Prof. Magda Ariel
Prof. Magda Ariel of the Technion Schulich Faculty of Chemistry passed away last Saturday, February 20, 2021. Magda was a Technion graduate of chemical engineering. She became a Lecturer (1955) one year before obtaining her Ph.D. degree, then Senior Lecturer (1961), Associate Professor (1966), and Professor (1976). Her active research group included many excellent students who became well-known figures in Israeli science, including Profs. Haim Yarnitzky Z”L, Shimshon Gottesfeld, Emilia Kirowa-Eisner, Uri Eisner, Gabriella Schmuckler, Joseph Wang, and many others. They focused on electroanalytical trace analysis, electrochemical flow cells, carbon cloth multiscreen electrodes, electroanalytical methods for in-situ and automated trace analysis, flow injection analysis, etc. Magda served two terms as Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry at the Technion (1980-1983), the only female Dean in the Faculty of Chemistry history.
Magda will be remembered with much respect and admiration as a great scientist and pioneer of instrumental analytical chemistry, and electrochemistry. She was also a daring, highly respected woman scientist in the male-dominated academic environment of her time. The ICS and the entire community of Israeli scientists mourn the loss of a great scientist.
Prof. Jochanan Blum
Professor Jochanan Blum of the Institute of Chemistry, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, died on January 14, 2016, and the funeral will take place at the "Tzomet Morasha" cemetery, Ramat Hasharon.
Jochanan Blum was born on September 4, 1933, in Bautzen, Germany, to Jakob and Irma (Michelsohn) Blum. He received his M.Sc. degree (1958) and Ph.D. (1961) in organic chemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Jochanan was immediately appointed a lecturer in the same department. In 1972, he was promoted to Associate Professor and in 1978 to Professor. Jochanan pioneered organometallic chemistry in the State of Israel and is considered the founding father of catalysis in this country, particularly of the use of organometallic complexes as catalysts in organic synthesis. He published nearly 400 research papers on groundbreaking catalytic processes, transfer hydrogenation, decarbonylation of carbonyl compounds, olefin isomerization, and other topics. He was among the first worldwide to develop phase-transfer catalysts between aqueous and organic phases. He developed, together with David Avnir, organometallic catalysts entrapped in sol-gel matrices to achieve high selectivity and easy separations in recent years. Jochanan educated and mentored generations of students, many of whom have become worldwide leaders in academia and the industry. We all remember him as a very humble person who had never chased honors, awards, and publicity. He was survived by his wife, Shoshana Leibovici, three children, Ofer, Orith, and Yuval.