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Avitzur, Mordechai

Avitzur, Mordechai


Son of Esther and Chaim, he was born on October 11, 1925 in Cairo. Mordechai began his Zionist activities in 1943. Until 1945 he was active in Hashomer Hatzair and served as a member of the main leadership. From 1945 until the declaration of the State, he was one of the founders and activists of the Bnei Akiva movement in Cairo, which operated under constant underground conditions. In Bnei Akiva he served as general secretary and member of the board. During that period he was also elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the World Zionist Organization. Upon the declaration of the establishment of the State, he was arrested for his Zionist activities and held in prison for a year and a half. A few days before his release, he married Simcha of Beit Shemtov and when he was released he was deported to France, where he and his wife arranged a training program near Marseilles. He was in charge of accepting the children and youth who came from Egypt and North Africa and organized their immigration to Israel. In 1950 Mordechai immigrated to Israel at the head of a pioneering group that he organized. In 1960 he moved to Haifa and ran an institution for criminals. He served as deputy director general of the Israel Defense Forces from 1962 to 1967. When he completed his post in the IDF after the Six-Day War, he was ordered to reorganize and manage all welfare affairs in Judea and Samaria. In 1969, thanks to a scholarship awarded to him by the French government, Mordechai studied for a third degree at the Sorbonne under the guidance of Professor Raymond Aron, and at the end of his studies at the end of 1971, he submitted a thesis on “The Arabs of Palestine: Problems of Integration” and won the title of Doctor of Sociology. From 1971 to 1981, Mordechai served as Deputy Director General and Director of the Special Functions Division of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and since 1973 he has served as a lecturer at the Bar-Ilan University in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Land of Israel Studies. When the Peace for Galilee War broke out, he was called upon to contribute to his experience in establishing welfare services in Lebanon, and in a short period of time he succeeded in bringing about a renewal of the welfare system, which had been paralyzed since the outbreak of the civil war in Lebanon. For this purpose, Dr. Mordechai Avitzur was recruited for active reserve duty. On the 10th of Elul 5742 (August 29, 1982), on his way from Avitzur to Jerusalem he was killed in a car accident. He was brought to eternal rest in the military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. He left behind a wife, a daughter and two sons, a mother, brothers, a sister and grandchildren.

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