Party: Shas (Sephardic Union)
Leader: Aryeh Deri
Slogan: Bibi Needs a Strong Aryeh | ביבי צריך אריה חזק
Shas is an ultra-Orthodox religious party founded in 1984 by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a former Israeli Sephardi chief rabbi, who remained its spiritual leader until his death in October 2013. The party's core constituents are ultra-Orthodox Sephardi Jews but many others are modern Orthodox and or traditional Sephardi Jews who support the party's stated purpose of protecting the religious and cultural heritage of Sephardic Jewry, and rectifying what it sees as the "continued economic and social discrimination against the Sephardic population of Israel." Generally speaking, Shas advocates for the increased influence of Jewish religious law in Israeli society and encourages non-Orthodox Israelis of Sephardic Jewish heritage to adopt an Orthodox Jewish lifestyle. The party also advocates for socio-economic reform designed to assist the poor and those with large families. Even though the party currently is aligned with the right-of-center parties, it has participated in left-wing governments, and has been willing to compromise on issues. Shas holds 8 Knesset seats resulting from the April election.