Ben-Ami (Dankner), Oved

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BEN-AMI (Dankner), OVED

BEN-AMI (Dankner), OVED (1905–1988), founder and long-time mayor of Netanyah. Ben-Ami, who was born in Petaḥ Tikvah, served as secretary of Benei Binyamin (1924–28), an organization of the sons of early Jewish settlers, which was instrumental in establishing several new settlements. Ben-Ami founded the town of Netanyah in 1928–29, and the settlement of Even Yehudah in 1932. He was mayor of Netanyah continuously from 1930 with minor interruptions. During that time Netanyah became a major resort and the center of Israel's diamond industry. In 1947 Ben-Ami and other Jewish mayors and yishuv leaders were arrested by the British Mandatory authorities in reprisal for Jewish underground activities. Ben-Ami was a member of the Liberal Party and a part owner of Ma'ariv, the daily evening paper. From 1958 to 1961 he was active in the establishment of the new town of Ashdod, heading the Ashdod Development Company. He wrote the books, Netanyah, Birat ha-Sharon (1940), and Unbreakable Spirit of Our Jewish Heritage (1964).

bibliography:

Tidhar, 2 (1947), 1024–25.

[Benjamin Jaffe]