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Prof. Zvi Priel 

Zvi Priel was born in Moscow on May 27, 1937, and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1946. He was graduated from the Herzelia Gymnasium in 1955 and obtained his B.Sc. from Bar-Ilan University (1959-1963). He obtained his M.Sc. (1963-1965, with honors) and Ph.D. (1965-1970) from the Weizmann Institute under Prof. A. Silberberg. In 1970 he accepted a senior lecturer position at the newly established Ben-Gurion University and stayed loyal to BGU for his entire career. Zvi is one of the founding fathers of the Department of Chemistry at BGU. He held the position of Research Advisor at the Polymers Department of the Weizmann Institute (1970-1982). In 1980 he was promoted to Assoc. Professor, and in 1990 to Professor of Biophysics and Physical Chemistry. In 1992 He received the E.D. Bergman Award from the Israel Academy of Science and Humanities. Priel’s research interests included polyelectrolyte solutions, phase transitions in colloidal systems, biological transport, various aspects of ciliary movement, and signal transduction in cells. He has been a pioneer in combining experimental and theoretical research methods. He mentored over 50 graduate students and postdocs, authored over 100 research papers and one book. Zvi fulfilled many academic responsibilities, including Chairman of the Chemistry Department (1982-1986), Dean of The BGU Kreitman School of Advanced Graduate Studies (2002-2007), and President of the Achva Academic College (2010-2012). Zvi will be remembered with much respect for his wisdom, kindness, integrity, rigor, and total dedication to science. The ICS and the entire community of Israeli scientists mourn the loss of a gifted scientist.

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Prof. Aharon Loewenstein 

Prof. Aharon Loewenstein of the Technion Schulich Faculty of Chemistry passed away on February 10, 2022. The funeral took place in Haifa. Aharon Loewenstein was born on January 31, 1929, in Verden an der Aller, Germany. His family immigrated to Palestine in 1934 and settled in Netania. Aharon studied in the Bialik Elementary School and the agricultural boarding school in Pardess Hanna (1942-47). He later served in the  Palmach (1947-49), and after the War of Independence, he became a founding member of Kibbutz Palmachim. In 1950, he studied chemistry at the Hebrew University. His Ph.D. with Shlomo Alexander and Saul Meiboom at the Hebrew University focused on their newly built machine, Nuclear Induction (about 31 MHz for protons), the NMR predecessor. After completing his Ph.D. (1958), he went for a postdoc at Caltech with John D. Roberts (1958-59) and a second postdoc term at Columbia University (1959-60). In 1962 he accepted an offer from Otto Schnepp and David Ginsburg to join the Technion. He established a laboratory with a Varian DP60 spectrometer, focusing on the measurements of chemical kinetic processes by NMR, electron transfer reactions, and reaction mechanisms. He was a Visiting Professor at Oxford University (1967-68, 1974-75), University Paris-Sud (1982-83, 1996), and Cambridge University (1988-89). Aharon served on many departmental responsibilities, including Chairman of the Faculty Committee of Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching and Head of the Physical Chemistry Section. His early research used NMR methods to study metal complexes in aqueous solutions, electron transfer, and isotope effects in inorganic complexes. His interest in the kinetics of chemical reactions and molecular dynamics in liquids took him to the world of liquid crystals. Aharon will be remembered with much respect and admiration as a pioneer of magnetic resonance, and a great scientist.

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Prof. Shimon Vega 

Prof. Shimon Vega was born in Amsterdam on November 14, 1943. He obtained both his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physics in Holland. Following the Six-Day War, he made aliyah and completed his Ph.D. with Prof. Zeev Luz on Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance. As a Berkeley postdoc with Alex Pines, Shimon made pioneering discoveries in the new field of multiple-quantum NMR while developing the basis for the fictitious-spin-½ formalism that is now the primary tool for understanding NMR in solids and liquids. Upon returning to the Weizmann Institute as junior faculty, Shimon furthered these studies to half-integer quadrupolar nuclei. These species conform to the majority of nuclei in the Periodic Table and made propositions that enabled a wide variety of materials-oriented NMR research. In the early 1980s, Shimon launched into magic angle spinning (MAS) investigations when MAS was largely viewed from a continuous-wave perspective. Shimon departed from this limited perspective, recognized the complex time-dependencies that underlie this coherent process, and analyzed it with Floquet theory tools to lay the foundations of many contemporary spin-½ experiments. He took leadership positions at the Weizmann and MIT, Washington University, and Leiden, mentoring coworkers who are nowadays leaders at the forefront of magnetic resonance. His achievements have been recognized by many prizes, including the Kolthoff, ISMAR, the 2003 ICS Prize for the Outstanding Scientist, and the 2018 ICS Gold Medal. Shimon had influenced professionally and personally many graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, colleagues, course students, and listeners to his great science talks. He represented a rare combination of openness to new ideas with deep-rooted understanding and contagious enthusiasm, always willing to share his knowledge with openness and modesty.

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Prof. Sol Kimel

Prof. Sol (Salo) Kimel was born on October 7, 1928, in Berlin, Germany. In 1930 Sol and his mother moved to Amsterdam, joining her sister's family while his father stayed in Berlin. He attended an elementary school of the then-novel Montessori system for six years, where children could study according to their development. One of his classmates was Anne Frank. Sol survived the holocaust and achieved higher education after the war. In 1955 he joined the Weizmann Institute, went back to the Netherlands to marry Bianca Blaugrund-Alefrant, and they immigrated to Israel in 1956, where their daughter Daphne and son Etan were born. Sol obtained his Ph.D. in physics in 1960 from the University of Amsterdam under Jan Ketelaar and was a postdoc with Donald Hornig at Princeton University (1961-63). After serving as a Research Scientist at the Weizmann Institute (1955-66), he became an Associate Professor at the Technion (Shammai Speiser was his first graduate student). In 1977 he was promoted to Full Professor. After retirement in 1997, he spent ten years as a Senior Advisor at the Sheba Medical Center. Prof. Kimel was a world leader in laser spectroscopy and was a highly demanded visiting professor at many universities. In 1989 he was elected a corresponding member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. His 50-year journey in science started with high-resolution gas-phase spectroscopy and matrix spectroscopy, via laser chemistry to biomedical applications, developing photodynamic therapy (PDT) for cancer treatment. Professor Emeritus Sol Kimel passed away in Haifa on August 14, 2021.

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Prof. Ruben Pauncz

Ruben Pauncz was born on August 8, 1920, in Szoreg, Hungary. He studied chemistry, theoretical physics, and mathematics at the University of Szeged, and completed his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1944 just before the Nazi occupation. Most of his family did not survive the holocaust. Ruben himself was among the survivors liberated in May 1945 from the Theresienstadt camp. In 1956, shortly after arriving in Israel, he accepted an offer from the Technion, became Assoc. Prof. in 1960 and Full professor in 1962. In 2005, he received the ICS Gold Medal. Pauncz was a highly demanded lecturer worldwide, with over 30 times lecturing in the famous summer schools on quantum chemistry in Sweden and many winter schools in Florida. He became the founding father of quantum chemistry in Israel and one of the first 25 members of the Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences. He published highly influential books: Alternant Molecular Orbital Method (W.B. Saunders, 1967), Spin Eigenfunctions, Construction and Use (Plenum Press, 1979), The Unitary Group in Quantum Chemistry (Elsevier, 1968), The Symmetric Group in Quantum Chemistry (CRC Press, 1995), The Construction of Spin Eigenfunctions (Kluwer Academic, 2000).

