• Issue: November 2016
  • Designer: David Ben-Hador
  • Stamp Size: 40 mm x 30 mm
  • Plate no.: 1036
  • Security mark: Microtext
  • Sheet of 15 stamps, Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Cartor Security Printing, France
  • Method of printing: Offset

Yitzhak Navon was born on April 9, 1921 in Jerusalem. On his father's side, he was a descendant of Spanish Jews, who settled in Turkey after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and later moved to Jerusalem in 1670. His mother's family, descendants of renowned Moroccan Rabbi Haim Ben Attar, author of the book "The Light of Life", arrived in Jerusalem in 1884.

Navon was among those who defended Jerusalem during Israel's War of Independence in 1948, heading the Haganah's Arabic Department in the city and the surrounding areas. After the founding of the State, he held diplomatic posts in Uruguay and Argentina, served as political secretary to Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett and in 1952 was called upon to be Prime Minister David Ben Gurion's Chief of Staff and became the Prime Minister's confidant.

After Ben Gurion resigned as Prime Minister, Navon joined the Education Ministry as a section chief and led the campaign to eradicate illiteracy among Israel's adult population.

Navon was elected to the Israeli Knesset in 1965 and held a number of positions. He also headed the World Zionist General Council and deepened ties with the Jews of the Diaspora, calling on Jews from all communities to immigrate to Israel.

Yitzhak Navon was elected the fifth President of Israel in 1978 and chose to remain in office for only one term, until 1983. Loyal to his beliefs, the President worked to increase national cohesion and reduce social gaps, to strengthen a sense of cooperation among different factions of the population and to bring together people of different ethnic groups and religions in the country. His historic visit to Egypt in 1980 symbolized the golden age of Israel's relations with the largest Arab nation.

From 1984 until he retired from political life in 1990, Navon served as the Minister of Education and Culture. Within the framework of this position, he endeavored to instill a sense of honor in school children toward their heritage and traditions, as well as to educate them toward democracy and peace. He also put great emphasis on the importance of speaking proper Hebrew and adhering to a culture of speech.

Throughout his public life, Navon fearlessly followed his conscience and beliefs; thus, while President, he called for the establishment of a State investigation committee to investigate the massacre in the Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon and he was the only government minister who voted against the prisoner exchange deal (the Jibril Agreement) in 1985.

In addition to his public service, Navon was a renowned scholar. Among other things, he wrote short stories as well as a musical play called Sepharadic Romancero. His prominent play Bustan Sepharadi (Sepharadic
Orchard), which lauded the Ladino language and culture, has been staged since 1998 with unprecedented success.

In 1963 he married Ofira Erez, a rehabilitation psychologist, who dedicated her life to children with special needs. Ofira died of cancer in 1993. The couple had two children, Naama and Erez. In 1995, Navon met his second wife, Miri Shafir, a jewelry and fashion designer and media consultant, who is also an artist and writer. Miri was by his side until the day he died.
Yitzhak Navon, a descendant of many generations of Jerusalemites, a champion of mankind; a teacher and educator, a man of the spirit and the practical, who believed with all his heart in our ability to make peace with our neighbors, passed away on November 6, 2015, in his home in Jerusalem.

Erez Navon
Son of the President
Denise Harran Ben-Dor
President Navon's Chief of Staff (1996-2015)

top top

Yitzhak Navon 1921-2015