander’s Prize at Army Radio, and he was nominated several times for the title of radio’s man of the year.

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