Zohar Zisapel, A Founding Father Of Israeli High-Tech, Dies At 74
Zohar Zisapel, one of the founding fathers of Israel’s renowned high-tech industry, died Saturday after a long battle against cancer. He was 74.
In the 1980s, Zisapel and his brother Yehuda founded the RAD Group – an umbrella organization of independent Israeli telecommunications and networking companies. It evolved from their original company RAD Data Communications Ltd, which remains a part of the RAD Group to this day.
Born in Tel Aviv in 1949, Zisapel attended the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, where he earned both a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in electrical engineering.
After his compulsory military service in the Israel Defense Forces, he joined the Electronic Research Department of the Defense Ministry, based in Tel Aviv.
He ultimately went on to become the head of the department, and in 1979 was awarded the Israel Defense Prize for his work there.
Zisapel’s other awards include the Israel Communications Award; the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Israel Association of Electrical and Electronic Engineers; and the Life Achievement Award of the Association of Engineers, Architects and Graduates in Technological Sciences in Israel.
Dedicated to the field in which he worked, Zisapel invested in several Israeli high-tech companies, including the highly successful Wiz cloud security startup and Argus automotive cybersecurity firm.
He was also noted for his charitable contributions, including computer equipment for schools for at-risk children reportedly totaling some $500,000 per year, and a $4.5 million donation to the Technion to establish the Sara and Moshe Zisapel Nanoelectronics Center, which was named for his parents.
Zisapel was a fierce critic of the current Israeli government’s plans to overhaul the judicial system. He took part in the protests against the by members of the high-tech sector, warning that the plan was “a very dangerous process” that was “taking us back 20 years.”