Shimon Ohayon, a former MK of Yisrael Beitenu in the 19th Knesset, was born in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1945 and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1956. After completing his high school studies in the religious high school of Beer Sheva, he was drafted to the IDF and served in the Nachal brigade.
While studying for his Bachelor’s degree at Bar Ilan University, Shimon was sent on shlichut to the USA through the Jewish Agency, and brought countless students to study in Israeli universities as well as many volunteer groups to volunteer in developing cities such as Netivot and Yerucham.
In 2000, with the founding of Bar Ilan University’s International Center for Jewish Identity, Shimon was appointed advisor to the president of the university for cultural affairs and director of the Dahan Center, the Center for the Heritage of Spanish and Oriental Jewry.
Shimon serves as the chairman of the Center for Moroccan Immigrants in Israel, and as part of his activities promotes cultural and heritage issues by holding seminars and cultural evenings to preserve and cultivate musical traditions. He additionally encourages settling the Land of Israel and supports the contribution of Moroccan Jewry to settling developing cities in Israel.
Shimon additionally works to encourage Maghrebi immigrants to integrate into medical studies, and for this purpose, a sum of half a million dollars has been raised so far with the help of various funds.
He is also a member and activist in other organizations, including the administrative wing of the Spanish Federation in Israel, The Zionist General Council and the executive committee of the Pincus Foundation for Jewish Education.
While serving in the Knesset, Shimon served as chairman of the lobbying for the advancement of teachers and teachers’ status in Israel and lobbied for the struggle against anti-Semitism as well as for many other notable causes.
Shimon is married and a father of three, and currently resides in Rishon Letsion.