Wertheimer, Stef

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WERTHEIMER, STEF (1926– ), Israeli industrialist. Born in Germany, he came to Palestine with his family in 1937. After service during Israel's War of Independence he continued with the development of armaments. In 1951 he founded the iscar (Israel Carbides) company, which became a world leader in the production of precision carbide metalworking tools. In 1981, after four years in the Knesset, he devoted his efforts to developing the Galilee, with a residential project, Kefar Veradim, and the Tefen industrial park. He initiated the establishment of several other Galilee industrial parks. These enterprises generated 10,000 jobs in 150 plants and together with iscar around $2 billion in annual exports.

Wertheimer was a creative and innovative thinker. The iscar complex is enhanced by works of art and even an industrial museum, and to create a bright and cheerful atmosphere, Wertheimer had all the factory floors painted yellow. In 1991 he received the Israel Prize for special contribution to society and the state. In 2006 iscar was sold to Oscar Buffett for $4 billion.

[Fern Lee Seckbach]