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Prof. Dan Tawfik

Dan S. Tawfik was born in 1955, served in the IDF, and was the deputy commander of a reserve battalion. He worked for the family construction company before pursuing academic education. He received his B.Sc. (1988) in chemistry and biochemistry and M.Sc. (1990) in biotechnology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1995 he obtained his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute under Prof. Zelig Eshhar. Following two years of postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge and the MRC Protein Engineering Center, he became a senior research fellow at the Sydney Sussex College and the MRC. In 2001 he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science. Prof. Tawfik served as the Vice-Chair of the Weizmann Institute Scientific Council. He won the Weizmann Prize for Research in Exact Sciences (2007), the Eli Horowitz Prize (2013), and the biochemistry EMT Prize (2020) "for his contribution to understanding the relationship between the structure and function of proteins and their evolutionary development, and for the development of systems for intentional evolution in artificial cells." Knowledge derived from his reconstruction of past evolutionary events enabled him to engineer new enzymes with tailor-made properties for various applications, such as nerve agent detoxification and improved crop yields. Prof. Tawfik died on May 5, 2021, in a tragic climbing accident in Croatia.

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Prof. Eli Loewenthal

Hans Jacob Eliyahu Loewenthal was born on January 27, 1925, in Hamburg, Germany. Although Hamburg was known for its relatively liberal atmosphere, his mother, with remarkable foresight, decided on one day of August 1938 to take the family on the next train to Amsterdam and then a boat to London. Eli received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from the Polytechnic college of the University of London(1945, with Honors). In the following three years, he worked in 3 chemical companies. In 1948, he arrived in Israel to take part in the War of Independence. He started his Ph.D. research, first with Prof. Ephraim Katchalski-Katzir at the Weizmann Institute, and later with Bergman at the Hebrew University. Following his postdoctoral work with Prof. Gilbert Stork (1953-1955), he joined the Technion. In 1962 he was promoted to Associate Professor, and in 1965 to Professor, working on organic synthesis of natural products and bridged systems, synthetic methodology, and stereochemistry. Eli was a devoted experimentalist of a rare class. All his papers are authored by either one or two names, reflecting his devotion to hands-on organic synthesis. He carried out his outstanding synthetic work on Colchicine all by himself, competing with substantial research groups in the USA and Europe. Eli was a highly demanded guest in the labs of Albert Eschenmoser, Duilio Arigoni (ETH, Zurich), Carl Djerassi, and other famous chemists. Generations of chemistry students at the Technion remember him as an inspiring teacher with an infectious love for organic synthesis.

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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.

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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.

Prof. François Diederich


Prof. François Diederich of ETH-Zurich passed away on September 23, 2020, of pancreatic cancer. Prof. Diederich was a strong supporter of Israel, visited Israel numerous times, and developed strong personal and scientific relations with many Israeli scientists in all universities, thus becoming an inseparable part of the Israeli scientific landscape.

François Diederich was born in 1952 in Luxembourg. Received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg (1979) and after postdoctoral work with Orville L. Chapman at UCLA and habilitation at the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg he went back to UCLA and in 1989 became a Full Professor there. In 1992 he moved to ETH Zurich. 

Ten days before his death, in an Email message, Francoise wrote, “Chemistry has always been my life and will be to the end.”

The ICS and the Israeli science community mourn the loss of a great scientist and friend.

Prof. Asher Mandelbaum


Asher Mandelbaum was born on December 27, 1934, in Krakow, Poland. His family has arrived in Israel in 1948, a few days after the Israeli declaration of independence. Asher was educated in Haifa, and after his military service (1953-1955) he received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. (1963) from the Technion under the supervision of Michael Cais. and was immediately recruited as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Chemistry. Three years later he went to MIT for his postdoctoral research (1966-68). In 1980 he became Full Professor and in 2003 Professor Emeritus. Over the years he was a visiting scientist in the University of Cincinnati, Ciba-Geigy labs in Basel, Pierre and Marie Curie University and multiple times in NIH, Bethesda. In 1986-1988 he served as Dean of Chemistry at the Technion.

his most important and enduring contribution to science was the elucidation of mass spectral stereochemical effects of organic gas-phase ions. In the early stages of his academic career, he discovered the cause of different fragmentation behaviors of configurational and conformational stereoisomers in many organic systems. Mandelbaum was a world-renowned leader in the field of mass-spectrometry, a popular lecturer at international mass spectrometry conferences, and a highly demanded collaborator worldwide. At the Technion, he was a highly appreciated teacher and an advisor of many graduate students. His support and encouragement of students and colleagues, always in a gentle-mannered fashion, fostered their independence, growth, and self-confidence. Asher will be remembered with much respect and admiration as a great scientist and an outstanding man:


Dr. Moshe Kapon


Moshe Kapon was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 22, 1941, and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1948. He studied in Beith Hinuch High School in Haifa (1956-1960) and completed his B.Sc. in the Technion (1962-1966). Moshe obtained his M.Sc. (1966-1968) and Ph.D. (1969-1973) in Chemistry from the Technion with Frank Herbstein. From 1974 until his retirement in 2007 he was in charge of the X-ray crystallography services in the Technion.

Moshe continued working as a volunteer, helping many faculty members, until recently.  Most of us will never forget Moshe Kapon who was a true scientist, always interested in the background and properties of every structure he solved. For many years he was the backbone of the X-ray crystallographic lab and his name was well-known in the community, much beyond the Faculty of Chemistry.  

Prof. Benjamin Katz


Prof. Benjamin Katz of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, was an experimentalist in advanced spectroscopic methods at the forefront of science and at his peak reached impressive achievements that were internationally recognized. Over time he began to apply his spectroscopic physical-chemical know-how to biological systems. As a physical chemist, he taught students courses on the chemical bond with enthusiasm and professional excellence. Benny was known for his easy-going disposition, his intellectual honesty and integrity, and analytical thinking, which contributed greatly to the establishment and development of the Chemistry Department in its earlier years. He enjoyed classical music, had a love for good wines, and a love of company with whom these could be shared. He was born on January 8, 1938, and passed away on March 18, 2020. May he rest in peace.

Dr. Moshe (Mel) Ben-Tzion


Dr. Moshe (Mel) Ben-Tzion was born in 1945 in the USA and received his BSc with honors in Chemistry from Brooklyn College in 1966. He then continued his graduate studies at Cornell University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1971 under the supervision of Prof. M. J. Goldstein. He immigrated to Israel in 1972 as a post-doctoral fellow with Prof. M. Sprecher at Bar-Ilan and joined the faculty of the Chemistry Department in 1973. In 1982, he was awarded the "Dr. Abraham Margalit Memorial Award for the advancement of technological education in Israel" from the Center for Technological Education in Holon for the development of the course "Computers in the laboratory." In 1985, his proposal "IBM PC Workstations in an Instructional Computer Laboratory" was awarded a prize by the IBM Scientific Center, Haifa. Several days before he passed away, he received the Israeli Chemical Society's 2019 Excellent Administrator Award. 

Moshe was a devoted and beloved lecturer for many years and was Deputy Head of the department from 1988 until his retirement in 2013. He is remembered not only as a remarkable and inspirational tutor and teacher; but also, for his many contributions to the department’s teaching and administrative activities. Moshe was highly influential in the development and growth of academic teaching in the Chemistry Department. His impact on the curriculum development programs and projects of the department cannot be overstated. For example, he was one of the key proponents behind the introduction of computational courses in the Chemistry curriculum and was deeply involved in the establishment of the student computer laboratories in the department. He was a volunteer paramedic, within and outside the University, who quickly came to help wherever needed on campus with his big first-aid bag on his shoulder. He regularly volunteered as an MDA ambulance driver on Fridays. He was a devoted and loving family man and hung numerous pictures of his family and friends in his office. He is survived by Tsipi, his wife of 50 years, and his children Ami, Shlomit, Michal and Assaf and his many grandchildren to whom he was devoted.

