GERI, JACOB (1901–1974), South African Zionist and Israeli industrialist. Born in Lithuania, he was brought up in South Africa where he studied law. In 1934 he immigrated to Palestine and, after a short spell as a worker in an orange grove, joined the law firm of Dov *Joseph. Shortly after, however, he accepted an invitation to join the African Palestine Investments (api), of which he became chairman in 1956, and devoted himself to other South African commercial enterprises in Israel. His most important achievement in the industrial field was the establishment, by the api, of Savyon, the first garden-city in Israel. In 1950, though belonging to no political party, he was invited by Ben-Gurion to join the cabinet as minister of commerce and industry, the only nonparty member. He resigned in 1953 because of disagreement with Ben-Gurion's policies.
[Louis Isaac Rabinowitz]