Commemorating Yitzhak Navon's Life and Legacy
We are an ancient people… with a time-honored tradition of values, truth, and justice. If we adhere to our values, I am confident that we will emerge stronger than ever and have the power to overcome any obstacle that stands in our way.
Yitzhak Navon | September 20, 1982
The Center operates in several ways to commemorate Yitzhak Navon’s life and legacy and instill his values in Israeli society.
The Center works to commemorate Yitzhak Navon through a number of national projects (memorial sites, commemorative stamps and medals), on government websites, through legislation, and by collaborating with public and government institutions. The Center also holds annual exhibitions and events where awards and scholarships are granted in the name of Navon.
Examples of national commemoration:
- The government’s decision of December 24, 2017 to start an educational, cultural, and tourism project to be named for Yitzhak Navon The project will promote solidarity, accountability, and the redressing of social inequalities.
- The new train station in Jerusalem’s Ha’uma Compound will be named the Yitzhak Navon Station.
- The Tzippori National Park will be named for Yitzhak Navon, as will the new international campus of the Jewish National Fund.
- The Yitzhak Navon Gate at the President’s House in Jerusalem
- Issuance of commemorative stamps and government medals
- The Neot Kedumim Nature Reserve will be named the Yitzhak Navon Park in Neot Kedumim.
The Center seeks to commemorate Yitzhak Navon through several municipal projects in various cities and local councils, focussing on specific neighborhoods and educational, cultural, leisure, and community institutions.
Projects include schools, neighborhoods, streets, public squares, parks, gardens, and sports facilities.
Click the flags in the commemoration map to view the commemoration sites.
Legacy and Commemoration
The Yitzhak Navon Heritage Center aspires to convey his unique character and highlight his crucial role in shaping the country’s values in its early days, inspiring a new and enlightened kind of social discourse.
“We must remind ourselves and the younger generation of the personal and social morality, purity of heart, and humility that defined our nation in its early years. By doing so, we can remove the stain currently associated with politics and encourage our youth to become active political participants, because there is no other democratic way to effect meaningful change.” (Yitzhak Navon, “All the Way: The Autobiography of Yitzhak Navon”, p. 419).
Yitzhak Navon shall forever be remembered as a man of many talents, an admired president, an esteemed Minister of Education, and the author of “Bustan Sefardi”. Over decades of public service, Navon achieved invaluable national and diplomatic accomplishments and made his mark on Israel’s intellectual and cultural life.
The Yitzhak Navon Heritage Center works to perpetuate his vast contribution to the public sphere and to present his legacy as inspiration for ethical politics and leadership prioritizing the common good.
The Center disseminates Navon’s writings, adapts films and theater plays about his life, holds lectures on Navon’s life and career, and offers tours in the footsteps of Israel’s beloved president.
The Center seeks to commemorate Yitzhak Navon through a wide range of events, such as conferences, performances, seminars and lectures, tours, educational sessions, and quizzes, and by publishing books, producing films, and granting awards and scholarships. The Center also commemorates Navon through a number of centers and institutions named for him. In addition, the Center organizes and participates in cultural events that shed light on Navon’s life as a public figure, author, and playwright.
The events are inspired by Navon’s character, values, and interests. We believe that by doing so, we allow the spirit of his unique leadership and his many achievements to influence society and help shape our lives.
Since his passing, more than 80 cultural events have been held in tribute of Navon, including plays, concerts, dance performances, storytelling festivals, Ladino culture festivals, and others. Here are a few examples:
Examples of cultural commemoration:
- The Yitzhak Navon 2017 Presidential Award
- The Ministry of Science’s Yitzhak Navon PhD and Postdoc Fellowships for Women Living on the Socioeconomic Periphery – a scholarship program for encouraging research by high-ranking female PhD and post-doctorate students in physics, chemistry, biology, environmental science, and engineering
- The Yitzhak Navon Knight of Ladino Badge, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
- The Yitzhak Navon Badge, granted by the Center to an outstanding figure
- The Yitzhak Navon Hebrew Language Quiz, held in the Jerusalem Theater on December 22, 2016
- The Yitzhak Navon Land of Israel Quiz, an annual event that began in 2016 at Dror Educational Campus
- Celebrating Yitzhak Navon’s autobiography “All the Way” – an evening in honor of Yitzhak Navon, as part of the International Storytelling Festival in Givatayim
- The Yitzhak Navon Ladino Culture Festival at the Habima National Theater (annual event)
- The Yitzhak Navon International Ladino Day – an annual event organized by the Israel National Authority for Ladino
- The Annual Yitzhak Navon Remembrance Concert – season premiere at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance
- The Lashon Berishon Hebrew Language Conference (annual event) – panel in memory of Yitzhak Navon
- Días de Leche y Miel (Days of Milk and Honey), a convention for Ladino speakers and aficionados, at the Dead Sea, named for Yitzhak Navon. The convention is held once a year over four days in five cycles, between January and March.
“We must restore public education to its former glory and usher in a new era of true, ethical education that strives to promote the values of equality, respect, human dignity, and the sanctity of life, and douse the flames of hate in our society. (Yitzhak Navon, “All the Way: The Autobiography of Yitzhak Navon”, p. 419)
Yitzhak Navon was above all an educator. He was a relentless advocate for disseminating knowledge and providing access to public education, from kindergarten to higher education. As a teacher and as Minister of Education, Navon believed that, in addition to formal education, it was the nation’s responsibility to instill fundamental values among its schoolchildren and students, such as truth, honesty, precision, acceptance of the other, volunteer service, respect for legacy and tradition, and a strong connection to the history of Israel in the modern era.
In keeping with his beliefs, the Center commemorates President Navon in schools and educational institutions to instill his legacy among students young and old and among teachers and educators in Israel.