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Israelis You Should Know: Yitzhak Navon

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Name: Yitzhak Navon

Age: 94

About him: Yitzhak Navon was born in British Mandate Palestine on April 9, 1921, making him the first Israeli president to be born in Jerusalem. Navon's family were longtime residents of the Holy Land, his father's family having lived in Jerusalem since 1670 and his mother's side since 1742.

Navon studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem before serving in the Haganah, the precursor to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Following his military service, he served as political secretary for David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister. Throughout the 1960s, he headed Israel's Ministry of Education and Culture and was elected to Israel's parliament, the Knesset, where he served as deputy speaker and chairman of the Committee on Foreign and Defense Affairs.

In 1978, Navon was elected the fifth President of Israel. Turning down a second term in order to focus on Israel's politics, he returned to the Knesset in 1983, where he stayed until retiring in 1992.

Aside from his career serving the Jewish state, Yitzhak Navon has also made his mark in Jewish literature, penning two musicals based on Jewish folklore, as well as a book on the reunification of Jerusalem, the city he has called home for over nine decades.

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