Israel Mourns the Passing of Its Fifth President

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Yitzhak Navon's coffin being carried by an honorary Knesset Guard, 8.11.15; Photo by Gil Yohanan/POOL

Israel Mourns the Passing of Its Fifth President

Written by Michael Zeff/TPS on November 08, 2015

JERUSALEM (TPS) – Yitzhak Navon, Israel’s fifth President was laid to rest on Mount Herzl cemetery alongside other Israeli leaders on Sunday, November 8. Navon passed away on Saturday at the age of 94.

Navon’s funeral was attended by politicians, public officials and the general public. He was eulogized by President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Israeli President President Shimon Peres.

“Today Israel’s fifth president, the late Yitzhak Navon, is laid to rest. He was one of the nation’s finest and among its greatest builders,” eulogized Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“Yitzhak Navon, the scion of the glorious Sephardic Jewish community, dedicated his life to public action on behalf of the people of Israel and the State of Israel. A Haganah veteran, he participated in the war that established the Jewish state,” said Netanyahu.

Navon was born in 1921 in Jerusalem to a prominent Sephardic (Spanish Jewry) family that lived in the city for over 300 years and fought in the 1948 War of Independence.

After he was elected by the Knesset without a single vote against, Navon served as Israel’s president between 1978 and 1983. He additionally served as Minister of Education between 1984 and 1990, and was the only Israeli president to date who returned to public service after the end of his presidential term.

Among his most famous contributions to Israeli society is the stage play “Bustan Sephardi” (Spanish Garden) which he wrote in 1970. The play is still successfully performed in Israeli theaters and is part of the Israeli school curriculum.

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