3 of Israel's "Need to Know" Founding Fathers
Updated: May 30
Israel was founded and built by some of the greatest and inspiring historical figures!
We owe many amazing people the honor and credit for the state of Israel which we know and love today.
Here are 3 of our favorite founding fathers:
Theodor Herzl - הרצל
Theodor Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl, besides having the most famous beard in Jewish history, was a Jewish Austrian journalist, publicist, lawyer, statesman, Zionist activist, and last but not least...a play writer. That's one impressive list!
As a reporter, Herzl was sent to cover the Dreyfus Affair in Paris. The Anti-Semitism and hatred towards Jews that surrounded the whole affair shocked Herzl, and encouraged him to find a solution for the “Jewish Problem”. In 1896, Herzl published a short essay calling all Jews to gather together in their own state, either in what is Israel today or in Argentina (imagine the Jewish state in Argentina!). Herzl’s poor health didn’t allow him to live and see his dream come alive, and in 1904 he passed away at the early age of 44. In 1949, his bones were brought from Vienna and reburied to his final resting place on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
Yitzhak Rabin - רבין
Did you know that Yitzhak Rabin wanted to become an irrigation engineer, but ended up choosing a military career instead? Rabin’s military career was vast and spanned over 28 years, in which he climbed through all the ranks, from a young cadet in the Palmach, to the Chief of the General Staff. After the Six-Day War, Rabin (like many others have) made the switch from an army career to one in politics. In his long political career, including his two terms as Israel’s Prime Minister, Rabin wished to make peace with Jordan, Syria, and the PLO (Palestinian Authority). These actions were highly controversial in those days, and many people considered his deals with Israel’s long-standing enemy's acts of treason. On November 4, 1995, during a peace rally in Tel Aviv, Yigal Amir shot and killed Rabin on his way to his car. Rabin was buried in Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
David Ben-Gurion – בן גוריון
While Hertzl may have won in the beard category, Ben Gurion won in the hair category, known across Israel for his unique (and voluminous) hairstyle, in addition to being the first prime minister of Israel!
Born in the city of Plonsk, Poland, Ben-Gurion went to study Law in Istanbul but was deported from Israel to Egypt by the Turks, and eventually arrived in New York where he worked in publishing. After a short service in the Jewish Legion, Ben-Gurion began his long and illustrious political career, including 15 years as Israel’s first Prime Minister. Ben-Gurion served as Prime Minister until his final resignation in 1963, excluding a two-year break where he spent the time building his home in Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev, where he and his wife Paula are both buried. After his passing, Israel’s International Airport has renamed the Ben-Gurion Airport in his honor.