Prof. Michael Ottolenghi


מיכאל אוטולנגי נולד בפירנצה בשנת 1934 ועלה ארצה כילד בן 4. את לימודיו האקדמיים עשה באוניברסיטה העברית. עבודת הדוקטור שלו, אותה השלים ב 1962 במחלקה לכימיה פיסיקלית, עסקה בפוטוכימיה אורגנית ואי אורגנית. בשנים 1963-1965 היה עמית מחקר באוניברסיטת ברנדייס וב- 1965-1966 באוניברסיטת שיקגו. ב- 1966 הצטרף לסגל המחלקה לכימיה פיסיקלית של האוניברסיטה כמרצה בכיר וב- 1974 עלה לדרגת פרופסור מן המניין. מיכאל נודע כמדען מוביל בעולם בתחום הפוטוכימיה והיה מראשוני החוקרים שעסקו בתכונותיהן של מערכות ביולוגיות בשיטות כימו-פיסיקליות, במיוחד בכל הקשור למנגנוני הראיה ולחלבונים רטינאליים. התחום שבו הותיר מיכאל חותם ענק הוא חקר המעגלים הפוטוביולוגיים בחלבונים רטינאליים מיקרוביאליים, שבו היה אחד מקומץ חלוצים. מאמץ זה שהחל בשיתוף פעולה פורה עם מודי שבס ממכון וייצמן, ויותר מאוחר יותר עם סנדי רוכמן, התמקד בתחילה בבקטריורודופסין המהווה משאבת פרוטונים בחיידקים השוכנים בברכות מלח כולל בים המלח. מחקריו פורצי הדרך בתחום זה הבהירו את מנגנון שינויי המבנה של פיגמנט הראיה רודופסין בעקבות בליעת אור. באמצעות קרינת לייזר פעימתי מהיר (ומאוחר יותר מהיר-מאד) הוא הוכיח את מעורבות איזומריזצית ציס-טרנס של הרטינל בשלב הראשוני של תהליך הראיה ותהליכים המתרחשים בחלבונים רטינאליים מיקרוביאליים. עבודה זו הסתעפה בהמשך והניחה את היסודות לניצול חלבונים כאלה בידי אחרים לתחום החזיתי של אופטוגנטיקה. תחום מחקרי נוסף לו תרם מיכאל רבות (בשיתוף פעולה עם דוד אבניר) הוא הפוטופיסיקה והפוטוכימיה על פני משטחים לא-מסודרים ובתוך מטריצות סול-ג'ל. הוא חקר ותרם גם בתחומים של תגובות כימיות מוגבלות דיפוזיה על משטחים ובזכוכיות סול-ג'ל. מחקר זה פתח הבנה עמוקה להשפעה העקרונית שיש לגיאומטריות מסובכות על תהליכים קצרי זמן, עם יישומים לתחום אגירת האנרגיה הסולארית ולתחום הגלאים האופטיים. על עבודתו המדעית זכה בפרס קולטהוף למחקר כימי של הטכניון בשנת 1990. בנוסף לתרומותיו המחקריות פורצות הדרך, פרופסור אוטולנגי תרם רבות גם בפעילותו הציבורית באוניברסיטה. תחילה כראש המחלקה לכימיה פיסיקלית, לאחר מכן כראש המכון לכימיה (1980-1982), סגן נשיא למחקר ופיתוח (1982-1987), דיקן הפקולטה למתימטיקה ומדעי הטבע (1989-1992), ראש ועדת התכנון האוניברסיטאי (1992-2005) ומנהל מדעי של המכון הבין-אוניברסיטאי למדעי הים באילת (2000-2006). מיכאל אוטולנגי נפטר ב- 4.12.2019, היה בן 85 במותו, מדען בעל שם עולמי וחבר סגל לדוגמא של האוניברסיטה העברית.

Prof. Mordecai Rabinovitz


Prof. Mordecai Rabinovitz was born in Tel-Aviv (1933), received his BSc and MSc degrees (1958) and PhD (1961, with E. D. Bergmann) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1964, following 3 years of postdoctoral research at Princeton University with Richard K. Hill, he joined the Institute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University and in 1978 was promoted to full professor. He has been a visiting professor at numerous universities in Germany, USA and Switzerland. At the Hebrew University he served as the Head of the Institute of Chemistry, the Head of the Department of Organic Chemistry, and Chairman of the Infrastructure Planning Committee of the university. He has published more than 250 scientific articles on reactive intermediates, reductive ring-closures and ring-expansions, supramolecular aggregation in buckybowls, aromaticity of fullerenes, graphite intercalates and light-induced processes. He is mostly known for his application of magnetic resonance spectroscopy to the research of charged polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. His experimental and computational studies revealed intricate relationships between magnetic properties, skeletal structure, charge distribution patterns, and the aromatic (or anti-aromatic) nature of polycyclic anions, creating bridges between classical notions and modern interpretations. Prof. Rabinovitz was one of the first Israeli chemists who realized the importance of international scientific networking and established fruitful scientific ties with Germany, USA, UK, Japan and other countries, thus opening doors to universities and government agencies. 

In 2017 we have recognized Prof. Rabinovitz as a Honorable Member of the ICS for being a role-model scientist who has contributed immensely to the chemical community by outstanding scientific achievements, training generations of young scientists and serving as a scientific ambassador for the State of Israel.

Prof. Joel Bernstein


Prof. Joel Bernstein of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev passed away on January 2, 2019. Joel was born in Cleveland Ohio in 1941. He obtained his BA degree at Cornell University, and PhD in physical chemistry at Yale University for research on the solid-state spectroscopy of organic compounds. Following two-year postdoctoral stints in X-ray crystallography with Ken Trueblood at UCLA and in organic solid-state chemistry with Gerhardt Schmidt at the Weizmann Institute of Science, he joined the Department of Chemistry of the newly established Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. 

The research interests of Prof. Bernstein focused on the organic solid state, with particular emphasis on understanding and utilizing polymorphism, structure-property relationships, hydrogen-bonding patterns and graph sets and organic conducting materials. He has published over 180 research and review articles (one of them has been cited 2124 times) and book chapters and is the sole author of a book entitled “Polymorphism in Molecular Crystals”, published by Oxford University Press and translated into Russian. In 1999 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served as a consultant to a number of pharmaceutical companies and as a testifying witness in litigations on the solid-state chemistry of drugs. His career has been punctuated by visiting professorships at the University of Illinois, Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Barcelona, the University of Bologna and as a visiting scientist at the Cambridge (UK) Crystallographic Data Centre. He was a Professor-at-Large (2010-2011) at the University of Western Australia, Perth, Professor of Chemistry at New York University Abu Dhabi and later became Global Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at that institution.

Prof. Dan Huppert


Prof. Dan Huppert was born in Tel-Aviv (1944), received his BSc and MSc (1969) from Tel Aviv University. His PhD work in Tel Aviv University (1974, with Joshua Jortner) focused on electronic relaxation processes in excited states of large molecules. Following 3 years of postdoctoral research at Bell Laboratories he joined the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University (1977) and in 1990 was promoted to full professor. Danny has published nearly 300 scientific articles and 30 book chapters. He supervised dozens of successful students. He pioneered the experimental field of fast spectroscopy in Israel, and worked on fast processes that take place in small organic molecules, specifically on electron transfer and molecular rotor activity. Above all, he is mostly known worldwide for his achievements in the field of excited state proton transfer. He was one of the founders of the field of photoacids and the main contributor to our current understanding of the luminescence mechanism of the green fluorescent protein. 

Danny was an outstanding scientist, known for insisting on performing his experiments by himself in the lab. He used to work every day until several months ago, when a motor neuron disease prevented him from continuing his experimental work. His wife, children, grandchildren, his many students and the entire community of Israeli scientists mourn the loss of a great scientist and a beloved person.

