Yitzhak Navon Biography

Yitzhak Navon (born 9 April 1921) is an Israeli politician, diplomat, and author. He served as the fifth President of Israel between 1978 and 1982 as a member of the center-left Alignment party. He was the first Israeli president to be born in Jerusalem, then within the British Mandate for Palestine, while all previous presidents were born in and made aliyah from the Russian Empire.

In 2005, he was voted the 108th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet to determine whom the general public considered the 200 Greatest Israelis

Born in Jerusalem, Navon is a descendant of a Sephardi family of rabbis. On his father's side, he is descended from Spanish Jews who settled in Turkey after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. The family (Baruch Mizrahi family or Al Mashraki) moved to Jerusalem in 1670. On his mother's side, he is descended from the renowned kabbalist Haim Ben Attar. The Ben-Atar family came from Morocco to Jerusalem in 1884.

Navon studied Hebrew literature and Islamic studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After serving in the Haganah in Jerusalem, he was sent by the Israeli foreign service to Uruguay and Argentina. Navon's wife Ofira, many years his junior, died of cancer. They had two children.