Prof. Israel Goldberg

updated: 10.01.2024

Prof. Israel Goldberg



Obituary at the funeral ceremony, 19.2.2018, by Prof. Moshe (Shiko) Kol:


Israel was born on June 13, 1945. He received both his B.Sc. (1968) and Ph.D. (1974), under Professor Uri Shmueli from the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University. His postdoctoral research at UCLA focused on polycyclic ethers, was the pioneering work which led to supramolecular chemistry.


In 1975 he joined Tel Aviv University and established his own research group, becoming Full Professor in 1991. In 2009 he became the incumbent of the Advanced Materials Chair. Israel spent two additional periods at UCLA and collaborated with Donald J. Cram who shared the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Lehn and Pedersen. In 1993-1997 Israel served as Head of the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University. From 2013 until his death on February 18, 2018, he was Professor Emeritus at the School of Chemistry.


His research program focused on two main topics:

  1. Supramolecular chemistry in the solid state, including the development of organometallic lattices, coordinative polymers, and porous materials that can be used for adsorbing gases and for catalysts.

  2. Crystallography of small molecules. His interest in this field led him to numerous collaborative research programs with many other research groups.


Israel's research group has always been small but very effective and creative, and Israel was one of the most prolific and highly cited scientists in the history of the School of Chemistry. He was a creative scientist, diligent and critical. In his departmental activity, Israel stood tall as a very honest, impartial, practical and tough faculty member who was not afraid of expressing his opinions. These qualities also characterized his attitude to his illness.


Although he was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, he never told his colleagues about it until the past few weeks, when his medical situation started deteriorating rapidly.


Israel, his character and scientific career will continue to serve as role models for the entire community of chemists.


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