Prof. Otto Schnepp


Professor Emeritus Otto Schneppwas a prominent molecular spectroscopist and former Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the Technion. He died on January 2, 2019 in Walnut Creek, California.

He was born in Vienna in 1925 to a Jewish family, he lived in Shanghai from 1939 to 1948. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry at St. John's University in Shanghai (1947), A.B. (1948) and Ph.D. (1951) at University of California, Berkeley. He spoke German, Hebrew, French, Chinese, and English.

He played a pivotal role in founding the Chemistry Department at the Technion. He joined the Department in 1952 and left in 1965. During these 13 years, he served three as Chair of the Department. With his own two hands, little technical means and limited financial aid he established a modern spectroscopy laboratory, constructed working facilities for cryogenic experimentations down to liquid helium temperature. His experiments in the field of molecular spectroscopy, ranged from the far ultraviolet to the infrared spectral region. He left behind a well-equipped laboratory used initially by Sol Kimel, Shammai Speiser and Arza Ron and subsequently by those who followed them.

Professor Schnepp joined the USC Department of Chemistry in 1965, continuing his research on optical molecular spectroscopy. He was active in the field of Science Policy, especially as it concerned China. He was a counselor for science and technology at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing from 1980 to 1982, and a former director of the USC East Asian Studies Center, 1994-2000.

Schnepp self-published “Roots Lost, Roots Found,” a memoir of his life, in April, 2017.

An interesting interview with Otto Schnepp:

Yitzhak Tuttnauer


Yitzhak Tuttnauer, (2 February 1945 – 3 December 2018) was the founder and first president of Labotal Scientific Equipment, Ltd. Under his leadership Labotal has become a multidisciplinary, professional business, which truly reflects his core values – integrity, professionalism, reliability, and accountability.

Prior to the establishment of Labotal in 1975 in Jerusalem, Yitzhak served as a global sales manager at “Tuttnauer” – his father’s business, which is today one of the largest autoclave manufacturers worldwide. 

Being familiar with the world of laboratories, Yitzhak was able to offer Israeli clients in both academia and pharmaceutical industry, as well as in the health and biotech sectors, a wide range of equipment and solutions for laboratories, while creating, expanding and deepening contacts with leading manufacturers in the world.

Itzhak obtained his B.A. degree in History and Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was an indefatigable, broad-minded scholar who sought out every opportunity to attend lectures and courses in history, culture, science, bible, politics and geography throughout his entire life. His vast knowledge and love for the State of Israel, and for Jerusalem in particular, was enthusiastically shared with friends, guests and colleagues. He was known to his customers, to his many suppliers around the world, and even to competitors, as trustworthy, honest, kind and humane businessman.

Yitzhak has developed both Labotal and Tuttnauer as highly visible partners of the diverse chemical research in Israel. These companies have become inseparable players of the active community of Israeli chemists and chemical engineers. Consequently, Yitzhak was partially responsible for the success story of this community over more than four decades.

Prof. Harold Basch


It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Prof. Harold Basch on November 8, 2018. Harold was a Professor of Chemistry who specialized in Computational Chemistry. He was born in November 29, 1940 in the Bronx, New York City. He obtained his B.A. from Yeshiva University (1962) and M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University (1966) under the supervision of Harry B. Gray. He did a Post-doctoral research at Bell Telephone Laboratories (1966-1968) and was a Principal Research Scientist at Ford Motor Company at Dearborn, Michigan (1968-1971). In 1970 he joined the Chemistry Department at Bar-Ilan University and became a full Professor in 1977. He served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at Bar-Ilan University (1973-1976), Dean of the Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics (1988-1990), member of the Executive Board of the Senate for several terms, Academic Head of the Holon Institute of Technology (1978-1981), member of the Council for Higher Education in Israel (1985-1991), served on scientific grants committees of the Israel Science Foundation, was a member of the scientific board of the Israel Inter-University Computation Center, was appointed to the National Council for Research and Development (Prime Minister's Office) and a member of the computer grants committee of the Planning and Budgeting Committee. In 2005-2011 he served as the Vice President for Research at Bar-Ilan University.

Prof. Harry Friedmann


Harry Friedmann (28 November 1931 - 28 May 2018) was a Professor of Chemistry who specialized in theoretical Nonlinear optics and lasers in Biology. He was born in Frankfurt am Main. Soon after his birth, the family fled to Czechoslovakia and from there to Belgium. He studied at the Université libre de Bruxelles from 1951, gaining a Ph.D. with distinction in 1964 under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Prof. Ilya Prigogine. He was a Research Associate at the Weizmann Institute of Science (1962-1967), a Senior Lecturer at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (1967-1969) and then a Professor at Bar-Ilan University in the Chemistry Department. He became a Professor Emeritus at Bar-Ilan University in 1999. His research focused on quantum statistical mechanics, spectroscopy of molecules in rare-gas crystals, theoretical nonlinear optics, especially isotope separation, nonlinear optical processes in atomic systems, light propagation and storage, and also the effect of laser light on biological systems. He published over 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals, many of them were co-authored by colleagues Arlene Wilson-Gordon and Rachel Lubart.

Prof. Zeev Luz


Zeev Luz passed away in October 2, 2018. Until about half a year ago he would still come every day to his office in the Perlman Building of the Weizmann Institute, and would work on modeling dynamic lineshapes, on characterizing the influence of chirality on NMR spectra, and on perfecting his recently gained Matlab skills by performing numerical simulations on “the physics of soap bubbles”. His door was never closed, and both professors and graduate students could always come in and discuss with him issues. Discussing with Luz meant asking a question, and receiving in reply a set of questions that would in turn guide us to the answer. For us Luz was a mentor, a dear friend, and an ultimate example of a curious scientist endowed with a unique ability to explain the most complex ideas in a clear and accurate manner. To all of us that knew him personally, Zeev Luz was and will remain a role model both inside and outside the lab; a “Mentsch” in every respect. We shall miss him dearly.

Prof. Israel Goldberg


Israel was born on June 13, 1945. He received both his B.Sc. (1968) and Ph.D. (1974, under Professor Uri Shmueli) from the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University. His postdoctoral research at UCLA focused on polycyclic ethers, was the pioneering work, which led to supramolecular chemistry. In 1975 he joined Tel Aviv University and established his own research group, becoming Full Professor in 1991. In 2009 he became the incumbent of the Advanced Materials Chair. Israel spent two additional periods at UCLA and collaborated with Donald J. Cram who shared the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Lehn and Pedersen. In 1993-1997 Israel served as Head of the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University. From 2013 until his death on February 18, 2018, he was Professor Emeritus at the School of Chemistry. His research program focused on two main topics: 1. Supramolecular chemistry in the solid state, including the development of organometallic lattices, coordinative polymers, and porous materials that can be used for adsorbing gases and for catalysts. 2. Crystallography of small molecules. His interest in this field led him to numerous collaborative research programs with many other research groups. 
Israel's research group has always been small but very effective and creative, and Israel was one of the most prolific and highly cited scientists in the history of the School of Chemistry. He was a creative scientist, diligent and critical. In his departmental activity, Israel stood tall as a very honest, impartial, practical and tough faculty member who was not afraid of expressing his opinions. These qualities also characterized his attitude to his illness. Although he was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, he never told his colleagues about it until the past few weeks, when his medical situation started deteriorating rapidly. Israel, his character and scientific career will continue to serve as role models for the entire community of chemists.

Prof. Israel Rubinstein


It is with great sorrow and feeling of loss that we announce the passing away of our dear friend Prof. Israel Rubinstein. Our hearts go out to the family - his wife Beverly (Bev), and children Ran, Yael, Tali and Tammi. Israel’s ability to continue his work and remain an active contributor in the scientific community while battling with a terrible illness, served as an inspiration to all.

