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Shulamit Katznelson

KATZNELSON, SHULAMIT (1919–1999), Ulpan founder and director. Katznelson was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and at the age of two came to Eretz Israel. Her father, Dr. Shmuel Katznelson, was a pioneer of public health care and social work in Israel. Her mother, Batsheva Katznelson, was an educator and member of the Second Knesset. Katznelson studied social work and received her master's degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In 1951 she founded one of the first three ulpanim (intensive Hebrew-language courses) in Israel. As founder and director of Ulpan Akiva in Netanyah, she was cited as an outstanding example of Hebrew humanism in adult education. Katznelson managed Ulpan Akiva until 1996. From the outset, Ulpan Akiva was open not only to Jewish immigrants (ollim) but to the non-Jewish population as well. Subsequently, Ulpan Akiva included the teaching of spoken Arabic. In 1983 Katznelson was awarded the Knesset's Speaker's Prize for quality of life. In 1986 she was awarded the Israel Prize for her pioneering work in adult education and in the teaching of spoken Hebrew and Arabic. Katznelson was nominated for the Nobel Prize twice, in 1992 and 1993.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.