Giora Yoseftal

Dr Giora Yoseftal (Hebrew: גיורא יוספטל‎; 9 August 1912 – 23 August 1962) was an Israeli politician who held several ministerial portfolios in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Giora Yoseftal
Yoseftal Giora.jpg
Date of birth9 August 1912
Place of birthNuremberg, Germany
Year of aliyah1938
Date of death23 August 1962(1962-08-23) (aged 50)
Knessets4, 5
Faction represented in Knesset
Ministerial roles
1959–1961Minister of Labour
1961–1962Minister of Housing
1961–1962Minister of Development


Born (as Georg Josephthal) in Nuremberg in Germany, Yoseftal was a member of the Yiddisher Yudenbund youth movement in his teens. After high school he studied law and economics at the University of Heidelberg, Berlin, Munich and Basel, gaining a PhD in jurisprudence at the latter.

In 1932, he joined Habonim, and the following year was appointed head of the youth department of the Bavarian Jewish community. He moved to Berlin in 1934, and two years later was elected secretary general of the German branch of HeHalutz. In 1936 he married Senetta Yoseftal, later also an Israeli politician.

Yoseftal made aliyah to Mandate Palestine in 1938, and two months after arriving, he was sent to London to try and save German Jewry. He returned to Palestine in 1939, establishing a work brigade in Ra'anana, which later founded kibbutz Gal'ed in 1945.

In 1943, he joined the British Army. After the war ended, he took over the absorption section of the Jewish Agency's aliyah department. Between 1947 and 1952 he sat on the Agency's board. In 1952 he was a member of the delegations which negotiated the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany.

In 1956, he became secretary-general of Mapai, the ruling party, a role he held until 1959. In the elections that year he was voted into the Knesset on Mapai's list, and was appointed Minister of Labour. He retained his seat in the 1961 elections, and was given the roles of Minister of Housing and Minister of Development. He died in office on 23 August 1962.

In March 2018, the city of Netanya decided to change the name of a street named after Yoseftal because of his discriminatory policies towards North African immigrants in the 1950s.[1]


External linksEdit

  • Giora Yoseftal on the Knesset website
  • The personal papers of Giora Yoseftal are kept at the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem. The notation of the record group is A344.
  • Berlin, Ludwig (2013). "Biography of Giora (Georg) Josephthal" (PDF). Nuremberg: Rijo Research. Retrieved 24 April 2017.