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The Father of Israeli Environmentalism

Azaria Alon and Israeli President Navon, 1981 (Photo: Ya'acov Sa'ar/GPO)

Azaria Alon

Lived: November 15, 1918 - January 19, 2014

Known for: An award-winning environmentalist and radio host, Alon co-founded the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI)

Why you should know him: Born to a Jewish family in Ukraine, Azaria Alon made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) with his family in 1925. The Alons settled in the Jezreel Valley before moving to Haifa. Alon returned to the Jezreel Valley at age 20 to live on Kibbutz Beit HaShita, marrying his wife Reut and having four children.

In 1953, helped establish SPNI in response to the drying up of Hula Lake and many of Israel's swamps. He also worked as a teacher and guide for many years, sharing his love of the Holy Land's land. In addition, Alon began hosting The Landscape of Our Country in 1959, which was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest radio program.

Alon also wrote many books about Israel's nature, including books for children that helped new generations appreciate God's creation. When he passed away at the age of 95, it was said that "It is difficult to imagine how the land of Israel and its landscape would look if not for the great work of Alon." May his memory be a blessing.

Tags: Israelis You Should Know

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