A Holy Land Learner and Leader

Professor Michael Fekete during Siege of Jerusalem, 1948

Credit:wikicommons

Michael Fekete

July 19, 1886 – May 13, 1957

Born to a Jewish family in Austria-Hungary, Michael Fekete earned his PhD in mathematics at the University of Budapest, where he would then teach through most of the 1920s.

In 1928, however, Fekete made aliyah (immigrated) to what was then still British-mandate Palestine. There, he was one of the first mathematics instructors at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the next year being promoted to professor.

Professor Fekete would go on to provide learning and leadership to the Holy Land for the rest of his life. As a mathematician, he is remembered for such concepts as Fekete’s Problem, Fekete’s Polynomial, Fekete’s Lemma, Fekete’s Constant, and the Fekete-Szego Inequality. As a teacher, he would mentor generations of Israeli academics, including renowned mathematicians Aryeh Dvoretzky and Michael Habir Maschler. And as a leader, he not only headed Hebrew University’s Institute of Mathematics, but acted as Dean of Natural Sciences and Provost of the university itself. For his work, he would be awarded the Israel Prize in 1955. And besides being a teacher and mathematician, Professor Fekete was first and foremost a citizen of the Jewish state, as can be seen in the above photo in which, during the 1948 Siege of Jerusalem, he carried his water quota, along with other fellow Israelis.

Tags: education History Israel Israelis You Should Know mathematics Michael Fekete science

More From Fellowship Blog

Roddie Edmonds

Fellowship Blog

Roddie Edmonds: American POW and Righteous Gentile

An American soldier taken prisoner by the Nazis during WWII, Roddie Edmonds saved the lives of 200 fellow American POWs who were Jewish.

10 Innovative Types of Face Masks Developed in Israel

Fellowship Blog

10 Innovative Types of Face Masks Developed in Israel

At the beginning of the year, wearing a face mask felt strange. But now it’s just a way of life.

Hana Meisel (center), 1912

Fellowship Blog

The Founder of Maidens’ Farm

A Zionist and agronomist who came to the Holy Land during the Second Aliyah, Hana Meisel was an early figure in both Zionism and farming in Israel.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.