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Simcha Dinitz

(1929 - 2003)

Simcha Dinitz was born in 1929 in Tel Aviv. Following army service in the Haganah and IDF, he studied political science at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. He received his B.Sc. from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington DC as well as an M.Sc. degree, specializing in International Law.

At the conclusion of his studies, Dinitz joined the ranks of the Israel Foreign Ministry and began an illustrious career of public service that lasted 30 years. Among his various positions, he served as Minister at the Israel Embassy in Rome from 1966-1968, Minister at the Israel Embassy in Washington from 1968-1969, Director-General of the Prime Minister’s office, and political advisor to Prime Minister Golda Meir from 1969-1973, and Israel ambassador to the United States from 1973-1978. Dinitz played a major role in coordinating the weapons shipments to Israel received form the U.S. during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and was a member of the Israeli delegation during the Camp David peace talks with Egypt.

From 1979-1984, Simcha Dinitz served as Vice President of the Hebrew University, and from 1984-1988 served in the 11th Knesset as a member of the Labor Alignment. From 1987-1994, Dinitz served as Chairman of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency for Israel. During his time in office, the gates of the former Soviet Union were opened, leading to the immigration of almost 1 million Jews to Israel. A highlight of Dinitz’s term was Operation Solomon, when almost 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in one day in May 1991. Dinitz made a unique contribution to strengthening ties between Israel and the Diaspora.

Mr. Simcha Dinitz passed away on September 23, 2003, in his home in Jerusalem.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.