Yitzhak Navon, Fifth President of Israel, Has Died

Dear members of the community,

Yitzhak Navon, who served as the 5th President of the State of Israel from 1978 to 1983, passed away on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the age of 94. His funeral took place on Sunday, November 08, 2015 on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.

Through the years Navon combined public activity, political activity and writing, which centered mostly on preserving the cultural heritage of Sephardic and Mizrachi Jewry. In 1978 he was elected to serve as the fifth President of the State of Israel. He served in office until 1983.

During his Presidency, he strove to act as a bridge between Israel’s ethnic groups, religious and secular, Sephardim and Ashkenazim, left and right, Jews and Arabs and to allay high tensions following the evacuation of Jewish settlements in the Sinai Peninsula pursuant to the peace agreement with Egypt.

One of the highlights of his term of office was his state visit to Egypt in 1980 at the invitation of President Anwar Sadat. He impressed his hosts with his eloquent Arabic, breaking the ice and demolishing stereotypes of Israelis and Jews as a “foreign element” to the region.

After finishing his term he returned to public and political activity. His other high posts include Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Minister of Education, Knesset Member and Chairman of the Zionist Executive Committee.

President Reuven Rivlin on the passing of Israel’s Fifth President, Yitzhak Navon (on November 7, 2015):

“Yitzhak was a man of spirit and action, who alongside Ben-Gurion dealt with the establishment and founding of the state, and created one of the most significant works of Jewish and Israeli culture, Bustan Sefardi [Sephardic Garden], which became a landmark in Israeli culture.”

The public paid its respects to the late President at the President’s residence in Jerusalem.

The book of condolences will be open at the Embassy of Israel in Vilnius, Konstitucijos ave. 7 on Tuesday, November 10, from 10:00 till 12:00 and from 14:00 till 16:00 and on Wednesday, November 11, from 10:00 till 12:00 and from 14:00 till 16:00.

For more information: Ana Maizel, ambassador-sec@vilnius.mfa.gov.il, (8-5) 250 25 02, (+370) 616 85532