Ben-Zvi (Ben-Tzevi), Yitzhak (Shimshelevitz, Yitzhak)
- (1884-1963)Israeli statesman. Born in the Ukraine, he was one of the pioneers of the Poale Zion movement in Russia. In 1907 he settled in Palestine, where he was active in the Jewish defence movement. He was a founder of the Ahdut ha-Avodah party in 1919, of Histradrut in 1921, and of Mapai in 1930. He succeeded Chaim Weizmann as president of the state in 1952. His wife, Rachel Yanait (1886-1979), was involved with the Palestinian labour movement, Jewish self-defence, and agricul-tural training for women.
Dictionary of Jewish Biography. Dan Cohn-Sherbok.