Israel Prize Recipient and Ex-lawmaker Aharon Yadlin Dies at 96

As secretary of the Labor Party and education and culture minister under Yitzhak Rabin's first government, Yadlin advanced dozens of educational institutions around Israel

Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
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Aharon Yadlin in 2005
Aharon Yadlin in 2005Credit: Orel Cohen/ Baubau
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

Aharon Yadlin, a former minister, Israel Prize recipient, and veteran of the Israeli Labor movement, passed away on Friday at the age of 96.

With a career spanning over 60 years, Yadlin served as both education and culture minister under Yitzhak Rabin, secretary general of the Labor Party, and secretary of the Kibbutz Movement. During his tenure, he cultivated pioneer youth movements, established a department of planning and developing school programs, and helped establish science teaching centers in universities.

"In addition to being one of the leaders of the Labor movement and the movement to settle the Negev, a man of vision and action, Aharon was an educator and teacher in every respect. His many years of work in the Knesset and in the government for the education and future of the children of Israel will be a living monument to him for years to come," President Yitzhak Herzog eulogized.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid also eulogized Yadlin, saying that "Israel separates today from Aharon Yadlin, a man of spirit and soil, a recipient of the Israel Prize, an education minister and public figure."

Lapid added that Yadlin was key in ensuring that education is a top priority for Israel, and "took care of the future of the children and invested many years in education."

After winning the Israel Prize in 2010 for his special contribution to the country and society, the judges wrote "In his activities and personality, Aharon Yadlin served as an example and source of inspiration to many people of his generation whom he guided, educated and led in his peculiar way over the years. Aharon Yadlin symbolized the good and the beautiful in Israel."

Yadlin was born in Tel Aviv in 1926. In his youth, he was among the founders of Kibbutz Be'eri and later moved to Kibbutz Hatzerim. In 1960, he entered the Knesset on behalf of Mapai, once the largest ruling party and the forerunner of today's Labor party.

After retiring from political life in 1979, Yadlin became a high school teacher.

His funeral will be held at Kibbutz Hatzerim on Sunday at 5:30 P.M.

Yadlin is survived by three sons, including Major General (ret.) Amos Yadlin, who also served as head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate.

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