Israel did his PhD with Prof. Eliezer Gileadi and Prof. Emilia Eisner at Tel-Aviv University. In his thesis work Israel studied the conductivity of concentrated bromine solutions and found, for the first time, the coexistence of ionic and electronic conductivity in electrochemical systems. He continued for a post-doc in the laboratory of Prof. Allen Bard at the University of Texas in Austin, where he studied the electrochemistry of polymer modified electrodes, mostly of Nafion. That work made a substantial impact on the use of polymeric membranes in fuel cells, and laid the foundations for a technology widely used today to power electric cars. After finishing his postdoctoral studies, Israel moved to GE Research Center in Schenectady (NY).

After joining the Weizmann Institute in 1984 Israel focused on polymer modified electrodes. He developed fruitful cooperation with Prof. Jacob Sagiv and Prof. Avraham Shanzer in studies of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). In the early nanotechnology era at the start of the 1990s, Israel, in collaboration with Prof. Gary Hodes, pioneered the epitaxial deposition of semiconductor nanoparticles on single crystal surfaces. In 1991 Israel was among the founding faculty members and a major pillar of the Department of Materials and Interfaces at the Weizmann Institute.

Israel was truly renaissance man with a broad range of interests and knowledge from science and music to Jewish tradition and martial art. He was a talented musician who played guitar, piano and accordion. Different sides of Israel character were blended naturally in his wonderful personality.

Prof. Yehuda Haas


Yehuda Haas was born in Ramot Hashavim, Israel in 1939. Before starting his academic career he was among the founders of Kibutz Nahal-Oz, near the Gaza Strip. He earned all his academic degrees from The Hebrew University, receiving his PhD in 1971 with Gabor Stein as his supervisor. He then went for post-doctoral training with Bradley Moor in UC Berkeley. He returned to The Hebrew University’s Department of Physical Chemistry in 1974. He became full professor in 1984. Yehuda began his independent work in the Hebrew university to investigate photo-chemical dynamics in the gas phase. Later he made his way to addressing condensed phases as well starting with investigation of clusters in super-sonic beams and later in liquids and solids. He later developed tools to better understand the role of conical intersections in photochemistry of aromatic molecules where he combined experiments with ab-initio quantum-chemistry calculations. In addition he became interested in the mechanism of decomposition of highly energetic compounds primarily composed of nitrogen atoms. Shortly before his death Yehuda’s group demonstrated for the first time the ability to synthesize and isolate the cyclic pentazolate anion (N5-), a compound searched for many decades.

In addition to pure science, Yehuda contributed also to public-academic activity, serving as the vice president for research at The Hebrew University and as the President of the Technological College of Jerusalem. Yehuda died on December 2, 2016.

Prof. Carl Djerassi


Prof. Djerassi was a Bulgarian, Austrian and American chemist, novelist and playwright best known for his contribution to the development of oral contraceptive pills.

He also elucidated the structure of steroids, an area in which he published over 1,000 papers.


In 1949 Djerassi became associate director of research at Syntex in Mexico City and remained there through 1951. in 1957, he became vice president of research at Syntex. In 1960 Djerassi became a professor of chemistry at Stanford University. From 1968 until 1972 he also served as president of Syntex Research at Palo Alto. Djerassi was the first Laureate of the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (1978).


Djerasse is also the author of several novels in the "science-in-fiction" genre, including Cantor's Dilemma, in which he explores the ethics of modern scientific research through his protagonist, Dr. Cantor. He also wrote Chemistry in Theatre: InSufficiency, Phallacy or both which demonstrate the potential pedagogic value of using dialogic style abd plot structure of plays with special focus on chemistry.

Prof. Chaim N. Yarnitzky


להלן דבריהם של הפרופסורים אלון הופמן, מגדה אריאל וישעיהו ירניצקי:

Prof. Shalom Sarel


Prof. Shalom Sarel was President of the Israel Chemical Society in 1960-1964 and later was the Editor-in-Chief of the Israel Journal of Chemistry in 1976-1988. Undoubtedly, he was a key figure in the process of re-establishing, crystallization and institutional design of both the ICS and the IJC, deserving much credit for their modern formats that are known today.


In 1956 he founded the School of Pharmacy of the Hebrew University in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital and was its director for many years. Throughout his prolific scientific career he has published over 220 research articles in a variety of fields, including synthetic chemistry, physical organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and organometallic chemistry.


Prof. Sarel founded the Medicinal Chemistry Section of the ICS and served as its first president in 1990-2004. He also served as Vice-President of the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry.


In 2013 Prof. Sarel has become the first Honorable Member of the ICS. 

Prof. Eli Pearce


Eli maintained close relations with the polymer science community in Israel. He visited Israel frequently Israel, often with his wife, Judith. In those visits over the years he earned the highest respect of many devoted friends. Eli will be remembered as a trustworthy colleague with strong feelings about Israel. Eli was member of the editorial board of the journal, "Polymers for Advanced Technologies," since its establishment by his close friend, Prof. Levin of Jerusalem. We shall all miss him, both as a science mentor and as a true friend.

Avi Domb

Prof. Moshe Levy


Moshe Levy took his undergraduate studies in the Chemistry department of the Hebrew University at Mount Scopus and then was drafted to a military service in Jerusalem during the war of independence. When the war ended, Levy completed his studies toward a master’s degree at the Hebrew University and went to the United States, to study for his doctorate under the guidance of Prof. Michael Szwarc at the State University of New York in Syracuse. He then conducted his postdoctoral studies at that university. During this time, he made the most important discovery of his life, that of “living polymers”, and the “copolymers” which today form the basis for a giant industry of manufacturing polymers for advanced applications. Also, much of soft-matter nanotechnology is actually based on copolymers. Still, despite being offered a university position with tenure, he decided to come back to Israel.In 1962, Levy returned to the Weizmann Institute, where he started engaging in polymer research. He found an entirely different environment compared to his lab technician days: “At the Sieff Institute, most of the scientists were immigrants from Germany or Poland, and the atmosphere was that of being abroad. In contrast, at the Weizmann Institute, everyone had been born or grown up in Israel and spoke Hebrew. The scientists were addressed by their first names, Aharon and Ephraim [Katzir], rather than ‘Dr. This or That.’ The equipment was fantastic; a great deal of money had been invested in it when the Institute had been built.”During some four decades at the Institute, Levy has conducted numerous studies on polymers and in other branches of chemistry. For six years, he served as Head of what was then the Institute’s Plastics Department. One of his major projects was the development of a method for storing solar energy in chemical materials, known as the Solar Chemical Heat Pipe.For seven years, Levy edited the bulletin of the Israel Chemical Society, Chemistry in Israel. In 2007, a symposium was held at the Weizmann Institute in honor of his 80th birthday. Its title summed up his career in science: “From the Discovery of ‘Living Polymers’ Fifty Years Ago to Solar Research Today.”Prof. Arnon Shani, who was the ICS President in 1997-2003, remembers Moshe: "I have met Moshe relatively lately in his career, when I served as the president of the ICS, when I looked for a devoted member to edit our renewed Bulletin. Moshe took this mission with full heart and did the most to make the best he could. During these years of working together and later on I found him as a man of dignity, straight speaking and being modest. His wisdom came out in our discussions about the Bulletin and other scientific topics as well as other issues. I lost a dear friend."

Dr. David Dankner


Dr. David Dankner, a pioneer of the chemical industry in the State of Israel. He was born in Petach Tikva in 1928, served in the Israeli Air Force in 1948-49, received his B.Sc. degree in chemistry in 1953 from UC Berkeley and Ph.D. in 1955  from UCLA under the supervision of Thomas L. Jacobs. He married Aviva Dankner in 1956 shortly before returning back to Israel. In 1958 he founded a new chemical plant for the production of formaldehyde, which was the first in a long list of chemical industries, not only in Israel but also in Kenya, Nigeria and Iran (see attached). David Dankner is survived by his wife, three daughters: Yarden, Daniella (Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University), Rachel (M.D. from the Hebrew University), one son, Gil (Chairman of Dor Chemicals Ltd.) and 8 grandchildren.

