World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ephraim Katzir

Article Id: WHEBN0001006658
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ephraim Katzir  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Zalman Shazar, 1973 in Israel, Yitzhak Navon, Shimon Peres, List of Presidents of Israel
Collection: 1916 Births, 2009 Deaths, Ashkenazi Jews, Columbia University Alumni, Foreign Members of the Royal Society, Harvard University Alumni, Israel Prize in Life Sciences Recipients, Israel Prize in Life Sciences Recipients Who Were Biophysicists, Israeli Biologists, Israeli Biophysicists, Israeli Jews, Israeli Labor Party Politicians, Japan Prize Laureates, Jewish Scientists, Jews in Mandatory Palestine, Members of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Members of the United States National Academy of Sciences, People from Kiev, Polish Jews, Polytechnic Institute of New York University Alumni, Presidents of Israel, Soviet Emigrants to Israel, Tchernichovsky Prize Recipients, Ukrainian Emigrants to Israel, Ukrainian Jews, Weizmann Institute Faculty
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ephraim Katzir

Ephraim Katzir
אפרים קציר
4th President of Israel
In office
24 May 1973 – 24 May 1978
Prime Minister Golda Meir
Yitzhak Rabin
Menachem Begin
Preceded by Zalman Shazar
Succeeded by Yitzhak Navon
Personal details
Born (1916-05-16)16 May 1916
Kiev, Russian Empire
Died 30 May 2009(2009-05-30) (aged 93)
Rehovot, Israel
Nationality Israeli
Political party Israeli Labor Party
Spouse(s) Nina Gottlieb
Children 1
Profession Scientist
Religion Judaism

Ephraim Katzir (Hebrew: אפרים קציר‎) (16 May 1916 – 30 May 2009) was an Israeli biophysicist and former Israeli Labor Party politician. He was the fourth President of Israel from 1973 until 1978.


  • Biography 1
  • Scientific career 2
  • Presidency 3
  • Awards and commemoration 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
  • See also 7


Katzir was born Efraim Katchalski, son of Yehuda and Tzila Katchalski, in Kiev, in the Russian Empire. In 1925 (several publications cite 1922[1]), he immigrated to Mandate Palestine with his family and settled in Jerusalem. In 1932, he graduated from Gymnasia Rehavia.[2] Like his brother, Aharon, he was interested in science. He studied botany, zoology, chemistry and bacteriology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1938, he received an M.Sc, and in 1941, he received a PhD degree.[2] In 1939, he graduated from the first Haganah officers course, and became commander of the student unit in the field forces ('Hish). He and his brother worked on development of new explosives. In May, 1948, Ephraim was appointed commander of the "Heyl Mada" (HEMED) – scientific research and development corps.[3] His brother, Aharon Katzir, chairman of the Department of Polymer Research at Weizmann Institute, was murdered in the Lod Airport Massacre.

Katzir was married to Nina (née Gottlieb), born in Poland, who died in 1986. As an English teacher, Nina developed a unique method for teaching language. As the president's wife, she introduced the custom of inviting children books' authors and their young readers to the President's Residence. She established the Nurit Katzir Jerusalem Theater Center in 1978 in memory of their deceased daughter, Nurit, who died after inhaling gas and another daughter, Irit, killed herself.[4] They had a son, Meir, and three grandchildren. Katzir died on 30 May 2009 at his home in Rehovot.[2][5]

Scientific career

After continuing his studies at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, Columbia University and Harvard University, he returned to Israel and became head of the Department of Biophysics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, an institution he helped to found. In 1966–1968, Katzir was Chief Scientist of the Israel Defense Forces.[2] His initial research centered on simple synthetic protein models, but he also developed a method for binding enzymes, which helped lay the groundwork for what is now called enzyme engineering.


In 1973, Golda Meir contacted Katzir at Harvard University, asking him to accept the presidency. He hebraicized his family name to Katzir, which means 'harvest'.

On 10 March 1973, Katzir was elected by the Knesset to serve as the fourth President of Israel. He received 66 votes to 41 cast in favour of his opponent Ephraim Urbach and he assumed office on 24 May 1973.

In November 1977, he hosted President Anwar Sadat of Egypt in the first ever official visit of an Arab head of state. In 1978, he declined to stand for a second term due to his wife's illness,[5] and was succeeded by Yitzhak Navon. After stepping down as President, he returned to his scientific work.

Awards and commemoration


  1. ^ KUnderground group's explosives maker who became president. Retrieved on 9 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d "Israel's fourth president, Ephraim Katzir, dies". The Times of India Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009. 
  3. ^ Katzir bio. Retrieved on 9 September 2011.
  4. ^ Nurit Katzir Jerusalem Theater Center. Retrieved on 9 September 2011.
  5. ^ a b Israel's fourth president Ephraim Katzir dies at 93 Haaretz, 31 May 2009
  6. ^ "Israel Prize recipients in 1959 (in Hebrew)". Israel Prize Official Site. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010. 
  7. ^ The International Who's Who 2004. p. 859. 
  8. ^ Katzir Scholarship Program at the Wayback Machine (archived October 23, 2009)

External links

  • [4] My Contributions to Science and Society, Ephraim Katchalski-Katzir
  • Ephraim Katzir Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • [5] PM Netanyahu eulogizes former President Ephraim Katzir
  • [6] Ephraim Katzir (Katchelsky) (1916–2009)
  • Ehud Gazit, A vision of a scientific superpower, Ha'aretz, 8 June 2009

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.