Zeev Sharef

Sharef headshot
Born in Czernowitz, Bukovina (Austria-Hungary, now Ukraine), Zeev Sharef (1906-1984) immigrated to Palestine in 1925 and started work as a laborer. He was a member of Poale Zion’s youth movement, and a founder of the “Socialist Youth” movement. During World War II he was a member of the Haganah command, and after the war, became Secretary of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency then led by David Ben Gurion, Chaim Weizmann, Moshe Sharett, Golda Meir and others.

In 1947 Sharef was appointed secretary of the Situation Committee, responsible for preparing the administrative blueprint for the new Jewish state and laying the groundwork and foundations for Israel’s government institutions after the end of the British Mandate in Palestine. He organized the Independence Declaration ceremony at the Tel Aviv Museum on May 14, 1948. After independence, he served as cabinet secretary of Israel’s government until 1957 when he became Commissioner for State Revenue, reorganizing the state’s tax and revenue administration.

Sharef left the civil service in 1961 and was called back in 1964 by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol as an advisor. He was elected to the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) in 1965 and served as Minister of Trade and Industry (1966-1969), Finance Minister (1968-1969) and Housing Minister (1970-1973). He was not re-elected to the Knesset in 1973 and lost his place in the cabinet in 1974 when Golda Meir resigned as Prime Minister. Sharef retired from political activity in 1974.

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