Israeli songwriter and Israel Prize winner Haim Hefer has passed away in Tel Aviv at the age of 86. He was battling a serious illness.
Born in Poland in 1925, Hefer immigrated to Israel with his family in 1936. At 17, he joined the Palmach and was sent to Kibbutz Dafna where he wrote songs about his experiences at the Palmach movement. During this time he also aided the illegal immigration effort.
Hefer was the founder and head writer of the Palmach\’s Chizbatron Band. He spent the early 1950s writing anecdotes and humorous stories together with author Dahn Ben Amotz revolving around the Palmach folklore and the sabra\’s spirit of sacrifice.
Later in life, he started writing materials for the theatre including songs for such musicals as Kazablan and I Like Mike. Many of his songs were written for the IDF\’s military bands.
Until 2001, Hefer also published weekly columns at Yedioth Ahronoth and occasionally came under fire over his blunt portrayal of various sectors of Israeli society.