Israel has a rich and impressive history with quite a number of surprising facts in between. When we analyze everything Israel has gone through, some of us cannot believe how strong and innovative the country and its people are today. But, why are we doing so well today?
Some people say that we are what we are thanks to our story. We are what we are because of the struggles we had to overcome, and because of the difficulties, we had to deal with. This is true. And a lot of this is due to the leadership of a country. When we see who led us in the past or who is leading us at present, it becomes easier to comprehend the potential paths we might take in the future.
Today, we’d like to talk about one of the most important Prime Ministers in the history of Israel. He is not particularly well-known across the world (figures like Golda Meir and Menachem Begin are slightly better known!). We want to tell you about Levi Eshkol and why his name should also be on top of our minds.
Levi Eshkol: Interesting facts about his interesting life
Today, we’d like to share with you 9 facts about Levi Eshkol’s life you weren’t aware of before. Feel free to share them with your friends and to sound smart and illustrated in your next family dinner.
1. He was born Levi Shkolnik, but when he arrived in Israel he changed his name to something that sounded more “Israeli”, just as Golda Meir and David Ben Gurion did. Do you know which name you would have picked for yourself?
2. He was Israel’s third Prime Minister, being in office right after Ben Gurion, and right before Ygal Allon (You may recognize their names when remembering some of the most important streets and avenues in Israel). Eshkol was the Prime Minister from 1963 until 1969 and died in office from a heart attack.
3. When the new Israeli shekel first came out, Levi Eshkol’s face was on the 5 shekel bill. These days, 5 shekels are coins (not notes).
4. He was awarded honorary doctoral degrees from several universities. The Roosevelt University, the University of Liberia, the Hebrew Union College, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem bestowed this honor on him. Impressive, right?
5. From a very young age, he was already involved in politics. While still in Vilna, Levi Eshkol was part of Tzeirei Zion, a student association that enabled him to start connections with the well-known Zionist movement.
6. Eshkol got married three times, and he had four daughters. The names of his three wives were Elisheva, Rivka, and Miriam.
7. Prior to succeeding David Ben Gurion in office, Levi Eshkol held a number of important positions in the Government. He even was the Minister of Finance.
8. One of the most important events that occurred while Levi Eshkol was in office, was actually the 6 days war. During the time of the war, and with the help of Golda Meir, Eshkol could unify the 3 most important labor parties in Israel and form what we know today as Avoda (Israel’s labor party).
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