Prof. Paul von Rague Schleyer


Computational Quantum Chemistry lost one of its Grand Masters on November 21st, 2014.


Professor Schleyer has been one of the leading Physical Organic Chemists in the 20th Century. As soon as he has realized the enormous potential of the then just budding computational quantum chemistry, he did not hesitate for a moment to adapt this tool and incorporate it with experiment. Very quickly, Paul has become one of the major proponents of computational quantum chemistry and the driving force for making it an integral part of research in experimental community and particulary in the community of Organic Chemists. He has thus taken a lead part in reshaping modern chemical research.

Paul Schleyer was the 1st Lecturer Awardee (1988) of the Lise Meitner Minerva Center for computational quantum Chemistry. We, the members of the Center, received with great sadness the news of his passing away. This is a personal as well as a communal loss.

Dr. Sarina Grinberg


Dr. Sarina Grinberg came to Ben Gurion University from Romania in 1966 and immediately started her chemical education as a chemistry bachelor degree student in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1966-1969. She continued her studies as a Masters student under the supervision of Prof. Knobler on the aminolysis and ammonolysis of alpha-bromo-gama-butyrolactone.

After finishing her Masters she became a teaching assistant at the newly created department of chemistry in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and she filled this role from 1973-1976. At the same time she started her PhD studies under the joint supervision of Prof. Shmuel Bittner from BGU and Mario Bachi from Weizmann. Her PhD thesis dealt with the condensations and rearrangement of hydroxylamine derivatives coupled with oxidation-reduction systems. She finished her PhD in 1981. At the time she started to work in the institutes for applied research until in 2005 she joined the chemistry department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev when the Institutes for Applied Research were integrated into the departments.

Sarina supervised about 20 research students, at the Masters, PhD and postdoctoral stage, she had many collaborators that enjoyed to work with her, myself included, and she published to date more than 50 scientific articles and patents.  And she obtained several research grants, like a personal research grant from the Israel Science Foundation and a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for the Parkinson's research.

Sarina's research was always focused on organic chemistry and organic synthesis with a special emphasis on the use of natural fatty acids for important applications.

Prof. Abraham Patchornik (Patcho)

1926 - 2014

Prof. Patchornik was a brilliant chemist, who enjoyed an international reputation as a leader in the fields of bioorganic chemistry and photochemistry, as well as being an innovator in the use of functional polymers as chemical reagents.
Abraham was born in Ness Ziona, the great-grandson of Reuben Lehrer (a.k.a. Reuven Zangvil Patchornik), who in 1883 became a legend when he purchased and built, the settlement of “Nachalat Reuven” in Wadi Hanin, a settlement that went on to become the town of Ness Ziona.

Prof. Henry Selig


Prof. Haim Levanon

1938 - 2014

המפגש הראשון שלי עם חיים היה כשלמדתי לתואר ראשון באוניברסיטה העברית ב 1990 ולקחתי קורס שלו בנושא תהודה מגנטית שעניין אותי. אני מאוד נהנתי מהנושא ולמעשה זו אחת הסיבות שבחרתי להמשיך בו שנים מאוחר יותר. בזמן שירותי הצבאי ניסיתי לפתח רעיון בנושא חומרים בולעי קרינת מכ"מ שמשלב עקרונות של תהודה מגנטית והגעתי שוב לנושאי המחקר של חיים שחשבתי שיוכלו לשמש בסיס טוב לעבודה. נפגשתי עם חיים מספר פעמים, בין השאר בת"א בזמן שהגיע לישיבות דירקטוריון של כי"ל והדבר הוביל בהמשך לכך שאומנם ביצעתי את התואר השני בת"א בהנדסת חשמל, אבל גם חיים היה מנחה שותף בעבודה וחלק מהניסויים התבצעו במעבדה שלו. כבר לפני השחרור החלטתי להתמקד בדוקטורט בעבודה ניסיונית במעבדתו של חיים ועוד לפני שהתחלתי בעבודה חיים הזמין אותי להיות בכנס מצויין שהוא ארגן בירושליים ב 1997 שהיה מאוד מרשים עם מיטב החוקרים בתחום. בכלל חיים ארגן כנסים מצויין ותמיד הקפיד שהם יהיו בירושליים. כך למשל כנס גדול של החברה הישראלית לכימיה ב- 2002 כמדומני, שבאופן מסורתי היה בת"א, חיים התעקש וארגן בירושלים בהצלחה רבה. כאשר היה כנס שהועבר לרודוס בגלל אינתפדה וכדומה – חיים לא רצה לבוא.. במשך 4+ השנים שהייתי במעבדה של חיים למדתי הרבה גם על עבודה ניסיונית, כתיבת מאמרים, הגשת הצעות מחקר וכדומה. חיים נתן עצמאות רבה ויכולתי לקדם את הנושאים שעיניינו אותי. חיים היה תמיד מסור מאוד לעבודה ולקח את הדברים ללב (אולי יתר מדי..). כשעמדתי לפני יציאה לפוסט הוא עזר מאוד, גם בהמלצות וגם בקשר עם פרופ' פריד בקורנל. ב 2009 ראיתי לנכון לארגן לחיים מפגש מיוחד לכבוד יום בהולדת ה- 70 שלו ואני בטוח שהוא נהנה ממנו מאוד ואני שמח שאז עדיין היה במצב בריאותי סביר ויכל להשתתף באופן פעיל ומלא. חיים יחסר לכולנו אבל אני בטוח שתתנחמו בידיעה שזכה להצלחה וסיפוק מקצועיים רבים, הקים משפחה למופת ותלמידים רבים שנמצאים בתעשייה ובאקדמיה בארץ ובחו"ל.

אהרון בלנק

Prof. Zvi Dori

1934 - 2013

Since his childhood, Zvi has always been fascinated by the sea. At the age of 15, he already started to sail with a youth movement. At the age of 18, he joined the young Israeli Navy of the Israeli Army (IDF) and became an officer (captain). During the Sinai campaign, he was the head of the force defeating the Egyptian battle ship, Ibrahim El Aouwal. He continued his love to the sea in the young Israeli Merchant Naval Fleet and became first officer. Then, he decided to study naval engineering in Columbia University, New York, USA. However, very fast, he fell in love with Chemistry and obtained his PhD in Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Harry Gray, a very close teacher and tutor. He obtained an appointment of associate professor in Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. Then he moved to the Technion, Haifa, Israel, where he became full professor. He was always dedicated to science and teaching chemistry. Indeed, he only agreed to be the Students’ Dean and denied any other administrative position. Zvi was an expert in inorganic chemistry and specialized in synthetic and structural coordination chemistry. His early work includes the synthesis and physical characterization of transition metal complexes that contain nitrogen and sulfur ligands (1). Later, he collaborated with F.A. Cotton and made significant contributions in the field of metal-cluster chemistry (2). He was always fascinated with the role of metal atoms in biological systems and dedicated a large portion of his research in this direction (3).In addition to science he was very much interested in art and music and always said that science and art have a common interface. Looking at a nice molecule is as moving as a nice painting or as watching a beautiful scenery. This love led him to found and build the first Science Museum in Israel in Haifa (Mada-Tech). There he constructed himself many of the scientific models. This museum is still the best Science Museum in Israel and is very well known abroad.

Etana Padan (sister)


1. Dori, Z; Ziolo, R. F Chemistry of Coordinated Azides Chemical Reviews 73, 247-254 (1973).

2. Bino, A; Cotton, F. A; Dori, Z. Trinuclear Molybdenum(IV) Cluster Compound Having an Unusual Structure and Stability Journal of the American Chemical Society 100 ,5252-5253 (1978).

