Haim Harari

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Haim Harari (Hebrew: חיים הררי) (born 18 November 1940) is an Israeli theoretical physicist who has made contributions in particle physics, science education, and other fields.

Birth and education[edit]

Haim Harari was born in Jerusalem in 1940 into a family that had lived in the region for five generations. His father was Knesset member Yizhar Harari and his mother was Dina born Neumann. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Academic career[edit]

After completing his Ph.D, he became the youngest Professor ever at the Weizmann Institute in 1967.

He is currently the Chair of the Board of the Davidson Institute of Science Education at the Weizmann Institute and Chair of the Management Committee of the Weizmann Global Endowment Management Trust in New York. He was the President, from 1988 to 2001, of the Weizmann Institute of Science. During his presidency, the Weizmann Institute, entirely dedicated to basic research, became one of the leading royalty earning academic research organizations in the world.


Haim Harari has made major contributions to three different fields: particle physics research on the international scene, science education in the Israeli school system and science administration and policy making.

Harari coined the name of the top and bottom quarks,[1][2] predicted in 1973 by Kobayashi and Maskawa,[3] and made the first complete statement of the standard six quarks and six leptons model of particle physics (at the Stanford 1975 Lepton-Photon Conference).[1] He also proposed the Rishon Model,[4][5] a model for a substructure of quarks and leptons, currently believed to be the most fundamental particles in nature. There is no experimental evidence yet for such substructure.

His contributions to education include the establishment of a national tutoring and mentoring project,[6] in which more than 30,000 Israeli undergraduates receive a tuition fellowship in return for devoting four hours per week to a child from an underprivileged socioeconomic background. He also initiated and established a unique science teaching center in which high school students perform all their physics studies in advanced laboratories and with highly qualified teachers, instead of pursuing the same in their own schools. Harari has been chairman of both projects, since their founding.

Award and honors[edit]

Harari's honors include, among others:

  • membership in the Israel Academy of Sciences (1978);
  • membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2010);
  • the Rothschild Prize in Physics (1976);
  • the Israel Prize, in the exact sciences (1989);[7]
  • the EMET Prize in Education (2004);[8]
  • several honorary doctorates;
  • the "Commander Cross of the Order of Merit" presented by the President of Germany;
  • the "Cross of Honor, Science and Art, First Class" presented by Austria;
  • the Golden cross of honor for service to the land of Lower Austria (2011); and
  • the rarely awarded Harnack medal from the Max Planck Institute (2001), to acknowledge his contribution to the tradition of co-operation between the Max Planck Society and the Weizmann Institute.

In 2004 Harari gave a speech entitled "A View from the Eye of the Storm", which caused a worldwide sensation because of its insights into the problems of the Middle East. He eventually turned it into a book of the same name.


  • A View from the Eye of the Storm: Terror and Reason in the Middle East, HarperCollins, 2005.


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