Avidov, Zvi

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AVIDOV, ZVI (formerly Henry Klein ; 1896–1984), Israeli agricultural entomologist. Avidov was born in Znin, Germany, into an Orthodox Jewish family. While in high school, he joined the Blau Weiss Zionist youth movement which duly oriented him in the direction of agriculture as the first step toward the realization of his idealistic aspirations, namely, to immigrate to Palestine and become a farm worker in the Land of Israel. In 1916 Avidov was drafted into the German Army and served for two years in the Signal Corps on both the Eastern and Western fronts of World War i. In 1921 he immigrated to Palestine, where he worked as a farm laborer in Galilee and the Sharon regions. In 1923 he accepted an offer to join F.S. *Bodenheimer as a field entomologist of the Agricultural Experiment Station established in Tel Aviv by the Palestine Zionist Executive (later the Volcani Institute in Reḥovot). During their 30 years of collaboration, Bodenheimer and Avidov laid the foundation and built the structure of the science of agricultural entomology in Israel. In 1958 he joined the Hebrew University and was appointed professor of agricultural entomology at the Faculty of Agriculture at Reḥovot, where he was credited with the training of a whole new generation of specialists in the field of applied entomology. Avidov's contribution to entomological research in Israel was particularly prominent in the field of pest control, a field he pioneered. Apart from being instrumental in the training of the first cadres of practitioners and instructors, Avidov also established and headed the Department of Entomology at the Hebrew University's Faculty of Agriculture. During 1959–62 he served as dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, an office which provided him with the opportunity to make unique contributions to shaping the country's higher education and research programs, not only in entomology but also in agriculture as a whole. Even after retiring from university teaching and administrative chores in 1965, Avidov continued full time with an intensive research program and supervision of graduate student work, concentrating mainly on the biology of natural enemies of citrus scale insects and the development of methods for their mass rearing. He edited Studies in Agricultural Entomology and Plant Pathology (1966) and wrote several books, including Plant Pests of Israel (1969) with I. Harpaz which is still the standard manual on the subject. In 1977 Avidov received the Israel Prize in agriculture.


Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture (1958), 179–82 (list of Avidov's publications).

[Isaac Harpaz /

Sharon Zrachya (2nd ed.)]