3. Mirsky, N; Weiss, A; Dori, Z. Chromium in Biological Systems .1. Some Observation on Glucose-Tolerance Factor in Yeast Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 13, 11-21 (1980).

Prof. Michael Cais

1924 - 2013

Prof. Michael Cais of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, the Technion, passed away in 18/8/2013, survived by his wife Judith and daughters Daphna and Ruty. The funeral took place in 19/08/13, at Haifa old cemetery. The following interview with Prof. Cais was published in 2004.

Prof. Daniel (Dani) Kost

1940 - 2013

Daniel (Dani) Kost, a former chairman and founding member of the Chemistry Department at Ben Gurion University and one of Israel’s better known physical organic chemists, passed away on July 6, 2013 after a long and heroic struggle with pancreatic cancer. Over a scientific career that spanned some 45 years, Dani made important contributions to the molecular dynamics of a range of organic molecules, primarily those incorporating S, N, P or Si atoms. After receiving his BSc in 1964 Dani took his MSc studies with Joseph Klein at the Hebrew University and then a PhD with Milon Sprecher at Tel Aviv University. Following a postdoctoral stint with Morton Raban at Wayne State University he took up a lectureship at BGU in 1972. Dani’s earlier interest lay in the stereodynamics of nitrogen-heteroatom bonds. In tackling this area Dani developed his skills both as a theoretical organic chemist, a leading NMR- and stereo-chemist, and through his sharp intellect and keen analytical capabilities became an unquestioned authority in those different areas. In the last 15 years Dani applied his deep understanding of molecular dynamics to the burgeoning area of silicon chemistry, in particular 5- and 6-coordinate silicon hypervalent compounds. In this last area of research Dani truly blossomed, publishing some 50 research papers and reviews, and becoming a world authority with many international invitations to lecture on the subject. Dani’s love of chemistry was such that even when he reached the mandatory retirement age he kept on with the research that he so loved. Over his 40 year as a faculty member, he supervised some 30 students and postdocs for whom he always available and to whom he was dedicated. It was typical of Dani that even when he was weak from disease, he planned to attend the annual meeting of the Israel Chemical Society, to meet colleagues and former students, to continue as normal. As it turned out, he had to cancel last minute because he wasn’t strong enough at that advanced stage of his illness. But that was Dani. Despite his protracted struggle with disease, Dani never gave up. Optimistic, uncomplaining, determined to overcome, despite the harsh prognosis, receiving unending physical and moral support from Bilha, his dedicated wife, and their four children, Amir, Hadar, Alon and Tamar, right through to the very last day. Dani was larger than life, quietly irrepressible, seemingly unstoppable. We will miss him.Addy Pross

Prof. Michael Bendikov

1971 - 2013

Michael Bendikov passed away on July 2, 2013. Bendikov was a promising young chemist: He won many awards for his work in the field of organic electronic materials and physical organic chemistry, including the 2007 DuPont Young Professor Award, the 2009 Israel Chemical Society (ICS) Outstanding Young Scientist Prize, and the 2010 Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry Award for Early Excaellence in Physical Organic Chemistry. Michael Bendikov was born in the Ukraine and immigrated to Israel in 1991. He received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, under the direction of Professor Yitzhak Apeloig. In 2001, he joined the group of Professor Fred Wudl at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, as a postdoctoral fellow and in 2004 he became a faculty member at the Department of Organic Chemistry, the Weizmann Institute of Science. His research focused on the design of novel organic electronic materials, including the synthesis of the first highly conductive polyselenophene, and the application of physical organic chemistry tools to materials chemistry to improve the understanding of the properties of new and existing materials.

Prof. Joseph (Yossi) Sperling


Professor Joseph (Yossi) Sperling, Weizmann Institute of Science, The Hilda Pomeraniec Professorial Chair of Organic Chemistry, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on 19.1.2013, and we all miss him badly. Yossi was an original and innovative scientist who combined his interdisciplinary expertise in Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Photochemistry and Molecular Biology to elucidate key questions in Biology and Chemistry. He was also an excellent teacher and supervisor and mentored several generations of students, many of which reached senior positions in academia and the biotech industry.Yossi was born in Tel Aviv. He received his BSc in Chemistry and Physics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his MSc in Organic Chemistry, under the supervision of AD Bergman, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During that time he worked at one of the first Israeli hi-tech companies, specializing in synthetic Organic Chemistry. He then continued his PhD studies at the Department of Organic Chemistry, at The Weizmann Institute with Prof Dov Elad, specializing in photochemistry of small molecules and peptides. His Postdoctoral fellowship at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge England, with Brian Hartley, helped him combine his Chemistry expertise with Molecular Biology.In 1973 he returned to Israel to The Department of Organic Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute where he worked to his last day. He started his own research by combining his expertise in photochemistry with molecular biology to understand structure-function relations in complexes of proteins and nucleic acids. He pioneered the use of photochemistry to decipher protein nucleic acids interactions in biological complexes, studies that were quoted as “bench Marks” in the field. Nowadays, the field of photochemical crosslinking of proteins and nucleic acids is at the basis of extremely high number of cutting-edge methodologies in biology. In parallel, photochemistry was used to elucidate how the internal interaction (stacking) of nucleic acid bases in DNA and RNA selectively protects them against photochemical reactions (damage).  The concept was taken a step further to bacteria in which a new endonuclease specific for photochemical induced modification of purines was discovered.

Prof. Moshe Shapiro

1944 - 2013

Moshe did his PhD under the guidance of Professor Raphael D. Levine, in Theoretical Chemistry at the Hebrew University, working on photodissociation and molecular collisions. This was followed by a postdoc at Harvard during the years 1970-1972. For the next 30 years he was a central member of the Department of Chemical Physics at the Weizmann Institute, where he served as a department chair and was the Jacques Mimran Professor of Chemical Physics. Starting in 2002 Moshe joined the Chemistry Department of the University of British Columbia and held the Canada Research Chair Professorship in Quantum Control. During all these years he maintained close ties with the Weizmann Institute. Moshe published more than 300 scientific papers. He was one of the founders and central figures of the field of coherent control and co-author of the book Principles of the Quantum Control of Molecular Processes (Wiley, 2003, 2nd ed. 2012), along with Professor Paul Brumer. Moshe’s research involved experiment as well as theory. Besides his pioneering work in quantum control he made lasting contributions to the theory of photodissociation and photorecombination processes, laser catalysis, quantum computing and decoherence, transition state spectroscopy, potential inversion and wavefunction imaging, strong field phenomena in atoms and molecules, quantum theory of elementary exchange reactions and foundations of quantum mechanics. In recent years his research focused on the control of molecular, atomic, and photonic processes with coherent light, quantum pattern recognition, coherent chiral separation and the coherent suppression of spontaneous emission, decoherence and other decay processes. His awards include the Willis E. Lamb Medal for achievements in the Physics of Quantum Electronics (2007), John C. Polanyi Award of The Canadian Society of Chemistry (2011), Fellow of the American Physical Society (2004), Fellow of the UK Institute of Physics (2004), the Israel Chemical Society Award (2001), the Michael Landau Prize (1985), Lisa Meitner – Alexander von Humboldt Research Award (1995), the Weizmann Prize of the city of Tel Aviv (1999), the Kolthoff Prize of the Technion (1998) and the Sacks and Yeroslawski awards of the Weizmann Institute. Moshe was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October and passed away in Israel on December 3, 2013. Moshe will be remembered by the community for his broad ranging research interests and his passionate love of science. We send our condolences to his wife Rachel, to his children and grandchildren and to his many friends and colleagues. 

