The Israel Chemical Society (ICS) is a registered organization dedicated to the advancement of pure and applied chemistry, both nationally and internationally. Its aims are:
- To recruit members among chemists residing in Israel, as well as among chemists residing abroad who might wish to join the Society.
- To nurture and advance the science of chemistry and its applications.
- To represent the Israeli chemical community in scientific institutions abroad and to maintain contacts with these institutions.
- To issue publications relating to the advancement of chemistry.
- To foster chemistry teaching.
- To initiate scientific meetings.
- To foster the image of chemistry among the public.
- To engage in activities in support of the above aims.
- To solicit contributions and funds in aid of the Society's goals.
The chemical industry plays a major role in Israel's economy. Its main areas of activity are: potash, bromine and magnesium from the Dead Sea, phosphates and derivatives from the Negev, petrochemicals, polymers, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. In 2000 the chemical industry contributed about $3.66 billion to the country's revenues from export, or about 14% of total industrial exports. These figures bear witness to the importance of the contribution of Israeli chemists to national prosperity.
The ICS consists of ten sections: analytical; computational; educational; inorganic-bioinorganic; industrial; medical; organic, bioorganic and physical organic; physical; solid state; and theoretical chemistry. A meeting of the Society is held every year at which all the sections are represented. Chemistry divisions from the six Israeli academic institutions take turns at organizing the meetings. They include: Dept. of Chemistry of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva; Dept. of Chemistry of Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan; Faculty of Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot; Faculty of Chemistry at the Technion, Haifa; the Institute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem; School of Chemistry of Tel Aviv University. In addition, individual sections convene meetings on topics relating to their own field.
The Society is an active member at most levels of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The current President of IUPAC, Professor Joshua Jortner (former President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities), is a member of the Tel Aviv branch of the ICS.
In collaboration with the Israel Academy for the Hebrew Language, the ICS has been playing a vital role in finalizing the Hebrew nomenclature for inorganic and organic compounds in accordance with the IUPAC nomenclature.
As an affiliated member of IUPAC, the International Society for Heterocyclic Chemistry, the Federation of European Chemical Societies, the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry, the World Association of Chemists Oriented towards Theoretical Chemistry, and the International Confederation for Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, the ICS helps organize international symposia on behalf of the above international bodies.
The ICS is the successor to the former "Chemists Association in Eretz-Israel" (CAEI), established in Tel Aviv in 1933 at a time of mass immigration of Jewish refugees, many of them outstanding chemists. The CAEI was transmuted into the ICS in 1963, 15 years after the establishment of the State of Israel. Membership is open to Israeli chemists as well as to all chemists throughout the world, irrespective of gender, religion, or nationality.
The ICS is run by its President (list of past ICS presidents), who is assisted by a Secretary and a Treasurer and supervised by an Executive Committee. This committee is composed of the three officers just named, who are elected by ICS members for a three-year term, and of representatives from chemistry units in Israeli academic institutions, the chemical industry, and the educational system.
May 1998, compiled by past ICS President, Prof. Shalom Sarel