Harman (Herman), Avraham

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HARMAN (Herman ), AVRAHAM (1914–1992), Israel diplomat and president of the Hebrew University. Born in London, Harman, who studied law at Oxford, settled in Palestine in 1938. From 1939 to 1940 he was in Johannesburg as a staff member of the South African Zionist Federation and then returned to Jerusalem to head the English Section of the Youth Department of the Jewish Agency. From 1942 to 1948 he was the head of the Information Department of the Agency, and after the establishment of the State of Israel Harman became deputy director of the Press and Information Division of the Israel Foreign Ministry. In 1949 he was appointed Israel consul-general in Montreal, Canada, and then became the director of the Israel Office of Information and counselor to the Israel delegation to the United Nations (1950–53). After a two-year period as the Israel consul-general in New York, Harman returned to Jerusalem in 1955 and was appointed a member of the Jewish Agency Executive, heading its Information Department. In 1959 he was appointed Israel ambassador to the United States, a post he held until 1968. His warm identification with the Jewish community and its problems brought him personal popularity wherever he served. Upon his return to Israel, Harman was appointed president of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He held that position until 1983, when he became university chancellor. The Institute for Contemporary Judaism and the chair of the Department of the History of the Jewish People at the Hebrew University are named for him. His wife, zena (1914– ), was born in London and educated at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She served on several Israel delegations to the un. In 1964 she was elected chairman of unicef (the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund). In 1969 she was elected to the Seventh Knesset on behalf of the Israel Labor Party.