Prof. Mordecai Rubin

1926 - 2013

Prof. Rubin passed away in December 9, 2012. He was one of the founding fathers of the Faculty of Chemistry of the Technion. He was a world leader in the field of organic photochemistry. In recent years he turned to the history of science and even received an outstanding paper award from the ACS for his series of articles on the history of ozone.Prof. Rubin was born in 1926 in Boston, MA, served in the US Army in 1944-46 and then in the Haganah-IDF in 1947-49. He studied at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, received his Ph.D. in 1954 from Columbia University and was a Post-Doc in the University of Wisconsin in 1956-58. He started an independent career in Carnegie Institute of Technology and then was a Weizmann Fellow in the Weizmann Institute of Science before joining the Technion in 1966. He is most known for his studies on the photochemistry of polyketones. In 1994 he became an Emeritus Professor.

Emmanuel D. Tannenbaum


Emmanuel David Tannenbaum (June 28, 1978 – May 28, 2012) was an Israeli/American biophysicist and applied mathematician. He worked as a professor and researcher in the Department of Chemistry at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Department of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, specializing in the fields of mathematical biology, systems biology, and quantum physics.Tannenbaum's initial work was in quantum chemistry as part of his Harvard University doctoral thesis where he developed a novel partial differential equation approach to the EBK quantization of nearly separable Hamiltonians in the quasi-integrable regime. Emmanuel Tannenbaum subsequently devoted his research to studying various problems in evolutionary dynamics using quasispecies models. His work centered on the key question of the evolutionary advantages of sexual reproduction. Tannenbaum demonstrated a strong selective advantage for sexual reproduction with fewer and much less restrictive assumptions than previously considered. Closely related to this line of reasoning, was the original work by Tannenbaum and James Sherley on the immortal strand hypothesis. Tannenbaum also proposed a pioneering theory of why higher organisms need sleep. Towards the end of his life, he proposed a new approach to anti-stealth technology based on the theory of Bose–Einstein condensate.Emmanuel Tannenbaum received a number of honors including the Robert Karplus Prize in Chemical Physics from Harvard University, the prestigious Alon Fellowship from the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and a National Institutes of Health research fellowship. Dr. Tannenbaum is the son of mathematician Allen Tannenbaum and chemist Rina Tannenbaum.

Prof. Frank H. Herbstein


Frank H. Herbstein was born in Cape Town in the Union of South Africa (as it then was) on 3 July 1926. He got his B.Sc. degree from the University of Cape Town, came to Israel in 1948, received Ph.D. from the Hebrew University and later a D.Sc. from the University of Cape Town. He went to MIT on a post-doc. in 1953, returned to South Africa in 1956, and then returned permanently to Israel in 1965 as a Professor of Chemistry at Technion. In 1992 he was elected a Foreign Associate of the Royal Society of South Africa. In 2007 he received the Fankuchen Award of the American Crystallographic Association. Frank Herbstein’s work has illuminated chemical crystallographic perceptions for over half a century and has culminated in the publication of his two-volume encyclopedic work on Crystalline Molecular Complexes and Compounds. Herbstein’s book will be a guide to the perplexed for many years. He is remembered for his lifetime achievements in research, teaching and scholarship.

Frank held many important positions in the academic administration of Technion. Among them Dean of the Department of Chemistry, Dean of Graduate School, Vice President of Technion for Development. He passed way on March 23, 2011.

Prof. Yehuda Mazur


Prof. Yehuda Mazur was born in Lodz, Poland, on April 18, 1925. He immigrated to Israel in 1939, and finished high school at the "Balfour Gymnasium" in Tel-Aviv. From 1942 until 1947, he studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, majoring in chemistry and minoring in physics. In 1947, he was granted the M.Sc. degree for a thesis entitled "On nitrogen derivatives of phenanthrene" (supervised by Prof. Moshe Weizmann, brother of Institute founder Chaim Weizmann). After army service during the War of Independence (1947-1949), he pursued doctoral studies with Prof. Leopold Ruzicka (1939 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic (ETH Zürich), and was awarded the Ph.D. in 1952 for a thesis entitled "Contribution to the knowledge of elemadienolic acid".

Following a brief research assistantship at the Royal School of Science and Technology in Glasgow, UK, he joined the Weizmann Institute of Science faculty in 1954, being promoted to Senior Scientist in 1959, to Associate Professor in 1963, and to Full Professor in 1976. He held the Rebecca and Israel Sieff Chair in Organic Chemistry from 1973 until his Emeritate in 1995. Prof. Mazur OBM served as Acting Head of the Department or Organic Chemistry from 1960 until 1962, and Head of the Department from 1979 until 1990. In 1988, he briefly served as acting Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry.

He was a visiting fellow at the School for Advanced Study, MIT in 1959--1960, and a visiting professor at the University Chemical Laboratory (Cambridge, UK) in 1965, at the ETH Zürich in 1966 and 1972, at the University of Minnesota in 1978, at the Université Paris-Sud in 1984, and Australian National University (Canberra, ACT) in 1986. He published about 250 papers in scholarly journals. Several of his former students serve on the faculty of universities in Israel and abroad.

Prof. Abraham Warshawsky


Abraham passed away on November 12, 2001 in the midst of a most exciting soar of his scientific work, just when he was in the process of realizing many of his original and innovative ideas.

Abraham joined the department of Organic chemistry in 1973, following his postdoctoral studies in South Africa. Being an expert in the field of hydrometallurgy, from the start he advocated and urged the development of novel polymeric-assisted technologies for metal ion extraction. His experience as a skilled organic chemist, coupled with high motivation and originality in both, the design and execution of his ideas, soon led to his marked achievements, not only in relation to metallurgy but also to the development of most efficient methodologies of polymer impregnations and to a breakthrough in the preparation of polymeric reagents. Abraham's work was always oriented in the direction of applied science. Being a member of the Israeli society, he felt that as a scientist he should contribute his skills and efforts to the benefit of the country. Not many at the Weizmann institute shared this approach at that time, a fact that affected, to a certain extent, the advancement of his career. Eventually, and luckily, the attitude towards applied sciences has gradually changed.

Along with his direct scientific activities, Abraham was the promoter and motivator of various most important international meetings in the field of Reactive Polymers. Among others, he was an organizer of the 3rd and 8th conferences on his subject, which were held in Israel. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Israel Society for Combinatorial Technologies (ISCT), and was elected to be its first President.

Abraham was a "father" to his students and post-doctoral fellows. Always open, friendly and with remarkable sensitivity, he listened and helped, and not necessarily in relation to scientific work. This was true with regard to his friends as well.

Prof. Ziva Berkovitch Yellin


Ziva was born in Rehovot where she lived all her life. She received her BSc and MSc degrees from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot (with Prof. Lahav). In 1986 she was promoted to the degree of associate Professor. During postdoctoral studies, Ziva worked in the University of Pittsburgh (with Prof. Pople) and in Northwestern University (with Prof Dan Ellis). She spent her Sabbatical in Hoffman la Roche NJ.

Ziva’s research interests span many fields. She studied the kinetics of fast reactions in her MSC studies, crystallography combined with photochemistry in the solid state followed by elaborated theoretical calculations in her PhD, calculation of charge and spin distributions in different types of CC bonds and in transition metal ligated in porphines and phthalocyanines, atom-atom potential analysis of the packing characteristics of carboxylic acids and amides based on experimental electron density distributions and also drug design on her sabbatical leave. Her interest in general was focused in basic problems and her results helped in gaining understanding in different fields. Since 1988 Ziva joined forces with Prof Yonath and was mainly interested in deciphering the structure of the ribosome, by calculating atom maps based on experimental data collected from crystals.

Ziva was a very enthusiastic scientist; she was completely devoted to her work and has spent days and nights in the laboratory. Never the less, she succeeded in raising a nice family and was deeply involved in different projects in the community unrelated to Science.

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