Chaim Azriel Weizmann
Chaim Azriel Weizmann (November 1874 – 9 November 1952) was a Zionist leader, President of the Zionist Organization, and the first President of the State of Israel. He was elected on 1 February 1949, and served until his death in 1952.
Weizmann was also a chemist who developed the ABE-process, which produces acetone through bacterial fermentation. He founded the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.
Weizmann was born in the village of Motal near Pinsk in Belarus (at that time part of the Russian Empire). He was the third of 15 children. His father was a timber merchant. Until the age of 11, he attended a traditional heder. At the age of 11, he entered high school in Pinsk.
Weizmann studied chemistry at the Polytechnic Institute of Darmstadt, Germany, and University of Fribourg, Switzerland. In 1899, he was awarded a doctorate with honors. In 1901, he was appointed assistant lecturer at the University of Geneva and, in 1904, senior lecturer at the University of Manchester.
He was married to Vera Weizmann. The couple had two sons.
In 1920-1931 and 1935-1946 respectively Weizmann was elected president of the World Zionist Organization. Chaim was an ardent defender of the Jewish people and a supporter of the state of the Jews. In the middle of the twentieth century, when the political map of the world was not as mobile as they used to, it was a very, very tough target. But Chaim gave all his energy to let his dream comes true. Through his work there was formed separate Jewish Brigade in British army at the end of the Second World War. In 1947, Weizmann in the Jewish delegation took an active part in the UN General Assembly, discussed the problem of the partition of Palestine into two independent states - Jewish and Arab. Weizmann merit is also the inclusion of spaces in the Negev area and recognition by America (USA) the State of Israel. This man has secured the promise of the U.S. President to fund the beginning of a new state economic development by providing a loan of $ 100 million on favorable terms, and to establish diplomatic relations with Israel immediately after the first democratic government would be elected.
Weizmann became the first President of Israel in 1949. He served until his death in 1952.
Weizmann’s nephew Ezer Weizman also became president of Israel.
Chaim Weizmann is buried beside his wife in the garden of his home at the Weizmann estate, which is located on the grounds of Israel's science research institute, The Weizmann Institute of Science.
In 2005, he was voted the 45th-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.